Team White and Team Blue each recorded clean sheets, as they played to a 0-0 draw in a Vancouver Whitecaps FC intrasquad match in front of several supporters at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam, BC, on Saturday.
The match featured two 40-minute halves, with the club's MLS roster mixed into two squads. Assistant coach Paul Ritchie manned the sidelines for Team Blue, while Residency technical director Richard Grootscholten was on the bench for Team White. Head coach Martin Rennie observed from the sidelines at the halfway line.
Camilo nearly got the match off to a flying start for Team White when he cut into the middle of the park and curled a shot off the crossbar in the second minute of play. Three minutes later, Shea Salinas darted down the right and fired a shot wide of goal. Only a minute after that, Russell Teibert fought off Greg Janicki up the middle and poked a shot past Team Blue goalkeeper Jay Nolly towards goal, but without enough pace to reach the goalline.
On 10 minutes, Jonathan Leathers sent in a dangerous cross for Team Blue, but Eric Hassli nor Long Tan were able to get a touch on it, as the ball sailed off a defender and out for a corner. Team White was back on the attack on 26 minutes, with Omar Salgado speeding up field before Nolly did well to come out and cut off his angle. Three minutes later, Salinas set up Camilo at the top of the box, but the Brazilian hit a shot wide of the far post.
Neither team seriously threatened the rest of the half, as both sides went into the break goalless.
Both teams switched up their line-ups at halftime. Philippe Davies replaced Jay DeMerit, as he came on at right fullback for Team White and shifted Jeb Brovsky to centre back. Teibert also moved to left fullback and pushed Rochat up to central midfield. Team Blue made two substitutions, with Alexandre Morfaw replacing Leathers and coming on in central midfield, while pushing Gershon Koffie to right fullback. Residency striker Caleb Clarke, meanwhile, came on for Tan up front. Five minutes into the second half, trialist Ridge Mobulu replaced Hassli.
On 50 minutes, Camilo rifled a shot on target, but Nolly did well to make the save. A minute later, Residency youngster Bryce Alderson tried his luck from 25 yards out, but his strike sailed over the crossbar. Team Blue responded on 54 minutes, as Jordan Harvey hit a shot on target, but Cannon was on hand to make an easy save.
The most exciting moment of the match came on 64 minutes when Camilo tried to catch Nolly off his goalline with a strike from beyond the halfway line. The shot eventually sailed just over the crossbar. However, as Nolly jumped to ensure the ball would not dip into his goal, he back-pedalled deep into the back of his net, collapsing the frame of the goal over top of him in a manner reminiscent of former NBA basketball star Shaquille O’Neal famously taking down an entire basketball hoop. Luckily for the ‘Caps ‘keeper, he was alright and a spare net was brought in. “I’d never seen that before,” Nolly said to reporters after the match. “But I definitely didn’t want to get chipped from 50 yards by Camilo.”
The ‘Caps 2011 Player of the Year was active again on 72 minutes when he played a give-and-go with Residency youngster Ben Fisk - who had subbed on for Pete Vagenas - and rounded Nolly before shooting into the side of the net from a tight angle.
The action picked up in the final ten minutes, with Mustapha Jarju missing wide of the near post on 77 minutes after a fine ball from Davide Chiumiento, and Camilo shooting high from in close on 79 minutes after a great run and centering pass from Salgado.
Team White had one final chance to get on the scoreboard deep into time added on after Davies earned a free kick from 25 yards out, as they nearly ended the match in style. Camilo took the kick and struck a shot that deflected off a defender and towards the opposite direction to where Cannon had committed himself. Luckily for Team Blue, the ball bounced off the far post and landed right into the arms of the sprawling Cannon, as the final whistle blew.
Though no goals were scored, Rennie was pleased with the effort he saw from the players. “Generally, it was positive,” said the Scotsman to reporters after the match. “Just seeing the guys out there playing, you do get a real good feel for who plays in which position and what other positions they might be able to play in.”
Whitecaps FC return to training on Monday morning at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex before wrapping up their week-long training camp with another intrasquad match on Wednesday. Make sure to stay tuned to whitecapsfc.com for all the latest news.
Joe Cannon; Jeb Brovsky, Jay DeMerit (Philippe Davies 40’), Carlyle Mitchell, Alain Rochat; Shea Salinas, Peter Vagenas (Ben Fisk 59’), Bryce Alderson, Russell Teibert; Camilo, Omar Salgado
Jay Nolly; Jonathan Leathers (Alexandre Morfaw 40’), Greg Janicki, Michael Boxall, Jordan Harvey; Michael Nanchoff, Gershon Koffie, Davide Chiumiento, Mustapha Jarju; Long Tan (Caleb Clarke 40’), Eric Hassli (Ridge Mobulu 45’)