It was an impressive 3-0 victory for the Whitecaps vs Earthquakes from BC Place Stadium Saturday night. Brian White was the star of the show with a hat-trick but there was a long list of supporting cast. Maxime Crepeau got his 6th clean sheet of the season and second straight.
Vancouver looks to be rounding into form at the right time but is it going to be too little too late? Let’s get caught up with the action for the Whitecaps vs Earthquakes.
Lineup News, and Notes
Vanni Sartini and the Vancouver Whitecaps made sure to rotate the squad in a 0-0 draw against the Houston Dynamo Wednesday night. Saturday night at BC Place would see them field a strong lineup looking for all 3 points. A 3-4-1-2 formation once again would see 6 changes to the lineup. Maxime Crepeau would see Jake Nerwinski, Andy Rose, and Florian Jungwirth in a back three. Cristian Dajome, Leonard Owusu, Russell Teibert, and Bruno Gaspar would make up the midfield from left to right.
Ryan Gauld would get back into the starting lineup to provide service to Deiber Caicedo and Brian White up top. Lucas Cavallini wasn’t in the 20 as he was still dealing with an injury he suffered against the Dynamo.
The San Jose Earthquakes and Matias Almeyda would make 3 changes from the squad that fell 2-1 to the Seattle Sounders. JT Marcinkowski would take his spot in the net with a back four of Luciano Abecasis, Nathan, Oswaldo Alanis, and Marcos Lopez. Judson and Jackson Yueill would play a holding midfield role while Eduardo Lopez, Eric Remedi, and Cristian Espinoza would try and spread the field. Benjamin Kikanovic would look to get on the service from below.
Whitecaps Dominate In The 1st Half
Vancouver would kick things off to start the match and move in right away on the attack. Some nice work to try and open up space but San Jose was able to clear and the Whitecaps had to reset. We moved into the 4th minute and Ryan Gauld looked to be fouled but referee Pierre-Luc Lauziere waved him up and play continued. San Jose would eventually send it out the backline for a goal kick. The first chance of the match would come to Ryan Gauld after a cut in from Teibert. He played it down but his shot was stopped and then gobbled up by Marcinkowski.
The Whitecaps were controlling the majority of possession to start the match. Jungwirth would look to pick out Gaspar with a long ball but it was called back for a foul behind the play. In the 9th minute, Dajome would see some room in the middle of the park and dance in for a shot on the net. It was just wide of the net but there was space for the home side. The first chance for San Jose would come off the foot of Jackson Yueill down the left side. A turnover from Teibert and Yueill was able to pick out Espinoza. His shot was well over the net and out for a goal kick.
A quick counter would see Dajome almost open the scoring. His chip in the 12th minute was just past the far post and outstretched keeper. The goal kick was wasted and Gauld would win a free-kick after being taken down by Lopez. The Whitecaps vs Earthquakes would win a deep throw but Nerwinski couldn’t get the throw deep into the box and it was cleared. San Jose would counter and a great cross in from Chofis forced Andy Rose to make a great clearance. The away side would control as we moved into the 15th minute before turning it over under Vancouver pressure.
Some sloppy play from both sides and it was Vancouver’s turn to give it away. Espinoza was given far too much room down the left side and cut the ball back into the box. Andy Rose had to clear it once again before Gauld fouled Lopez and things slowed down. The first corner of the match would come in the 17th minute after some nice work from Brian White. Ryan Gauld would deliver it to the back post and White was able to get a good header on it but it was left of the target.
As San Jose looked to play the ball upfield Leonard Owusu would be shown a yellow card for a stomp on the foot of Remedi. He would be down on the pitch for several minutes as he tried to re-attach his foot. The play would resume in the 21st minute and the Earthquakes would promptly turn it over.
After winning it back they would win a free kick from a Dajome handball. It was taken short and played around before San Jose would win a corner kick in the 23rd minute. Espinoza’s delivery was short and Kikanovic wasn’t able to turn with enough room for a decent shot. It was sent over Maxime Crepeau and out for a Whitecaps throw on the other side. the Quakes would win it back but couldn’t string a handful of passes together. It would eventually come out to Espinoza but his shot was right into the crest of Maxime Crepeau.
A quickly taken free-kick by the Whitecaps would lead to the first goal of the match. A great play from Brian White to find Gauld in alone. His shot was stopped by Marcinkowski but the rebound would fall right to the American who scored his 6th goal of the year as the Whitecaps vs Earthquake took a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute. They almost gave up right away giving San Jose a free-kick from a dangerous spot. It was cleared out for a corner and played to Lopez way outside of the box. His shot was well over the net and didn’t trouble Crepeau.
The Quakes would remain in control of the match as we moved past the 30th minute of play. Yueill would be fouled by Bruno Gaspar and San Jose would take it short and hold possession. They would win a throw on the right side but play it back and look for space between the Vancouver line that had dropped since the goal. Vancouver would win it back and after some nice work down the right side from Gaspar and Dajome, it would lead to another chance for Brian White. Great first touch but he wasn’t able to get a good shot off before the pressure from behind. Abecasis got there just in time to deny White.
The Whitecaps vs Earthquakes remained 1-0 for the home side as the match moved into the 33rd minute. A Dangerous cross in from Chofis looking for Espinoza was just a bit too heavy and Crepeau was able to come off his line to collect it. San Jose would stay on the attack looking for an equalizer before the half. Lopez would try a cross in from the other side and Kikanovic was able to get a slight flick on it but ran weakly to the Caps keeper. Vancouver was on the back foot and another cross had to be dealt with by Jungwirth and back to Crepeau.
After holding off the pressure from San Jose it was Vancouver’s turn to attack and they almost doubled their lead in the 38th minute. Caicedo was able to pick out Dajome down the left side and he beat his man to the touchline and cut it back into the box. A cheeky backheel from Gauld almost came perfectly to Brian White but Judson was able to step in front just in time and clear it back into the Whitecaps half. San Jose would take back control and Yueill would get a great chance at the other end. A nice ball over the top but his shot was easy for Crepeau.
Vancouver would get underway quickly and Dajome would win a free kick in a dangerous spot down the left side. Gauld would send it to the front of the box but two San Jose players were waiting and cleared. In the 42nd minute, the away side would look for a late first-half goal. The Whitecaps would hold strong for the remainder of the half as both teams would take late fouls. The 4th official signaled one additional minute of stoppage time that was filled with whistles. Time would run out in the first half with the home side up 1-0 thanks to Brian White.
Brain White Takes Over The 2nd Half
One change for San Jose to start the 2nd half as Shae Salinas would come on for Judson. The Quakes would pressure first but a ball for Espinoza from Chofis was a bit long and out for a goal kick. The pressure would continue and Jungwirth was forced to make a clear. Caicedo would be called for a foul on Nathan but another long pass attempt would go long. The Whitecaps would get some control as we moved into the 49th minute of play. A long ball too White was off the mark but some nice pressure and Vancouver would win it back momentarily. Poor delivery from Marcinowski would lead to a chance for Vancouver.
Some nice passing from Gauld to find Dajome but his shot was ambitious and didn’t trouble the San Jose keeper as it was well over the net. The home side picked up the urgency and press but San Jose was able to break it and get a chance in the box. Chofis went down after a slight touch from Jungwirth but the referee said play on. The Quakes would stay on it and It was crossed nicely but Nerwinski was able to clear and Gauld and Caicedo were almost off to the races. San Jose was able to get back and force it out for a deep throw but the home side wasn’t able to make anything of the chance.
The Quakes would win a corner in the 54th minute after Jungwirth was forced to boot the cross out the back and away from danger. The corner was sent into the front of the box before it would fall to Chofis. He was able to chip it into danger and Nathan was able to pop it up but Crepeau was out to meet it. He was also met by the body of Kikanovic which would draw a crowd. Jungwirth and Remedi were shown yellow cards for their extracurricular activities. After cooler heads prevailed, the action would get back underway in the 57th minute.
The physicality was picking up in the match as Gauld would push over Remedi for a foul. A quick turnover by the Quakes lead to a great chance for Vancouver as Gaspar was able to find Brian White in all alone. A smart play by Marcinkowski to come off his line and challenge White. He was able to make the save and knock it out for a deep throw. It was into Gauld and he would win a free-kick right outside the box by the touchline.
Gauld and Caicedo would stand over it before a beautifully lofted ball from the Columbian. Brian White was able to rise over the San Jose defender Nathan, and score his second goal of the match in the 59th minute. It was a great striker’s finish as White headed it past the keeper. San Jose would get things going quickly down 2-0 with their season possibly on the line. Vancouver was able to play very comfortably with the two-goal lead. Gauld was almost able to counter for Vancouver it would run past his grasp and out.
Matias Almeyda would make wholesale changes in the 63rd minute with 4 changes. Chris Wondolowski, Cade Cowell, Andy Rios, and Carlos Fierro would come on to replace Lopez, Kikanovic, Abecasis, and Alanis. It was an attacking change for the road team as they tried to get back into the match. The first touch from Cowell has heavy and gave it right back to the Whitecaps. The teams would trade turnovers with long passes from San Jose and then a pass from Nerwinski to Caicedo was offside.
The match was opening up and Vancouver would get the next chance down the right side. Brian White would find Gaspar with a tonne of space and he was able to drive into the box. He tested Marcinkowski from a tight angle but it was an easy save for the San Jose keeper. The Quakes came back in quickly on the attack but some nice work by Gauld and he was able to win the ball back for the home side. It was short-lived for Vancouver and Vanni Sartini would go to his bench. Javain Brown would come on in the 68th minute for Gaspar.
Some pressure from San Jose after the change but Cowell wasn’t able to pick out Wondolowski in the box. Crepeau was wise to the floating cross and came out to grab it. After some nice passing in the middle of the park, Gauld would find Dajome with a nice pass between two defenders. He was able to get a shot away but it was just wide of the net as we moved into the 70th minute of play. The Whitecaps would start to go to their bench again bringing on Tosaint Ricketts to replace Caicedo who had a strong match.
Ricketts would make an immediate impact and help the Whitecaps win a 72nd-minute corner. He was able to fight off a challenge and then win the ball back before finding Dajome down the left side. His cross for Gauld was blocked out for a corner. It would bounce out at the top of the box to Owusu and his volley was deflected out for another corner. Cue Brian White… The American would net his 3rd goal of the night for the hat trick to make it 3-0 for the Whitecaps vs Earthquakes.
With the smoke machines still going White would set up Ryan Gauld for a great chance. He got under it and skied it over top of the net and turned in frustration. With just 15 minutes plus added time, San Jose needed to act quickly and that’s just what they would try and do. Fierro would streak down the left-wing and cross it dangerously into the box. Andy Rose had to be sharp to clear it before it came to Wondolowski. Another long cross from the away side but it was too close to Crepeau who was able to come out and grab it.
Fouls started coming from San Jose as it was clear they were frustrated with the results so far in the match. Nathan would be shown a yellow card for a hard foul on Ryan Gauld as we moved to the 79th minute. It would set up a nice free-kick for Vancouver but there was a slight delay as the referee waited for a VAR check but Gauld wasn’t the last man and play would continue. He was not but the free-kick wouldn’t add to their lead as Andy Rose couldn’t get a good shot off the loose ball.
The Quakes would start to feel the urgency with just 8 minutes left in regulation time. Espinoza would try a shot from just outside the box but Crepeau had sticky mittens and was able to grab it and stop the danger. San Jose would continue to attack as a long ball looking for Cowell ran to Crepeau. Owusu would concede a deep throw and Chofis looked to have a great chance on net. Teibert streaked back with a sliding challenge and forced the ball out for a corner kick. Vancouver was able to clear the corner and relieve the pressure momentarily.
A hard foul from Cowell on Nerwinski would win Vancouver a free-kick and allow them to make more changes in the 86th minute. 3 changes to try and see out the victory as Ryan Raposo would replace Ryan Gauld, Janio Bikel would replace Owusu. And to thunderous applause, Brian White was replaced by Kamron Habibullah. The Quakes tried to move in but some nice work by the Caps backline and they were able to clear. With time running out Vancouver sat back and waited for mistakes from the visiting squad.
San Jose was left wide upon and Javain Brown would try and take advantage with a shot from distance but it was over the net for a goal-kick. Drew Fischer would signal an additional 4 minutes of time just as Teibert would block a shot from Cowell. It was Crepeau’s time to close out the match as he would make a great save off Andy Rios. Vancouver would win a corner when Raposo had his shot blocked and they looked for more but it was cleared by San Jose. The fouls picked up as the match was out of reach for the Earthquakes.
Shae Salinas would pick up a yellow card and so would Javain Brown for Vancouver before the final whistle. It was an impressive home victory after just two days of rest for the Vancouver Whitecaps vs Earthquakes. Brain White was the star of the show as he grabbed a share of the goal lead with Cristian Dajome. Maxime Crepeau got another clean sheet and will head off on Canada National Team duty for the October window. Ryan Gauld was strong against San Jose after getting some rest midweek. The Whitecaps will need him at his best if they are going to claw over the playoff line.
Post Match Thoughts And Media Whitecaps vs Earthquakes
Coach Vanni Sartini was in great spirits after the match as he discussed the play of his team in a 3-0 win. “We did very well. We’ll have to watch the game again. But I think the approach and a lot of things that we worked on the previous week and in this week went very well. The pressure was fantastic. The movement of the midfielders when we had the ball, the central defenders, to be honest [everyone did] what they were supposed to do to the team. And so, I will say, congratulations to the players because they did fantastically today.”
He spoke on the play of Brian White, “He is a good player. I want to praise him because I want to praise the team in the sense that he does what he is supposed to do for the team, and the team helps him out to be in the right position. He is very good when we need to press. I would it’s a good spot because he’s a very selfless player, and being selfless also helps you to be even the protagonist sometimes. Because that’s the key for us to try to win more games, thinking about as a we and not as a group of I’s, and, and he’s very good at that.”
Brian White spoke next about his fit into the team, “Just a great locker room, a great group of guys who make it really easy for me to just come in here, work hard for the team and, you know, trying to do the best I can for this team. Being able to play with guys like Dajo, Deiber, Ryan upfront, obviously makes my life a whole lot easier when they have such great quality. So I’m fortunate to come into a team with such great players, such great guys in the locker room, and I’m just trying to make the most of it.”
Last but not least was keeper, Maxime Crepeau who talked about his clean sheet Saturday night, “It’s a club effort, it’s not just me. The guys are putting bodies on the line, they’re working so hard, tactically shifting across from the back three to the four midfield and the front three. It’s a club effort, and everyone deserves these clean sheets. That’s the most important thing for me. We talked yesterday before the game after the training, and I just want the team to be above the red line at the end of 34 regular-season games.”
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
Lots to choose from in a 3-0 win for the Whitecaps vs Earthquakes. It would be a little obvious to pick a Goal of the Match as we all know it would go to Brian White. Instead, I am going to pick a couple of moments that stood out for me in the win at home.
The Unnamed Moment Of The Match
It was a special day as the Vancouver Whitecaps vs Earthquakes acknowledged Truth and Reconciliation day that was September 30th. They had several tributes including pre-match performances and encouraged fans to wear an orange shirt to the match.
The Unnamed Teammate Of The Match
Since coming over to the Whitecaps from San Jose Florian Jungwirth has quickly become a fan, media, and teammate favorite. He was quick to come to the defense of his keeper after he was pushed in the box. Oh and he also happens to be a great defender! Vancouver would be smart to lock him up for next season.
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Vancouver Whitecaps move one step closer to the playoff line in the MLS Western Conference. They sit just one point back of both Minnesota and the LA Galaxy and just 2 points back of Real Salt Lake for 5th place. Vancouver will be in for a tall task next week as they will take on the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night. They will be without Crepeau, Lucas Cavallini, and Javain Brown who will all be away on National duty.
Time is running out for the Whitecaps push into a playoff spot. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for the latest updates as the season comes to a close. Be sure to check out the Sports Talk Line Website for even more sports news and articles.