Whitecaps win season opener

LARRY MILLSON Globe and Mail April 14, 2008 TORONTO — Goalkeeper Srdjan Djekanovic who played a large portion of last season with Toronto FC of Major League Soccer earned a clean sheet against the Montreal Impact in the Vancouver Whitecaps' 1-0 victory Sunday night. It was the United Soccer Leagues season opener for both teams. Djekanovic was making his first regular-season start for Vancouver even though he has spent the parts of the three previous seasons with the club. He started seven games for TFC last season as the team went through five goalkeepers. No. 1 goalkeeper Greg Sutton missed most of the season with a concussion. Djekanovic was on a development contract with TFC so he was still eligible to play for the University of British Columbia and was the goalkeeper when UBC won the national championship last fall. A sellout crowd of 5,288 at Swangard Stadium watched as former Impact forward Eduardo Sebrango scored in the 33rd minute on an assist from Steve Kindel. It was the first home goal for the Whitecaps against the Impact in 10 years. Montreal had not lost in Vancouver since 1996. Former TFC defender Adam Braz played the full game for the Impact and picked up a 63rd-minute caution. The Whitecaps, Impact and TFC will meet in a series of games to declare the Canadian representative for the CONCACAF Champions League. TFC will play at Montreal on May 27 and at Vancouver on July 9. Vancouver will play at Montreal on June 17 and in Toronto on July 1. Montreal will play at Vancouver on June 25 and at Toronto on July 22. In MLS games Saturday, D.C. United which defeated TFC 4-1 at RFK Stadium 4-1 last week lost 4-0 at Real Salt Lake as the signs showed of a busy schedule between tournament and league play. DCU sent out a weaker lineup. Designated player Marcelo Gallardo did not play nor did goalkeeper Zach Wells who was replaced by Jose Carvallo. DCU was playing for the fifth time in 14 days and in midweek was eliminated on aggregate by Pachuca FC in the CONCACAF Champions Cup semi-final. Kyle Beckerman scored twice for RSL, which recorded its largest margin of victory in its history. Vancouver-born goalkeeper Pat Onstad, 40, did not play in the Houston Dynamo's goalless draw in Kansas City against the Wizards on Saturday. He suffered a sprained shoulder early in last week's 3-3 draw against FC Dallas. Houston star Dwayne De Rosario of Scarborough, Ont., picked up a caution in the 77th minute for pushing and holding. De Rosario took three shots at goal in the match. The MLS Cup champions of the past two seasons are winless this season and with two draws and a loss. Former TFC defender-midfielder Chris Pozniak played the first 64 minutes for Chivas USA in a 4-3 loss to the Columbus Crew in Columbus, O. Chivas scored in the 72nd and 78th minute with Paulo Nagamura who played four games with TFC last season having the assist then the goal to create a 3-3 draw. But Robbie Rogers scored his second of the game in the 82nd minute to give the Crew the victory. Nagamura was traded to Chivas USA last May 4 for a first-round draft pick. New York Red Bulls were without designated player Juan Pablo Angel who has a hamstring strain in Saturday's 2-0 loss to FC Dallas in Frisco, Tex. The Red Bulls still had some good chances but could not overcome goals by Arturo Alvarez and Kenny Cooper. Cooper's presence was a game-time decision because of a back injury. The expansion San Jose Earthquakes remained goalless through their first two MLS games as they fell to the Chicago Fire on 1-0 in their home opener before 20,083 at McAfee Coliseum. Chad Barrett scored for the Fire in the 19th minute. Midfielder Ronnie O'Brien who was traded to San Jose by TFC in late February played the full game for the Earthquakes who outshot the Fire 8-7. The New England Revolution had a 9-1 advantage in shots on goal but lost 1-0 to the Colorado Rapids at Gillette Stadium on Nick LaBrocca's 68th-minute goal.