Our ‘Caps came up with an inspired performance to beat Seattle Sounders FC 4-1 Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field. It was the second time we’ve defeated Seattle this year and our first-ever road victory over a Cascadia rival in Major League Soccer.
So, what did we learn?
Manneh splits the wickets and nets the hat-trick
A star is born
On Wednesday, we witnessed a quality performance from a young Kekuta Manneh that shows the potential and future he could have in the game.
We have seen flashes of this before, when he came off the bench against Dallas and turned the game around and last match when he nearly won the game with a stupendous volley, but he took his game to the next level against Seattle.
His performance showed a player who knew he belonged in the MLS and was ready to take the stage and impact one of the biggest games in Whitecaps FC’s MLS history. The way he took his goals showed the confidence of a veteran player and the runs he made to break down the Sounders’ back line showed maturity beyond his 18 years.
What has impressed me most about Manneh is his fearlessness on the field. He loves to get the ball and attack defenders at every opportunity. This was a game for him to shine in and he sure did that, as a star was born right in front of our eyes.
Highlights: Seattle Sounders FC 1-4 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Contributions all around
Aside from Manneh, it’s really hard to single out players after this performance because it really was a team effort.
In goal, David Ousted pulled off a number of big saves at key moments and deserved a shutout. The back was marshaled by our captain Jay DeMerit and fellow centre back Carlyle Mitchell was outstanding again. The fullbacks defended well and supported the attack when needed, especially Young-Pyo Lee who was a threat all night.
We won the midfield battle as Jun Marques Davidson set the tone early on, allowing us to keep possession and get into our flow of the game. Davidson completed 50 of 57 passes on the night. Beside him, Matt Watson never stopped running and Nigel Reo-Coker capped off a big game with his first goal of the season. In front of them, Daigo Kobayashi had one of his best games as he set up numerous chances for his teammates and was a thorn in Seattle’s side all night.
Up front, Camilo worked his socks off and always had the Sounders defence on their heels, allowing Manneh the time and space to have his incredible game.
With 10 days before our next match, we should savour this big-time performance that has put us in position to win the Cascadia Cup.
#CapsOnTour: Fans enjoy the bus ride to Seattle on June 8
I had another chance to sit with our fans and had myself another memorable experience, as our ‘Caps won in Seattle to keep our playoff hopes alive. I was hoping for an epic trip that would be talked about for a long time and that’s exactly what it was.
It was thrilling to be amongst our loyal fans, as they prepared for another Cascadia battle. Despite the fact that it was a midweek match, supporters of all ages descended upon CenturyLink Field in droves ready to cheer on these players to possible glory.
Our fans have never wavered in their support for the team and I can tell you there would have been no one happier than Whitecaps FC staff and players to give them this historic victory for all the loyalty they have shown through thick and thin.