INDIO, CALIFORNIA – Vancouver Whitecaps FC played their first match of the 2023 Coachella Valley Invitational on Wednesday, drawing 1-1 with Eastern Conference side D.C. United in a 45-minute scrimmage at Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.
D.C. had the opening chance of the match in the seventh minute, with Miguel Berry's effort inside the box striking the near post and out for a goal kick.
In the 22nd minute, the 'Caps would have a chance of their own as Ryan Gauld whipped in a dangerous cross from the left flank into the box for Brian White and Pedro Vite, who both came close to connecting with the ball.
Seven minutes later, D.C. would open the scoring through Aiden Rocha.
The 'Caps continued to push on the front foot following the goal, as Ryan Raposo's cross found Gauld in the box, who couldn't direct his headed effort on target.
Vite also came close to finding the net for the Blue and White a few minutes later, but saw his shot saved by D.C. goalkeeper Luis Samudio.
Six minutes later, the 'Caps were rewarded for their high press, as Mathías Laborda headed in the equalizer off a corner from Vite to make it 1-1.
The 'Caps would win another corner following the restart, resulting in a flurry of chances for Laborda and Vite inside the D.C. United box.
Vite once again came close to finding the net after some neat play between Gauld and White on the wing led to a cross into the box which narrowly fell to the feet of the Ecuadorian.
Shortly after, Alessandro Schöpf and White both unleashed strikes at goal a minute apart, but both saw their efforts go high over the bar.
In stoppage time at the end of the match, Vite's cross off a free kick found Ranko Veselinović. The Serbian international headed the ball towards goal but was denied by Samudio on the goal line, almost securing the game-winner for Vancouver.
The 'Caps will now set their focus on their second match of the Invitational on Saturday, February 4 against another Eastern Conference side in the form of Charlotte FC, with kickoff set for 11 a.m. PT at Empire Polo Club. Updates will be available on Whitecaps FC social media channels.
29' – DCU – Aiden Rocha
37' – VAN – Mathías Laborda (Pedro Vite)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
60.Isaac Boehmer; 23.Javain Brown, 2.Mathías Laborda, 4.Ranko Veselinović, 27.Ryan Raposo; 19.Julian Gressel, 16.Sebastian Berhalter, 18.Alessandro Schöpf; 45.Pedro Vite, 25.Ryan Gauld ©; 24.Brian White
Substitutes not used
50.Max Anchor, 28.Levonte Johnson*, 52.Vasco Fry+, 61.Matteo Campagna
*Unsigned MLS SuperDraft Selection, +WFC2