By IVES GALARCEP
The Vancouver Whitecaps had never beaten a Cascadia opponent in MLS play before. Not the Seattle Sounders, nor the Portland Timbers. For a team on the rise, doing something about that drought was a top priority.
The Whitecaps did something about it on Saturday.
Led by the outstanding goalkeeping of Brad Knighton, and driven on by a sold-out crowd at BC Place, the Whitecaps outplayed the Sounders on their way to a 2-0 victory.
Kenny Miller and Darren Mattocks delivered the goals, but the story of the night was Knighton’s heroics. The Whitecaps goalkeeper made seven saves to record a shutout that helps push Vancouver’s unbeaten streak to five matches and allow the Whitecaps to climb within a point of the Portland Timbers for third place in the West.
The Whitecaps needed just four minutes to jump on the Sounders, with Miller’s fourth-minute goal opening the scoring and put the Sounders on their heels early. The Sounders didn’t waste much time putting pressure on the Whitecaps defense. Obafemi Martins had the first quality chance, forcing a 22nd-minute save from Knighton, who then made a one-handed save on a Zach Scott chance.
Knighton was just getting started.
The Whitecaps keeper made a vital double-save in the 27th minute, slapping away an Eddie Johnson chance before kicking away another Martins attempt.
Beleaguered Jamaican striker Darren Mattocks provided the insurance goal in the 79th minute when he raced onto a Gershon Koffie header and chipped Michael Gspurning on the full sprint for his first goal in almost two months.
The victory improves the Whitecaps’ record to 4-0-1 in their past five matches. Seattle continues to struggle for consistency without captain and on-field leader Osvaldo Alonso, who is still sidelined with an injury.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? Think the Whitecaps are a legitimate contender in the West now? Disappointing in the Sounders’ play, or think they will continue to struggle until Alonso returns?
Share your thoughts below.
LOL….Portland Timbers homer announcing crew for a Seattle/Vancouver match? Vancouver had maybe 3 legit chances on goal and capitalized on 2. Seattle could’ve had 4 or 5 had it not been for the brilliance of Knighton.
Are they giving points for coulda, woulda, shoulda in MLS now? Vancouver had to work hard against a talented Sounders side but they outplayed them from start to finish and got the result they deserved.
Good grief! Stop already! Did Vancouver deserve to win? Absolutely yes!….Did “they outplayed them from start to finish”? Absolutely NOT! What in the world game were you watching?
Did anyone else notice how happy Miller was when Mattocks scored? I swear he was more excited that Mattocks. Miller mentioned post game how Darren was properly rewarded after powering thru a difficult stretch of very little minutes. Miller’s excitement for Mattocks was certainly a sight to see. That’s a true captain. That’s the guy you want leading the troops.
Mattocks seemed to create more chances in the last 15 minutes than Seattle did the entire game, and he finished better too. This performance was nearly as bad as the 4-0 defeat to LA last month. The Seattle attack seems to flounder when Martins, Johnson, and Neagle are all on the field.
all those SSFC players you mention had multiple shots saved.
Not sure you watched the game at all, Seattle had a ton of chances although Mattocks did look good.
Seattle will continue to struggle until Alonso returns, he is the most important player and this absence is just driving it home. Although Seattle certainly had chances last night, they wasted a couple and Knighton made a couple really nice saves. On a positive note Joseph actually had a decent game, picked out some good passes.