VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC put in another strong performance Saturday at BC Place, defeating Houston Dynamo 2-1 to extend their undefeated start to four matches.
Striker Kenny Miller, who now has a team-high three goals on the season, and fullback Jordan Harvey provided the scoring for Whitecaps FC. There were several standout performances, however, as evidenced by the match statistics provided by Opta Sports.
Midfielder Pedro Morales led Whitecaps FC with 48 successful passes on Saturday – several of the jaw-dropping variety. Playing atop Carl Robinson’s diamond midfield formation, the Chilean wowed the sold-out BC Place crowd with cross-field passes to Kenny Miller and Gershon Koffie in the first half, before setting up Vancouver’s first goal with a curling ball into the box. His impact on the match went far beyond his assist, however. Morales also led the ‘Caps with 79 touches and 17 passes into the final third, living up to the billing as Vancouver’s new “midfield maestro.”
Returning to the lineup after sitting out the New England match as a resting measure, centre back Jay DeMerit led Whitecaps FC with 14 CBIs (clearances, blocks, and interceptions combined) on Saturday. That was also the third highest total in all of Major League Soccer this past weekend, only two behind leader Jose Goncalves.
That’s how many touches goalkeeper David Ousted had on Saturday, which was the second highest total among MLS goalkeepers on the weekend. Ousted told whitecapsfc.com that having the ball at this feet is one area he’s been working on, as his distribution is an important component of the team’s new possession-based style. Along those lines, Ousted’s 15 successful passes on Saturday were the most he’s had this season. Only two goalkeepers, Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando and Sporting Kansas City’s Eric Kronberg, made more successful passes on the weekend.
Aside from Morales, no Whitecaps FC player has made more passes into the final third than Jordan Harvey this season. With nine passes into the final third against the Dynamo, the 30-year-old fullback increased his total to 34 on the season – sixth among all MLS defenders. Harvey scored his first goal of the season on Saturday after notching a career-high four tallies in 2013, which illustrates his willingness to get into forward positions, but this stat also shows his ability to create opportunities for his teammates.
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