TUCSON, AZ – Striker Darren Mattocks scored twice in the second half to lead Vancouver Whitecaps FC to a 2-1 win over Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday evening in their first preseason match of 2016.
Mattocks, who entered the match at halftime, opened the scoring with a 51st-minute penalty.
Darwin Jones levelled the score in the 76th minute after Seattle caught the 'Caps on the counter, but Mattocks sealed the deal for Whitecaps FC with a 90th-minute winner.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson fielded a starting lineup composed almost entirely of signed first team players on Wednesday, including newcomers Fraser Aird and Masato Kudo. First-round SuperDraft pick Cole Seiler also made his first appearance for the club.
The 'Caps lined up in a 4-2-3-1 with David Ousted in goal and Aird, Seiler, Christian Dean, and Jordan Harvey forming the back line. In front of them, Matias Laba and Russell Teibert partnered in midfield, Erik Hurtado and Cristian Techera occupied the wings, while Nicolas Mezquida played behind Kudo as a central, attacking midfielder.
Seattle also fielded an experienced lineup featuring most of their starters, including Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Nelson Valdez, Andreas Ivanschitz, Osvaldo Alonso and Chad Marshall.
As per most meetings between these two clubs, Wednesday’s “friendly” got off to a feisty start.
In the first few minutes, Laba set the tone with a big tackle on Martins. Shortly later, Mezquida and Dempsey exchanged a few words after Mezquida was fouled.
Once things settled down, the 'Caps began to take control.
And they nearly opened the scoring in the 28th minute, when Harvey found Kudo at the back post with a low cross from the left. The Japanese striker hit it first time across the face goal but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Meanwhile, Seattle’s best chance of the first half came in the 31st minute, when Dempsey fired a low strike just wide from the top of the box.
Both teams made a number of changes at halftime. The only 'Caps who stayed in the game were Ousted, Dean, and Seiler. Vancouver’s second half lineup also featured WFC2’s Jackson Farmer, Brett Levis, Giuliano Frano, Daniel Haber, and Victor Blasco – as well as first teamers Deybi Flores, Gershon Koffie, and of course Mattocks.
It was Mattocks who did the damage.
After a receiving a fantastic ball in behind from Levis, who was playing at left back, the Jamaican won a penalty and then finished it off himself from the spot in the 51st minute.
Ousted makes a sprawling save against Seattle's Darwin Jones
Minutes later, Ousted made a spectacular, diving save off a point-blank Jones header, as Sounders FC began to come on. They eventually equalized through Jones, who finished from inside the box after making a run down the left.
But Mattocks responded in the 90th minute, picking up a loose ball inside the box after a Blasco shot was blocked before firing it into the bottom right corner.
The 'Caps continue their preseason schedule on Saturday against New England Revolution (3:30 p.m. PT kickoff), before concluding their Tucson trip next Tuesday against Houston Dynamo.
NEWS AND NOTES
- Whitecaps FC Residency winger/forward Alphonso Davies, 15, played 29 minutes for the ‘Caps as a second-half sub. Davies drew in for Dean, at which point Koffie dropped back to play centre back. In the 80th minute, Davies left the pitch with a bloody mouth after taking a knock to the face, but he returned shortly later.
- Christian Bolaños arrived in Tucson on Tuesday night and participated in a light training session on Wednesday afternoon with the players who didn’t dress against Seattle.
- Sam Adekugbe, Marco Bustos, Kianz Froese, Tim Parker, Kendall Waston, and Jordan Smith are all away on international duty with their respective national teams and will join the team in the coming days.
- Ben McKendry is still working his way back from the meniscal tear suffered in his knee last year, while Pa-Modou Kah, Pedro Morales and Kekuta Manneh are also dealing with minor injuries.
For all the latest news on the team's 10-day training camp in Tucson, visit whitecapsfc.com/2016-preseason-tucson. And click here to find out how you can cheer on the ‘Caps, in person, at the 2016 Major League Soccer Preseason in Tucson.
51' - VAN - Darren Mattocks (penalty kick)
76' - SEA - Darwin Jones (Aaron Kovar)
90' - VAN - Darren Mattocks
30' - VAN - Fraser Aird
85' - SEA - Damion Lowe
Seattle Sounders FC
First Half: 24.Stefan Frei; 4.Tyrone Mears, 5.Jimmy Ockford, 14.Chad Marshall, 33.Joevin Jones; 6.Osvaldo Alonso, 8.Erik Friberg, 23.Andreas Ivanschitz; 9.Obafemi Martins, 2.Clint Dempsey, 16.Nelson Valdez
Second Half: 1.Tyler Miller; 91.Oniel Fisher, 20.Zach Scott, 31.Damion Lowe, 15.Dylan Remick; 7.Cristian Roldan, 12.Michael Farfan, 40.Nathan Sturgis*; 43.Ben Speas*, 17.Darwin Jones, 11.Aaron Kovar
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
First Half: 1.David Ousted; 8.Fraser Aird, 14.Cole Seiler*, 22.Christian Dean, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert; 19.Erik Hurtado, 9.Nicolás Mezquida , 13.Cristian Techera; 36.Masato Kudo
Second Half: 1.David Ousted; 41.Jackson Farmer^, 14.Cole Seiler* (trialist* 61'), 22.Christian Dean (67.Alfonso Davies^ 61'), 46.Brett Levis^; 20.Deybi Flores, 28.Gershon Koffie; 45.Giuliano Frano^, 56.Daniel Haber^, 48.Victor Blasco^; 11.Darren Mattocks
^ WFC2 or WFC Residency player
* Unsigned draft selection or preseason guest player
Be a part of the best sporting atmosphere in Vancouver! 2016 Whitecaps FC Season Tickets are on sale from $39/month all in. In addition to Season Tickets, Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including Half-Season Packs, 5-Packs, a Youth Soccer Half-Season Ticket, and single match tickets. For more information, visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.