PORTLAND, OREGON – A late Russell Teibert rocket earned Vancouver Whitecaps FC a 1-1 draw with expansion side Minnesota United FC on Thursday evening in preseason action at Providence Park.
After a 49th-minute own goal, Teibert drew the match level for the ‘Caps in the 82nd minute with a left-footed laser from 25 yards. Newcomer Yordy Reyna showed some fancy footwork in the build-up, dribbling across the top of the box to open up the chance.
Reyna, who was subbed on in the 65th minute, looked bright in his brief debut.
The Peruvian nearly won the game for Vancouver in stoppage time, but his long-range effort sailed just over the goal. Right back Sheanon Williams also made his preseason debut in this one, playing 45 minutes as a second-half sub.
Vancouver’s preseason record now sits at 2W-1L-1D.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made two changes to the starting lineup he used in each of the three matches in Wales, with centre back Kendall Waston and winger Cristian Techera replacing Christian Dean and Marcel de Jong.
Waston, who wore the captain’s armband on the night, partnered in the middle of defence with Tim Parker, who continued his strong preseason with another solid outing.
The ‘Caps, in fact, looked quite organized as a defensive unit from the get go.
Midfield destroyer Matias Laba was particularly active, getting stuck in on a few big tackles and helping limit Minnesota to very little in the form of scoring opportunities.
Vancouver looked a little more dangerous at the other end of the park.
Within the first 10 minutes, Erik Hurtado fired a heavy strike over the goal from the top right corner of the box and Alphonso Davies nearly sprung fellow speedster Kekuta Manneh with a throughball only to see Loons keeper John Alvbage slide off his line to intervene. The best chance of the half, however, came in the 42nd minute, when Techera missed just wide on a 20-yard free kick.
Minnesota stepped things up a bit after the break, with midfielder Miguel Ibarra forcing ‘Caps keeper David Ousted into an acrobatic save on a swerving strike from distance in the 49th minute. And on the ensuing corner, they fortuitously took the lead with Kevin Molino’s delivery deflecting off Hurtado and into the back of the net.
From there, it was all Vancouver.
The ‘Caps played on the front foot for the rest of the match, with Manneh coming close on a chipped effort in the 59th minute and Davies dazzling on a couple exciting runs before Teibert’s equalizer.
Thursday’s match was Vancouver’s first of three preseason friendlies in Portland over the next week as part of the Timbers Preseason Tournament. The ‘Caps are back in action on Sunday against Real Salt Lake (2:30 p.m. PT on whitecapsfc.com), before facing the host Timbers in their preseason finale next Wednesday.
The ‘Caps will then open their 2017 campaign against New York Red Bulls in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals (Leg 1: February 22 at Red Bull Arena, Leg 2: March 2 at BC Place). Single match tickets go on sale Friday.
49’ – MIN – Erik Hurtado (own goal)
82’ – VAN – Russell Teibert
Shots: Minnesota 7 – Vancouver 7
Shots on Goal: Minnesota 2 – Vancouver 2
Saves: Minnesota 1 – Vancouver 2
Fouls: Minnesota 11 – Vancouver 13
Offsides: Minnesota 0 – Vancouver 2
Corners: Minnesota 2 – Vancouver 7
24’ – VAN – Andrew Jacobson
86’ – MIN – Kevin Venegas
86’ – VAN – Russell Teibert
88’ – MIN – Alvin Jones
Minnesota United FC
1.John Alvbage; 4.Jermaine Taylor (22.Kevin Venegas 72’), 6.Vadim Demidov (12.Joseph Greenspan 72’), 5.Francisco Calvo (14.Brent Kallman 72’), 2.Justin Davis (13.Thomas De Villardi 72’); 8.Mohammed Saeid (28.Eugene Starikov 72’), 26.Collen Warner (7.Ibson 72’), 20.Rasmus Schuller (17.Collin Martin 72’), 18.Kevin Molino (19.Alvin Jones 72’), 9.Abu Danladi (21.Christian Ramirez 72’), 10.Migeul Ibarra (16.Bashkim Kadri 72’)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 28.Jake Nerwinski (25.Sheanon Williams HT), 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 8.Andrew Jacobson (31.Russell Teibert 65’), 15.Matias Laba; 67.Alphonso Davies, 23.Kekuta Manneh (29.Yordy Reyna 65’), 13.Cristian Techera (9.Giles Barnes 65’); 19.Erik Hurtado (17.Marcel de Jong 71’)