Playing in their first match against each other since becoming the newest members of Major League Soccer, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Portland Timbers settled for a 1-1 draw on the second day of the preseason Cascadia Summit.
Ryan Pore gave Portland an early lead at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila, Washington, before a David Horst own-goal earned a draw for the Blue and White on Saturday afternoon. The 'Caps might have considered themselves a bit unlucky not to win the match after growing into the weekend contest following a slow start.
"There always a special edge to these derby matches, and I felt today's game was very competitive," Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson said after Saturday's game. "We struggled to deal with Portland in the first 15 to 20 minutes, but after that, I thought we got our grips with the game and controlled it."
On a cool and overcast day in Tukwila, Washington, the Blue and White played a strong starting XI versus their Oregon-based opponents. This included Wes Knight on the right side of midfield in front of fullback Jonathan Leathers, while Chinese forward Long Tan partnered experienced MLS campaigner Atiba Harris in attack.
The opening exchanges saw a motivated Timbers side keen to build on Friday's morale-boosting win over Seattle Sounders FC in the Cascadia Summit opener. Though Timbers head coach John Spencer played an entirely different starting XI from the line-up that started against Seattle, Portland claimed the lead on five minutes. New Portland signing Brian Umony's initial shot beat a diving Jay Nolly in the Whitecaps FC goal before hitting the post and bouncing out to midfielder Pore. Last year's top goalscorer in the USSF D-2 Pro League converted into an empty net to delight the travelling Timbers Army support.
The 'Caps pressure would pay dividends in fortunate circumstances on 36 minutes. Harris found an unmarked Blake Wagner with a cross from the right. From inside the Timbers box, the winger's fierce strike forced a fine save from Brown, but the rebound inadvertently hit Timbers centre back David Horst in the thigh before bouncing into his own net for 1-1.
The equalizer lifted the spirits of Whitecaps FC, and just before halftime, Tan went close to scoring with a glancing header that flew past the far post after Harris did well to chase down a loose ball on the left flank and play in a dangerous cross.
Having finished the first half strongly, Whitecaps FC picked up where they left off in the second half, with Brown forced to make saves from a John Thorrington free kick on 58 minutes and a low Harris shot two minutes later.
Thordarson then made substitutions after the hour mark, with youngster Russell Teibert nearly creating a second Vancouver goal for Terry Dunfield on 66 minutes. The Canadian youth international redirected a Knight cross into Dunfield's path, but the former Manchester City youth player put his strike over the Portland crossbar. Another 'Caps substitute was veteran MLS goalkeeper Joe Cannon, who came on for Nolly after the break. On 69 minutes, the former San Jose Earthquakes keeper made a fine save from Timbers striker Eddie Johnson.
With both clubs making several substitutions before the end, each side created one final chance to claim a winner. On 86 minutes, Knight forced Brown into a save with a fierce shot after claiming the ball off his own corner in the Portland box. Then in the three minutes of time added on, Timbers substitute Rodrigo Lopez forced an excellent stop from Cannon, as the match ended in a stalemate.
Whitecaps FC will conclude the proceedings at the Cascadia Summit on Sunday afternoon when they face Sounders FC at Starfire Sports Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. PT. Earlier on Sunday, Whitecaps FC Residency face Sounders FC Academy U-18's in a friendly to open the final day of the Summit at 11:45 a.m. PT.
5' - POR - Ryan Pore
36' - VAN - own-goal
Shots: Vancouver 14 - Portland 10
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 5 – Portland 5
Saves: Vancouver 4 - Portland 5
Fouls: Vancouver 18 - Portland 17
Corners: Vancouver 3 - Portland 3
Offsides: Vancouver 1 – Portland 5
21’ – POR – Adam Moffat
44’ – POR – Danso
48’ – VAN – Blake Wagner
53’ – VAN – Alain Rochat
57’ – POR – James Marcelin
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Jay Nolly (1.Joe Cannon 62’); 4.Alain Rochat (28.Gershon Koffie 89’), 6.Jay DeMerit, 14.Greg Janicki, 25.Jonathan Leathers; 19.Blake Wagner (31.Russell Teibert 62’), 7.Terry Dunfield (32.Kevin Harmse 77’), 11.John Thorrington (27.Alexandre Morfaw 84’), 8.Wes Knight; 9.Atiba Harris (37.Camilo Sanvezzo 77’), 23.Long Tan (17.Omar Salgado 84’)
24.Adin Brown; 27.Chris Taylor, 12.David Horst, 98.Mamabou Danso, 28.Freddie Braun; 11.Kalif Alhassan (35.Bim Ogunyemi 89’), 14.James Marcelin, 16.Adam Moffat (36.Rodrigo Lopez 82’), 23.Ryan Pore; 10.Eddie Johnson (34.Spencer Thompson 72’), 26.Brian Umony