PORTLAND, OREGON – Vancouver Whitecaps FC claimed their second straight win at the Rose City Invitational on Wednesday, defeating San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 on the strength of a first-half Kenny Miller marker and a late Darren Mattocks penalty.
Making his first start of the preseason, Miller put the ‘Caps ahead in the 26th minute and Mattocks added an insurance marker – his second goal in as many matches – to carry the ‘Caps to victory.
Carl Robinson speaks to reporters after the match
Recently acquired goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi looked sharp when called upon, making a pair of saves to earn a clean sheet in his first appearance with Whitecaps FC.
After opening the Rose City Invitational with a 5-1 win over Portmore United on Sunday, Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made a full squad change for Wednesday’s tilt with San Jose. Eleven new players – most of the youthful variety – drew into the starting lineup.
In addition to Miller, who wore the captain’s armband and played in an attacking midfielder position behind lone central forward Omar Salgado, one of those players was Christian Dean. Just as he has all preseason, the 20-year-old impressed again on Wednesday – both on and off the ball.
Robinson opted to use Dean at left back, which moved Sam Adekugbe up to the left wing. And it was the Homegrown defender who created the first goal of the match in the 26th minute.
Adekugbe, who made his way over to the right side of the park, ran onto a perfectly-weighted ball by Salgado and laid it into the box for Miller, who hit it first time into the back of the net.
Aside from the Scotsman’s tally, there wasn’t much room for either side in the opening 25 minutes. One player who looked lively for the ‘Caps was Salgado, who was very active in the lone central forward position.
At the other end of the park, the Quakes had a pair of great first-half opportunities. But a sliding Carlyle Mitchell clearance off the goal line in the 12th minute and a sprawling save by Tornaghi on an Adam Jahn break just moments after Miller’s marker kept them off the scoresheet.
Vancouver made one change at the half, as Residency midfielder Marco Bustos replaced Miller in the attacking midfielder position. Robinson’s side got off to an encouraging start after the break and Salgado was once again involved.
First, Dean whipped in a low cross to Salgado in the 52nd minute, but the 6-foot-4 striker’s first-time effort just missed wide of the near post.
A few minutes later, Salgado let loose another left-footed effort from inside the box but this time substitute goalkeeper David Bingham made a sprawling fingertip save to keep the game within reach.
Vancouver received a boost around the hour-mark, when speedsters Erik Hurtado, Kekuta Manneh, and Darren Mattocks entered the match. The trio created a number of opportunities and finally, after a late Quakes charge, they found the back of the net.
After midfielder Bryce Alderson was hauled down in the box, Mattocks stepped up to the penalty spot and sealed the deal with a cool finish to give Vancouver a 2-0 victory.
Next up for Whitecaps FC is a meeting with Cascadia rival Portland Timbers Saturday evening at Providence Park – their last preseason outing before MLS First Kick.
Whitecaps FC begin their 2014 MLS season on March 8 versus New York Red Bulls at BC Place. Season tickets start at just $349 and single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. The 'Caps also offer a flexible range of ticket products, including half-season tickets ($244), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets ($199), and a youth soccer half-season ticket ($100). For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.
26' - VAN - Kenny Miller (Sam Adekugbe, Omar Salgado)
87' - VAN - Darren Mattock (penalty kick)
Shots: Vancouver 9 - San Jose 12
Saves: Vancouver 2 - San Jose 4
Fouls: Vancouver 10 - San Jose 13
Offsides: Vancouver 5 - San Jose 1
Corners: Vancouver 5 - San Jose 5
40' - SJ - Adam John
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
70.Paolo Tornaghi; 27.Ethen Sampson^, 24.Carlyle Mitchell, 16.Johnny Leveron, 22.Christian Dean; 28.Gershon Koffie, 36.Bryce Alderson; 8.Matt Watson (19.Erik Hurtado 62'), 9.Kenny Miller (32.Marco Bustos+ 45'), 3.Sam Adekugbe (23.Kekuta Manneh 62'); 17.Omar Salgado (11.Darren Mattocks 62')
Substitutes not used
39.Nolan Wirth+, 25.Andre Lewis, 30.Ben Fisk, 45.Adam Mena*, 51.Michael Kafari*
+ Whitecaps FC Residency
^ Whitecaps FC U-23
* MLS SuperDraft unsigned draftee
San Jose Earthquakes
18.Jon Busch (1.David Bingham 45'); 26.Brandon Barklage (7.Cordell Cato 45'), 21.Jason Hernandez, 27.Joe Sofia (2.Ty Harden 45'), 20.Shaun Francis; 23.Atiba Harris (36.AJ Corrado 62'), 9.Khari Stephenson (19.Freddie Braun 62'), 80.Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (81.Walter Martinez 45'), 17.Sam Garza; 32.Billy Schuler (8.Chris Wondolowski 72'), 14.Adam Jahn (24.Steven Lenhart 72', 6.Shea Salinas 88')
Substitutes not used
11.Michael Fucito, 13.Bryan Meredith, 15.JJ Koval, 31.Billy Knutsen, 44.Clarence Goodson