Cascadia Clash Ends in a Surprise Draw

by Michael Martinez

It may have only been a draw, but taking a point from the league leaders? This must feel like a major win for the Vancouver Whitecaps. 

The Whitecaps took on league leaders and Cascadia rivals, the Seattle Sounders. Heading into the match the Sounders were undefeated and the Whitecaps were on a 5 match losing streak. All the odds were stacked up against the Whitecaps. 

Against the Sounders, a team that they haven’t beaten since 2017, it felt like anything but a loss would be seen as positive for a team that was quickly fading after a bright start. 

Lineups

Vancouver Whitecaps: 4-3-3

Seattle Sounders: 5-3-2

Match Details

Scoring Summary

40′ – SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz (assisted by Brad Smith)

49′ – VAN – Cristian Dájome (assisted by Caio Alexandre)

56′ – VAN – Lucas Cavallini (assisted by Cristian Dájome)

71′ – SEA – Jimmy Medranda (assisted by Fredy Montero)

Statistics

Possession: SEA 61.6 – VAN 38.4

Shots: SEA 19 – VAN 11

Shots on Goal: SEA 5 – VAN 4

Saves: SEA 2 – VAN 3

Fouls: SEA 9 – VAN 13

Offsides: SEA 0 – VAN 2

Corners: SEA 2 – VAN 1

Cautions

22′ – VAN – Lucas Cavallini (yellow)

45’+4 – VAN – Caio Alexandre (yellow)

89′ – VAN – Maxime Crépeau (yellow)

 

Match Report

“There’s two things that we addressed the last two days,” “It’s the why of coming out and sometimes lacking little things to dictate the game, and we also spoke about making big plays at the end of games.”

Image via Vancouver Whitecaps Twitter

It was that execution and determination that were most important for the Whitecaps. While it may not have been pretty, they fought hard and climbed their way back for the draw. This is not something that can be said for most of this 2021 season. 

Cristian Dájome and Lucas Cavallini scored the goals for the Whitecaps they finally snapped a five-match losing streak. The first 45 minutes saw Vancouver and Seattle evenly matched. The Whitecaps came at the league leaders hard from the get go and did not make it easy. Again, something we really haven’t really seen much of this season.

Despite a strong showing to start the half, the Sounders opened up the scoring thanks to Golden Boot candidate, Raul Ruidiaz. The Peruvian nets it home to make 0-1 for the league leaders. 

The goal resulted from a poor giveaway in the midfield and some questionable positioning by goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau.

The Whitecaps came out just as strong and surprisingly found a bit of life in the second half. Despite being down, away from “home”, AND against the team at the top of the league standings, they fought their way back into the game.

Vancouver found their opening goal in the 46th minute after a beautiful through ball from Alexandre to Dájome. After making an incredible run behind the defense, Dájome slips the ball around the keeper for an easy shot right on goal. This goal could not have come at a better time just as momentum was building.

Thanks to the momentum picked up after that first goal, the Whitecaps then picked up the lead in the 56th minute.  Dájome continued his strong 2nd half. After a wonderful ball out wide from Andy Rose, Dajome looked up and whipped in a cross into the box. The cross came and bounced off of striker Lucas Cavallini and in. Truthfully the striker needed a little extra luck as he had to stick out a limb and just hope that the ball would roll in.

There it was, the Whitecaps were leading the league leaders 2-1 on their home turf! They had the chance to get their first win in 8 matches. Against their Cascadia rivals of all teams. No one would have expected that going into this match. Not even Whitecaps fans! 

Seattle had other plans…

Immediately after the Whitecaps’ second goal, the Sounders turned it on and then came the onslaught. Crépeau stayed busy in the second half with the Whitecaps holding onto dear life.  With three saves, the Canadian international was able to keep the Sounders off the board. 

It felt like a Sounders goal was inevitable and in the 71st minute, that proved to be the case. Jimmy Medranda found some space at the edge of the box with the ball being placed perfectly for him. After failing to close it down, he was able to settle and slam the ball home through a crowd of bodies to tie up the game for the Sounders.

It felt like a Sounders goal was inevitable and in the 71st minute, that proved to be the case. Jimmy Medranda found some space at the edge of the box with the ball being placed perfectly for him. After failing to close it down, he was able to settle and slam the ball home through a crowd of bodies to tie up the game for the Sounders. 

It was a gut wrenching goal as the Whitecaps dream of taking down the league leaders came crashing down. They sat back inviting pressure, so the goal was almost inevitable, but it still hurt. It is also hard to keep the Sounders down but everyone knows their quality. You never let them grow into the game. 

Surprisingly enough, the Whitecaps managed to hold off a late storm, keeping the match even at two a piece. Even more impressively, they almost scored a late winner! Cristian Gutierrez found Brian White with less than a minute to go, but the new striker’s header fell comfortably into Cleveland’s hands. 

Overall it was a solid showing from the boys. From a strong start, to being a goal down at the break, to coming back and taking points from the league leaders. Everything points to a solid performance. The Whitecaps were able to snap their 5-match losing streak. This will definitely be considered a positive performance all things considered. 

 

The Vancouver Whitecaps are back in action Sunday July 4th, when they visit FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium. Catch the game live on TSN 1/3 and ESPN+  starting at 5:30 p.m. PT.

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