VANCOUVER, BC – 17-year-old Omar Salgado scored a first half goal to lead Vancouver Whitecaps FC reserves (0W-1L-1D) to a 1-1 draw against Chivas USA reserves (0W-0L-1D) at Empire Field on Sunday.
With his mother and grandmother in the stands, Salgado showed the talent that motivated Whitecaps FC to take him first overall in the MLS SuperDraft with the young striker looking increasingly dangerous as the match moved along.
“If he keeps responding to the coaching and the criticism in the right way, he has a very bright future,” said Whitecaps FC assistant coach Colin Miller. “He took his goal well today. It was a class finish, a natural striker’s goal.”
The ‘Caps had a chance to take an early lead in the seventh minute when Mouloud Akloul got his head on a corner kick from Philippe Davies, but the French defender sent his attempt wide of goal.
Chivas then had a chance on 13 minutes when Chris Cortez rushed Joe Cannon and deflected the ball to Victor Estupinan, but the young striker couldn’t finish with an open net in front of him.
Vancouver took the lead in the 37th minute when Alex Morfaw sent Salgado in a breakaway. The young striker showed poise beyond his years, waiting patiently for Zach Thornton to close in before lofting a delicate chip past him for a 1-0 lead.
The match was nearly level again two minutes into the second half as Cortez had a header opportunity two yards from net, but Cannon came up with an incredible save, robbing him with a low dive to preserve the lead as Michael Umana sent a follow-up header wide of goal.
Salgado looked for a second on 64 minutes when he lashed onto a ball at the top of the box, but substitute goalkeeper Sergio Arias did well to save his low strike before Long Tan poked the rebound just wide of net. Salgado had another chance three minutes later, heading a Davies corner kick on target, but not troubling Arias.
The visitors came close on 80 minutes as Cortez pounced on a ball in the box and slid a shot to the far post, but Cornelius Stewart was on hand to clear it off the line. Chivas found an equalizer with three minutes remaining when Francisco Mendoza fed Cortez down the right side. Cortez then roofed a shot past Cannon to tie the match at 1-1.
After the match, Miller said that he was pleased with the performance of his players. “We spoke to them at halftime about getting tighter, the front players working harder to close their back four down, and I thought they responded very well in the second half.”
37’ – VAN – Omar Salgado (Alex Morfaw)
87’ – CHV – Chris Cortez (Francisco Mendoza)
Shots: Vancouver 18 – Chivas USA 12
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 6 – Chivas USA 10
Saves: Vancouver 9 – Chivas USA 5
Fouls: Vancouver 14 – Chivas USA 11
Corners: Vancouver 8 – Chivas USA 8
Offsides: Vancouver 1 – Chivas USA 5
56’ – VAN – Philippe Davies
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves
1.Joe Cannon; 33.Nelson Castillo (36.Paris Gee 81’), 3.Bilal Duckett, 50.Mouloud Akloul, 34.La'Vere Corbin-Ong; 39.Cornelius Stewart, 15. Davies, Philippe, 27.Alexandre Morfaw, 16.Nizar Khalfan; 17.Omar Salgado, 23.Long Tan
Subs not used - 24.Sean Melvin, 35.Alan Moyer , 30.Hector Garcia
Chivas USA Reserves
22.Zach Thornton (30.Sergio Arias 45’); 20.Zarek Valentin (40.Artur Aghasyan 69’), 4.Michael Umana, 16.Eriq Zavaleta, 38.Ian Hines-Ike; 6. Francisco Mendoza, 8. Mariano Trujillo (24.Irving Garcia 81’), 31.Bryan de la Fuente (36.Chris Rodriguez 69’), 14.Gerson Mayen; 99.Victor Estupinan, 27.Chris Cortez