CARSON, CALIFORNIA – Vancouver Whitecaps FC marked their return to MLS action after the Gold Cup break with a big 1-0 win at LA Galaxy on Wednesday night at the StubHub Center.
Here are four interesting stats from the match.
Tony Tchani was the hero in this one, scoring the only goal of the game on a 64th-minute Christian Bolaños free kick. It was one of Tchani’s best performances in a Whitecaps FC uniform – and it had a lot more to do than just the goal. The Cameroonian midfielder completed 36 of 40 passes for a game-high 90 per cent passing completion rate – his best of the season. When Tchani was brought in earlier this year, he was billed as a player who would help connect Vancouver’s midfield to their attack. And he certainly did that on Wednesday night. See his passing map below.
yellow = chance created
After earning his first-ever MLS Team of the Week selection before the Gold Cup break, rookie right back Jake Nerwinski picked up right where he left off on Wednesday. The 22-year-old, who has now started five straight matches, was voted by fans as man of the match after recording a team-high 67 touches. He also completed 36 passes, tied with Tchani for most on the team, delivered some accurate crosses from the flank, and came up with a few key defensive plays.
Is there a player that delivers a better ball than Bolaños in MLS? His service this season has made Vancouver a constant threat from set pieces and he came through again on Wednesday, recording a team-high five chances created and picking up his team-high sixth assist of the season.
Whitecaps FC now sit fourth in the Western Conference with 27 points from 18 matches. They still have games in hand, though, and are actually third in the West when you adjust the standings based on points per game – the ‘Caps are averaging 1.5. Can they continue their rise up the standings on Sunday when Portland Timbers come to town? Watch this space.