SANDY, UT – Striker Brian White scored in his Vancouver Whitecaps FC debut on Friday evening, but a pair of late goals from Real Salt Lake gave the host club a 3-1 win at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The teams seemed destined for a draw at the 90-minute mark before Erik Holt got his head on a long Aaron Herrera throw in, turning the ball past two outstretched ‘Caps to give Real Salt Lake a 2-1 lead in the second minute of added time. Three minutes later, Damir Kreilach capitalized on a cross from Justin Meram to put the match away.
‘Caps keeper Maxime Crépeau, who welcomed a new baby girl over the break, was called into action often during the first half, rising to the occasion each time until a Kreilach shot deflected off ‘Caps defender Andy Rose to give Real Salt Lake a 1-0 lead.
After halftime, Whitecaps FC played with poise on both sides of the ball, and sustained offensive pressure led to their goal in the 54th minute. White, just acquired from New York Red Bulls earlier in the month, scored in his first ‘Caps appearance off a low cross from Javain Brown, his shot deflecting off Herrera at the back post. The assist marked the rookie Brown’s first in his young MLS career.
The second half saw numerous chances for both sides as play opened up, but neither team could break the deadlock in regulation time. As the 90-minute mark approached, Vancouver ran into some injury trouble, with Cristián Gutiérrez needing to be subbed off. Gutiérrez was playing in his first game after returning from an adductor strain that had kept him out of the ‘Caps previous match against Houston Dynamo FC.
Whitecaps FC are back in action on Wednesday when they host LA Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. PT live on TSN1/3 and AM730. It will mark the first opportunity for fans to attend ‘Caps home matches at their temporary home in Utah. Tickets are available at whitecapsfc.com/tickets and riotintostadium.com.
ADDITIONAL NOTES: The team wore black armbands with OZZIE to honour Tosaint Ricketts’ father. Osmond Roy Ricketts passed away on June 3, 2021 in Toronto. He was 65... The younger Ricketts was the driving force behind the Juneteenth tifo on Friday. He connected with the VWFC Diversity, Inclusion and Community Department, Real Salt Lake defender Ashtone Morgan and the RSL Community Relations department, as well as supporter groups from both clubs to design and produce the artwork.
GE Appliances VWFC Player of Quality: Brian White
Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
43’ – RSL – Damir Kreilach (Albert Rusnak, Andrew Brody)
54’ – VAN – Brian White (Javain Brown)
90’+2’ – RSL – Erik Holt (Aaron Herrera)
90’+5’ – RSL – Damir Kreilach (Justin Meram, Aaron Herrera)
Possession: RSL 59.1% – VAN 40.9%
Shots: RSL 10 – VAN 13
Shots on Goal: RSL 6 – VAN 2
Saves: RSL 1 – VAN 3
Fouls: RSL 11 – VAN 8
Offsides: RSL 0 – VAN 2
Corners: RSL 4 – VAN 2
3’ – VAN – Javain Brown
12’ – RSL – Marcelo Silva
85’ – RSL – Justin Meram
89’ – RSL – Aaron Herrera
90’+7’ – RSL – Erik Holt
Real Salt Lake
1.David Ochoa; 22.Aaron Herrera, 15.Justen Glad, 30.Marcelo Silva (20.Erik Holt 68’), 2.Andrew Brody; 13.Nick Besler, 6.Pablo Ruiz (25.Everton Luiz 80‘); 11.Albert Rusnak ©, 8.Damir Kreilach, 29.Anderson Julio (9.Justin Meram 68’); 14.Rubio Rubin (12.Douglas Martinez 90’+6’)
Substitutes not used
18.Zac MacMath, 3.Ashtone Morgan, 4.Donny Toia, 16.Maikel Chang, 43.Justin Portillo
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
16.Maxime Crépeau; 23.Javain Brown, 22.Érik Godoy, 15.Andy Rose ©, 3.Cristian Gutierrez (31.Russell Teibert 84‘); 19.Janio Bikel, 55.Michael Baldisimo, 8.Caio Alexandre; 11.Cristian Dájome, 24.Brian White (9.Lucas Cavallini 61’), 7.Déiber Caicedo (13.Derek Cornelius 86‘)
Substitutes not used
1.Thomas Hasal, 4.Ranko Veselinović, 14.Theo Bair, 17.Leonard Owusu, 27.Ryan Raposo, 32.Patrick Metcalfe