Salinas red card

Second half errors cost Whitecaps FC against Columbus Crew

Red cards have been a big talking point for Vancouver Whitecaps FC this season, what with Eric Hassli’s penchant for drawing the referee’s eye. But Wednesday night, it was a different man sent to the dressing room.

The big moment happened in the 77th minute, as winger Shea Salinas went in late on Columbus Crew left back Josh Gardner.

Referee Chris Penso immediately reached for his back pocket, meaning the ‘Caps had to play just over 10 minutes a man down. They eventually lost 1-0.

WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

“I had a head full of steam and couldn’t really stop - it was too late,” Salinas told MLSsoccer.com. “It was a reckless challenge. It changed the game. I felt I cost the team some points. I think we would have caught a goal there late, so I feel bad.”

Columbus took advantage of the ‘Caps playing a man down, as striker Jeff Cunningham headed home from close range to give his team the late 1-0 victory. In the process, he equaled Jamie Moreno’s MLS record of 133 career regular-season goals.

“They put on Cunningham, who is a known goal scorer,” Salinas said. “He just tied the league record for most goals, so had I not got that red card, he probably wouldn’t be on the field. So I definitely feel bad for that.”

Salinas appeared shocked by Penso’s initial decision. After seeing the replay, however, he felt it was the right call to make.

“At first, I didn’t [think it should have been a red card], but once I saw the replay, I agreed,” Salinas said. “I did try to pull out, but in the replay, you can’t really tell that, so I think the ref made the right call.”

After dismissing Salinas, Penso made a stamping motion, claiming the Whitecaps FC winger went into the challenge with his studs up. Salinas described the moment of impact.

“I had [my studs] turned sideways,” Salinas said. “They weren’t raised, but my leg was up high, and he just came under my leg and kicked the bottom of my foot. He didn’t get any studs, he caught the middle of my foot, so he shouldn’t be too injured.”

Another key talking point in Wednesday's match was the missed penalty by midfielder Terry Dunfield in the 73rd minute.

“The stage was set for me there to go on and score, and sometimes in football, there’s no in between,” Dunfield said. “You have the highs and the lows. It’s going to be a tough night for me personally. I wanted the ball and some days they go in and I’m the hero, and other times, they don’t.”

Whitecaps FC head coach Tom Soehn explained that Hassli is the designated penalty taker when available, but that it’s up to the veteran players to take charge on nights like Wednesday.

“You credit him for stepping up, but you rely on your senior guys to put situations like that away. That’s why they’re your senior guys,” Soehn said. “He obviously didn’t do that. We rely on senior guys to put a stamp on the game and it wasn’t Terry’s night tonight.”

Topics: 

MLS LIVE now only $7.99

Decision Day presented by AT&T is Sunday. But, one thing is already decided. MLS LIVE is the best way to watch all the out-of-market action on Decision Day (October 22)*. You can watch multiple games on multiple devices or watch four games on one screen with your laptop. Subscriptions are only $7.99 (or $4.99 if you use our iOS app). *Some blackout rules apply.

MLS Decision Day presented by AT&T

Sunday, October 22 at 4:00pm ET

Decision Day is the only day of the season when every team plays at the exact same time. The result is the most intense and dramatic two hours of the MLS season as teams fight for playoff positions. Watch MLS's thrilling end to the season on TSN & MLS LIVE.

Secure your playoff seats!

Are you ready to rise #ForVancouver? The ’Caps are bringing playoffs back to our city! Be a part of the best sporting atmosphere in Vancouver when the ‘Caps play in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs. Get your tickets now.