VANCOUVER, BC – The countdown is complete.
Here are our Top 5 Whitecaps FC moments of 2014:
And while each of these moments had their merits, there were plenty of other memorable moments from 2014 that just missed the cut.
Here are three of them:
THRILLER VS. THE TIMBERS
It was tough to leave this one out.
On June 1, Whitecaps FC went into Providence Park and stunned the Timbers with a thrilling 4-3 victory, ending Portland’s 22-match and 15-month home unbeaten run. It was also Vancouver’s first-ever win over their Pacific Northwest rival in Major League Soccer.
What made this win even sweeter was that Portland took a 1-0 lead in the third minute, before the visiting ‘Caps responded with four unanswered goals.
Pedro Morales, the Budweiser Man of the Match, was involved in all four of Vancouver’s tallies. The Chilean scored the first two from the penalty spot and assisted the second two. The Timbers made it interesting with a pair of late goals, but the Blue and White held on for the historic victory.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT!
Whitecaps FC didn’t win their Amway Canadian Championship semifinal series against Toronto FC, but it sure didn’t feel like a loss either.
The ‘Caps fielded three different teenagers in the competition: Marco Bustos, Kianz Froese, and Marco Carducci, who started both legs. It was each of their professional debuts. And they did not look out of place against a Toronto FC side that featured the likes of Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe.
It was also a significant moment for Canadian midfielder Russell Teibert, the longest tenured player on the team, who wore the captain’s armband for the first time.
After falling 2-1 in the first leg, Vancouver won the second leg by an identical scoreline in a thriller at BC Place – forcing a decisive penalty shootout. Toronto FC ended up on top, but it was hard to leave the stadium feeling anything but optimistic about the future.
MORALES BOUNCES BACK
Let’s set the scene a bit for this one.
The ‘Caps were coming off a potentially soul-crushing 3-0 loss to Portland Timbers, the team they were fighting with for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. There were now just five games remaining. From the outside, things looked bleak.
And matters got worse when Morales had a penalty saved in first-half stoppage time on September 27 vs. Real Salt Lake, who then took a 1-0 lead in the 57th minute. But Morales showed his resiliency and bounced back with a two-goal second half to lead Vancouver to victory.
After the game, Robinson said “this might be our defining moment.” Turns out he was right. The win kicked off a five-game unbeaten run to close out the regular season, in which the ‘Caps picked up 13 of a possible 15 points to secure their berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Do you think any of these moments should have cracked the top five? Are we missing any?
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