Playing their first MLS Reserve League match in nearly two months, Vancouver Whitecaps FC reserves (0W-2L-1D) suffered their second defeat of the season after a 2-0 loss at Pacific Northwest rivals Seattle Sounders FC reserves (5W-0L-0D) on Tuesday evening.
First-half goals by Irish trialist Cillian Sheridan and Roger Levesque helped Seattle's second string maintain their 100 per cent record atop the Reserve League's West Division standings. Whitecaps FC reserves, meanwhile, are still looking for their first league win.
Playing four days before the big Cascadia Cup clash between both clubs' first teams at Seattle's Qwest Field, Sounders FC reserves took control of proceedings soon after the kickoff. On eight minutes, Miguel Montano took a ball from Servando Carrasco on the left flank before sending a cross to the far post, where Sheridan slid and knocked the ball past Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Jay Nolly for a 1-0 Seattle lead.
Sounders FC reserves then doubled their advantage on 26 minutes. From a Seattle corner, Zach Scott headed the ball back in front of Vancouver's goal, where Levesque headed home his first Reserve League goal for a 2-0 halftime lead.
After struggling in the first half, Whitecaps FC reserves looked an improved side after the break and nearly pulled a goal back through captain Greg Janicki on 52 minutes. However, the centre back's header was saved Sounders FC goalkeeper Terry Boss. It was the first of several second-half saves by the Seattle shot-stopper, as Boss also stopped efforts from Omar Salgado, Russell Teibert, and Long Tan.
Nolly, who made six saves on the night, was called on to deny Seattle from extending their lead on 83 minutes, as he came off his goalline to win possession from the onrushing Montano.
The final whistle from match referee Josh Wilkins saw Seattle take some early plaudits ahead of Saturday's big MLS showdown between these two Interstate 5 rivals.
Whitecaps FC assistant coach Colin Miller was pleased his side improved considerably after a poor first-half display. "It's a disappointing result, given the way we played in the first half," Miller told whitecapsfc.com. "We gave away two goals from a defensive point of view, so there were some well-chosen words to the players at halftime. We made a couple of changes at the break to freshen things up, and it was a much better performance in the second half, which was good to see. It was in front of goal where our luck was not there tonight because I thought our second-half play merited a draw, as we created a number of very good chances."
Whitecaps FC reserves' next league match will be in Southern California on Monday, June 20, as Vancouver's second string visit LA Galaxy reserves at 11 a.m. PT. Sounders FC reserves, meanwhile, are at home to LA Galaxy reserves next Monday.
8' - SEA - Cillian Sheridan (Miguel Montano, Servando Carrasco)
26' - SEA - Roger Levesque (Zach Scott)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC reserves
18.Jay Nolly; 8.Wes Knight, 14.Greg Janicki, 32.Kevin Harmse (38.La’Vere Corbin-Ong 45'), 19.Blake Wagner; 31.Russell Teibert, 12.Jeb Brovsky (34.Caleb Clarke 76'), 27.Alexandre Morfaw (33.Peter Vagenas 45'), 13.Michael Nanchoff; 17.Omar Salgado, 23.Long Tan
Subs not used: 24.Callum Irving, 36.Ben Fisk
Seattle Sounders FC reserves
28.Terry Boss; 24.Roger Levesque, 20.Zach Scott, 12.Leo Gonzalez, 14.Michael Tetteh; 23.Servando Carrasco, 22.Michael Seamon (35.DeAndre Yedelin 90+2'), 25.Pat Noonan (36.Aaron Kovar 75'), 32.Miguel Montano (38.Sean Okoli 88'), 16.David Estrada, 40.Cillian Sheridan (37.Myron Samuel 45')
Subs not used: 29.Josh Ford, 39.Michael Gallagher