Playing their first MLS Reserve League match in over a month, Vancouver Whitecaps FC reserves (3W-3L-1D) suffered a 3-1 defeat to Chivas USA reserves (3W-1L-2D) at UBC Thunderbird Stadium on Monday morning.
Despite dominating much of the first half and outshooting their opponents 21 to 11, the ‘Caps second string were unable to pick up their first home victory of the season, as each of their previous three Reserve League victories have come on the road.
“It’s very frustrating, but we’ve got to take the positives out of it,” Whitecaps FC assistant coach Paul Ritchie told whitecapsfc.com. “Individually, there were a lot of good performances. We did everything we could to win this game, but I think it shows that at this level, at any level, you’ve got to score goals to win games and we struggled to do that.”
With the result, Chivas USA jumps into first place in the Reserve League’s West Division standings - just one point ahead of both Vancouver and LA Galaxy reserves, who each have 10 points to their name.
The two sides got off to a sluggish start on a gloomy morning at the University of British Columbia, with each of their first teams coming off weekend fixtures. However, the slow pace to this West Division encounter did not last for long, as the Blue and White began to dictate the tempo and go on the attack.
After a number of half-chances from the likes of striker Etienne Barbara, 16-year-old midfielder Kianz Froese (pictured), and Designated Player Kenny Miller, who made a number of clever runs in his first start as a member of Whitecaps FC, Vancouver came within mere inches of opening the score on 20 minutes.
Looking to break the deadlock and score his first goal of the season, midfielder Michael Nanchoff let loose a dangerous left-footed strike from the top of the box, but Goats goalkeeper Tim Melia made a fingertip save and was aided by the post to keep things level.
Nanchoff was at it again in the 38th minute - this time from the penalty spot after Melia hauled down Miller in the box. Melia, however, guessed right and atoned his error with a sprawling save to keep matters scoreless.
And good thing he did, as The Goats managed to take the lead just minutes before the break. Against the run of play, midfielder Tristan Bowen sent a low cross into the box and a sliding Laurent Courtois tipped it past ‘Caps goalkeeper Brad Knighton to give the Southern California outfit a 1-0 advantage.
Despite surrendering a late first-half marker, the ‘Caps picked up where they left off after the break, and were rewarded for their efforts in on 57 minutes.
Making his first Reserve League appearance this season, Froese made a brilliant run, beating three Goats defenders, before slipping his shot past Melia to level the score at 1-1.
“Kianz was phenomenal for me, as a young lad coming into this environment,” Ritchie said. “He didn’t look out of place.”
But it was all for not, as Goats midfielder Blair Gavin scored off a scramble in the ‘Caps box in the 66th minute, and striker Cesar Romero added an insurance marker minutes later to seal the 3-1 victory for the visitors.
Whitecaps FC reserves will not have to wait as long for their next MLS Reserve League match, as they return to action on Friday, August 3, for a re-match with Chivas USA reserves. Kickoff is set for 10 a.m. PT from The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
41’ - CHV - Laurent Courtois (Tristan Bowen)
57’ - VAN - Kianz Froese
66’ - CHV - Blair Gavin
70’ - CHV - Cesar Romero
Shots: Vancouver 21 - Chivas USA 11
Shots on goal: Vancouver 11 - Chivas USA 4
Saves: Vancouver 1 - Chivas USA 10
Fouls: Vancouver 9 - Chivas USA 7
Offsides: Vancouver 5 - Chivas USA 2
Corners: Vancouver 4 - Chivas USA 3
9’ - CHV - Julio Chavez
19’ - CHV - Nelson Akwari
37’ - CHV - Tim Melia
75’ - VAN - Matt Watson
Vancouver Whitecaps FC reserves
18.Brad Knighton; 3.Jordan Harvey (43.Bobby Jhutty* 63’), 2.James Farenhorst*, 19.Carlyle Mitchell, 32.Greg Klazura; 8.Etienne Barbara, 16.Matt Watson (42.Alex Marrello* 78’), 13.Michael Nanchoff, 31.Russell Teibert; 26.Kianz Froese* (41.Gagandeep Dosanjh* 72’), 7.Kenny Miller (9.Atiba Harris 45’)
Substitutions not used: 24.Brian Sylvestre
*Whitecaps FC U-23 PDL player
Chivas USA reserves
28.Tim Melia; 32.Bobby Burling, 36.Nelson Akwari, 19.Jorge Villafana, 33.Julio Chavez (26.Tony Dheming 58’); 12.Marco Delgado, 20.Tristan Bowen, 18.Blair Gavin (25.Eric Gonzalez 78’); 16.Laurent Courtois, 58.Cesar Romero, 29.Arthur Aghasyan
Substitutions not used: 24.Patrick McLain