TUKWILA, WA – In a thrilling, back-and-forth match, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves (4W-2L-4D) earned a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders FC Reserves (2W-6L-2D) Monday night at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington.
In a strong match for both sides, the ‘Caps seemed poised to walk away with three points until David Estrada netted an equalizer for the Sounders in time added on.
The first chance of the match came on 13 minutes when Sounders midfielder Servando Carrasco fired a rocket from 25 yards out, but the shot collided with the head of a ‘Caps defender on the way through, thus preventing an early lead for the Rave Green.
On 29 minutes, the home team had another chance as 2013 MLS SuperDraft draft pick Eriq Zavaleta weaved past the ‘Caps defenders inside the area, but his shot fell wide of the target.
Just a minute later, the away side took the lead as Whitecaps FC Residency midfielder Marco Bustos fired a shot that was deflected on it’s way to the goal past Seattle goalkeeper Andrew Weber. Bustos now has a goal and two assists in two meetings with the Sounders Reserves this season.
The goal seemed to spark the Sounders, as for the remainder of the first half the Rave Green applied the pressure to the visiting ‘Caps. On 41 minutes, Henry Wingo nearly equalized as he fired a shot that went just wide of the target.
With the away side heading into half time with the lead, the focus for the 'Caps was to maintain their lead and walk out of Washington with a big three points. However, in the 51st minute, Zavaleta equalized for the Sounders, as he headed in a low cross from new signing Blair Gavin past ‘Caps goalkeeper Brad Knighton.
On 62 minutes, the Sounders kept the pressure on the ‘Caps as Burch put a left-footed cross to the head of Zavaleta, but Knighton was able to make the big stop. Zavaleta had yet another chance for the home side on 80 minutes as he struck a beautiful volley towards the goal, but the shot missed on the far post.
Just two minutes later, the ‘Caps took the lead for the second time in the match, as a free kick from trialist Brett Levis found it’s way into the box, where centre back Carlyle Mitchell tipped the ball past Weber and into the net.
A late injury to defender Sam Adekugbe forced a tactical change for the ‘Caps, as Levis slotted into Adekugbe’s position, with first-team goalkeeper Joe Cannon coming on to play centre forward in added time.
In the dying seconds of the match, the Sounders were able to earn their equalizer. After Knighton punched the ball into the air from the goal line, Estrada headed the loose ball into the net past the ‘Caps ‘keeper to tie the match. And that's how it ended, as the Cascadia rivals played to a hard-fought 2-2 draw in Vancouver's MLS Reserve League season finale.
Though their season is now complete, Whitecaps FC Reserves could still possibly claim the MLS Reserve League title. Their 16 points are second to none in either conference; however, they will have to wait until the conclusion of the season to determine their final placing as many teams still have games remaining.
30’ - VAN - Marco Bustos
51’ - SEA - Eriq Zavaleta (Blair Gavin)
82’ - VAN - Carlyle Mitchell
90’+ - SEA - David Estrada
Shots: SEA 20 – VAN 9
Shots on goal: SEA 5 – VAN 4
Saves: SEA 2 – VAN 3
Fouls: SEA 13 – VAN 6
Offsides: SEA 4 – VAN 2
Corners: SEA 8 – VAN 5
73’ - SEA - Marc Burch
81’ - SEA - Cody Crook
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Lineup:
Brad Knighton; Carlyle Mitchell, Greg Klazura, Sam Adekugbe (Joe Cannon 90’+), Ethen Sampson; Aminu Abdallah, Kianz Froese (Marlon Ramirez 58’), Marco Bustos, Jun Marques Davidson; Kekuta Manneh (Brett Levis 54’), Eric Hurtado
Seattle Sounders FC Lineup:
Andrew Weber; Dylan Remick (Cody Crook 22’), Patrick Ianni, Marc Burch; Henry Wingo (Satoshi Chaffin 67’), Servando Carrasco, Andy Rose, Alex Caskey (Phillip Lund 57’), Blair Gavin (Duncan McCormick 77’); Eriq Zavaleta, David Estrada
Subs not used:
Doug Herrick, David Olsen