The Whitecaps at Sounders get dominated in a 4-1 loss at Lumen field Saturday night despite another goal from Brian White. An early 5th-minute goal from Shane O’Neill would set the tone for the home side as they would score 2 in the first half and two in the second half.
Despite the 4-1 loss, there were lots of chances for the Whitecaps at Sounders as multiple chances were sent out of touch instead of past Stephen Frei and into the back of the net. It was a frustrating result for Vancouver as they fall for just the 2nd time in the last 16 matches. Let’s see how the match went down!
Lineup News And Notes
Vanni Sartini would make 2 changes to the side that won 3-0 against San Jose. Thomas Hasal would start between the sticks in place of Maxime Crepeau who is away from the team on national Duty. The other change comes in the backline as Patrick Metcalfe slots into the back 3 with jake Nerwinski and Florian Jungwirth. Russell Teibert and Leonard Owusu will play in the middle of a 3-4-1-2 with Bruno Gaspar and Cristian Dajome on the wings.
Ryan Gauld would start in his usual number 10 spot with Brian White and Deiber Caicedo up top. Vancouver has had good luck with Gauld and White making a connection and they would hope that would continue Saturday night against the Sounders.
Brian Schmetzer would go with a 3-4-2-1 formation and was forced to test his depth as the team signed Juan Alvarez due to “Extreme Hardship”. Stephen Frei would of course start in the net for the Sounders with a back 3 of Yeimar, Shane O’Neill, and Abdoulaye Cissoko. The midfield would see Kelyn Rowe, Joao Paulo, Josh Atencio, and Jimmy Medranda from right to left.
Nicolas Benezet would provide problems all night for the Whitecaps and he would be joined by Fredy Montero. Will Bruin would play the top of the formation for the Seattle Sounders.
Sounders Come Out Strong But The Whitecaps Battle Back In The 1st Half
The Whitecaps would kick things off in the first half and look a bit confused with their passing. An early cross from Rowe would run out the other side for a Vancouver throw as both teams tried to adjust to their lineups. Ryan Gauld would get into the action off a Sounders giveaway but the counterattack fizzled out down the left side. Seattle would take back over possession and win the first corner of the match in the 5th minute. They would take it short back to Rowe and he would send in a beautiful ball into the box. O’Neill would beat Teibert to the back post and head it across Hasal and into the back of the net.
The Whitecaps At Sounders would try and respond after the early goal. Some nice work to get the ball into the box in the 8th minute but it bounced around before Seattle was able to clear. The home side would go back on the attack and win a deep throw but some nice work from Dajome would win Vancouver a goal kick. There was space on the pitch for the Whitecaps as they worked down the left side with Caicedo in the 11th minute. His cross-in was dangerous but couldn’t find a blue shirt.
Seattle was content to let Vancouver try and play the ball out of the back and attack on mistakes. Joao Paulo would do just that in the 12th minute making a great move around a Whitecaps defender before switching things to Kelyn Rowe. He was challenged by Nerwinkis but would win a throw. It was a well-placed throw for Will Bruin, he would find Benezet who turned and fired it past Jungwirth and Keeper Hasal for an early 2-0 lead in the 14th minute. Seattle would continue on the attack and win another corner kick in the 16th minute but Vancouver was able to clear the line before a shot wide of the net.
Despite being down 2-0 the Whitecaps wouldn’t quit and almost got one back after a great strike from Caicedo. He would get some room at the top of the box and fire a shot off the post. It would bounce back to Ryan Gauld but he was in an offside position. The match moved past the 18th minute and the Sounders were happy to wait and counter with their 2-0 lead. They would almost add to the lead if it wasn’t for Thomas Hasal who was called upon to make two big saves. The second of which was a diving stop on a shot from Benezet that was heading for the back of the net.
It was a nightmare start for the Whitecaps as the match moved into the 23rd minute. Seattle was dominating when they wanted and countering when they allowed Vancouver to hold the ball. A chance for Brian White after a poor square ball but he ran over it and Seattle went back the other way and won another corner kick. Paulo would send the ball into the box in the 24th minute but Vancouver was able to clear and get some room on the left side. Caicedo did some nice work to win their first corner of the match.
Ryan Gauld would deliver it into the box and Frie had to come off his line to punch it out for a corner on the opposite side. Gauld would once again take the corner but it was to the near post and cleared out for a throw. To sum up the night so far for the Whitecaps Gauld would look to send in no one on a pass that would run out of touch for a goal kick. The space would open up quickly for the Sounders as two passes and Bruin would almost spring Benezet. Some nice work from Nerwinksi and he was able to body his man and let it run out for a goal kick.
The corners would keep coming for the home side as will Bruin would win another one in the 28th minute. Jake Nerwinski was forced to slide and deflect it out. The ball was floated into the top of the box and cleared easily but the Seattle would attack on the second phase. It was sent into Will Bruin but his header was off-target and out of touch. Things would slow down after a foul by Ryan Gauld on Cissoko. Seattle would turn it over and it would lead to a Vancouver Free-kick. Caicedo would send a nice ball into the box but Brian White couldn’t get a good header on it and it popped over the net.
After the Whitecaps at Sounders would win the ball back Jake Nerwinski would be taken down by Rowe as the physicality would pick up. Vancouver would work the ball along their backline looking for space and find some briefly down the left side. It was cut out quickly and the Caps were forced back to their own end of the pitch. Ryan Gauld was set up with a nice pass from Teibert and looked to get fouled. Ted Unkel would signal play on as the Sounders would counter. Montero was taken down by Gaspar who would be shown a yellow card in the 35th minute.
The Whitecaps would start to get their legs as the first half went on. Some nice work from Dajome would win a free kick in a dangerous spot for Vancouver. Gauld would send in a nice ball that Seattle was able to clear to Metcalfe. He fanned on his shot but Vancouver would hold onto possession. They would send in Gauld down the left side but he couldn’t pick out a target and the Sounders regained the ball. A foul on Benezet by Teibert would allow the home side to slow things down once again with their 2-0 lead. Some nice pressure from Vancouver would force an errant pass and they would take over with a throw.
As things moved into the 40th minute Vancouver would give up another chance and corner to the Sounders. A great switch of play and Bruin would cross it into the box and win a corner. It was delivered in by Paulo twice and sent out both times for corners. The third attempt was too close to Hasal and he was able to get off his line and grab the ball. He got the play started quickly and the first yellow card of the match for the Sounders would come to Yeimer Gomez for hauling down Dajome.
Gauld would try and send in the free-kick but Benezet would jump the line and block the kick. He was shown a yellow card as well for encroachment and Gauld would get another chance. It was sent into the back post but Dajome wasn’t able to get enough on the header to challenge Frei and Seattle could clear. The Whitecaps at Sounders’ first half would wind down with Vancouver looking for a late goal to get things closer before the end of the half. The 4th official would signal one added minute and that was just enough time for the Whitecaps to strike.
Some great work from Dajome and Gauld down the left side along with a lucky bounce and the ball would fall right to Gauld in tight. He was able to get a shot away and the rebound came right to Brain White who would put it away for his 4th goal in 2 matches. Just like that the Whitecaps at Sounders were back into the match down just 2-1 as we went to halftime.
Sounders Hold Off The Whitecaps Attack And Capitilize On The Counter In The 2nd Half
No changes for either side to start the second half as Seattle would control things early. A long ball for Rowe was defended nicely from Nerwinski for a goal kick but the distribution was poor and gave it right back to the Sounders. Like the first half, the second would also start with a myriad of turnovers from either side. It would go back and forth from the backline of the home team to the hands of Hasal. We moved into the 50th minute and Vancouver would start to settle things down. It wouldn’t really settle down as the errand passes would continue.
The ball would come to Teibert and he was hauled down by Benezet. Teibert would get up quickly and right into the face of the Sounders player but cooler heads would prevail as the Whitecaps would get the free-kick. It was a training ground play that looked to chip it over the top to Teibert but Seattle played it well and Jungwirth would foul Benezet as Seattle tried to break out. The 2nd half started with much more action than the 1st half as Ryan Gauld would send Caicedo into the box. He ran out of room and his cross was an easy save for Frei.
He would get things going quickly and Montero would work down the left side and win a corner kick against Teibert. It was crossed in and Hasal would get his hands on the ball and the face of a Sounders attacker. It was called for a Vancouver free-kick as the ball bounced around in the box. Things would come back to Seattle in the 55th minute as they slowed things down with the 2-1 lead. It was short-lived as a ball over top would lead to their 3rd goal of the match. Some nice work by Fredy Montero to find Bruin and he would strike it from a tough angle past Hasal in the 56th minute.
Things would almost go from worse too…really bad. But Benezet Was offside and Hasal was able to make the save. The defensive shape that had been so prominent in the last couple of matches for the Whitecaps was non-existent. Pockets of space for the Sounders as Paulo would get a chance from distance in the 61st minute. Another turnover from Vancouver and Benezet would get another chance to add to his goal tally on the evening. Hasal would make the save and Metcalfe would clear it out for a throw. Dajome was forced to clear the throw-out for a corner kick as Seattle was in control.
Paulo would send in a nice ball into the box and Bruin was able to head it to the back post. Hasal was able to reach out and grab the ball to alleviate the pressure. The Whitecaps would go on the attack in the 64th minute but a shot from Gauld was deflected out for a corner kick. Gauld’s delivery was off tonight and Seattle was able to clear it before turning it over to Vancouver. Caicedo would do some nice work to draw a foul against Joao Paulo in the 65th minute. The free-kick was cleared easily and the Whitecaps would have to regroup.
The ball would eventually run out for a Sounders throw and after some patient passing, Will Bruin would get a chance on the net. His shot from the left side of the box was stopped easily by Hasal but the Whitecaps keeper wasn’t finished. Dajome would give up a free-kick to Seattle after a hard foul on Fredy Montero. Kelyn Rowe would send in a great ball and Cissoko would get a header on it. Thomas Hasal had to be sharp to dive to his left to force it out for a corner kick. Paulo would send it into the back of the box and Montero would have his shot deflected out for another corner.
The Whitecaps at Sounders were able to clear the danger in the 69th minute as Hasal punched it away. The Sounders would look to get their 4th goal of the evening but it was called offside at the back post. Both teams would make changes in the 71st minute as the Sounders would bring on Danny Leyva for Benezet. Vanni Sartini would make three changes replacing Owusu, Teibert, and Metcalfe with Janio Bikel, Michale Baldisimo, and Marcus Godinho.
Both teams would trade turnovers before Paulo was fouled by Gauld. He would be shown a yellow card in the 72nd minute and Seattle could hold onto the ball and kill more time. With a 3-1 lead they weren’t really trying to kill the clock as they continued the relentless attack. Will Bruin would find Joao Paolo at the top of the box and his shot just missed the post. The Whitecaps would counter quickly with just 15 minutes left and set up a great chance. Some nice passing in the box and Dajome was in all alone on Stepehen Frei. A great save by the Sounders keeper and the rebound was cleared.
Tosaint Ricketts would come to replace Dajome in the 78th minute and Vancouver would continue pressing for a second goal to make things interesting. Brian White would get a great chance after a cross was punched out by Frei and popped out for a free header. White wasn’t able to send it on target and feel to the ground as it would go out for a goal kick. We moved into the 80th minute of action and Seattle was controlling things once again. Time was starting to run out for the Whitecaps at Sounders especially after the two great chances to get back within one goal. The intensity would pick up from both teams and Vancouver would get another chance.
A nice ball in from Ricketts to find White but his shot was blocked. it would bounce around several Caps players before Seattle was able to clear. The home side was happily sitting in a very deep block with a 2 goal lead. A nice cross into the box in the 84th minute would fall to Caicedo but his shot was blocked. Another great chance for Caicedo but Bruno Gaspar played the pass in from an offside position and Seattle could make another change. Leo Chu would replace Cissoko to try and see out the full 3 points.
The home side would get loud as the match moved into the 88th minute of play. Despite the chances for the Whitecaps at Sounders, they couldn’t find the final ball. Vancouver would try and throw everything they could at Seattle late but it wasn’t enough and left them open for a 4th goal against. Leo Chu would do some nice work down the right side and play give and go with Montero. Nerwinski wasn’t able to stay on his feet and Chu was able to beat Hasal for his first MLS goal.
The referee would signal an additional 2 minutes and it was all but over after the celebration. The final whistle would blow with the Whitecaps At Sounders falling 4-1 for only their second loss in the last 16 matches. Seattle would clinch a playoff spot with the win and the Whitecaps would be left looking up at that playoff line for another week.
Post Match Thoughts And Media Whitecaps At Sounders
It was a tough result for the Whitecaps at Sounders as Vancouver fails to get over the playoff line. Vanni Sartini was angry with the match as he felt his team played well in the second half and could have delivered a better result. “I don’t know. We also work a lot on these set plays that they played because we knew that they are very good at second phase of set play. And I think that goal kind of destabilized everyone for the first like 15-20 minutes. We were trying to reassure the guys and say ‘stay in the game, stay in the game’, but then we concede the second goal.”
“The second goal was a big mistake because we went men to men when we were supposed to be zonal, and so I don’t know. But I like the reaction, the fact that then we have the reaction and the first half was good after that. And even the second half, even if we consider the third goal, it’s okay to concede a goal against Seattle. They’re a good team. But we had, until the end, until the minute 90, we had much more chances than them in the second half. So, I think the first goal has been a big factor on, let’s say, making us a little shaky for the first 20 minutes.”
Florian Jungwirth spoke about the mentality of the team to bounce for the next match, “I’m not worried about that. I think when we came in the locker room obviously everyone was angry and disappointed. But right away we talked to each other and the focus is already there. Sunday we want to do it better, we play at home. We have a fortress at home and obviously, we want to extend the series at home, so I don’t think it will be a problem like mental wise to be prepared for Sunday.”
Jake Nerwinksi spoke about his thoughts on the match for the Whitecaps at Sounders, “Yeah, you know, I think, the first 15 minutes hurt us the most. I think it took us a little bit, to really get into the game. Unfortunately, they scored two goals in the first 15, but I think after that, the way we ended the half was really strong. Getting a goal right before half, getting back into it was good and unfortunately, we couldn’t get that second goal and we gave up that third goal a bit too early.”
And on looking ahead to Sporting KC next week, “The last six games of the season are not easy. But we know we’re a good team, and we know that we’re really difficult to play at home, so now we get to get some rest, get back home. And it’s always hard for teams to play in BC Place, and I think we’ve proven that this year, our record shows it. So I think we still have all that confidence that we can get the three points.”
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match were a challenge to find tonight. After a disappointing 4-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders, it was hard to find positives. Brian White scored once more and now has 10 goals this season. Thomas Hasal made some big saves but it wasn’t enough. Ryan Gauld showed his brilliant flashes but things fell to bad luck.
The Unnamed Goal Of The Match
With his 4th goal in 2 games, Brian White moves into elite Whitecaps company having scored 10 goals on the season. It wasn’t enough tonight but White is someone the team should look to lock up for next season and beyond.
The Unnamed We Miss You Of The Match
As someone who used to make the trips down with the supporter’s groups, it is nights like tonight that really make you miss the little things. Summed up perfectly by Southsiders President Peter Czimmermann.
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Vancouver Whitecaps still sit outside of the Western Conference Playoffs after the 4-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders. They will try and get back to their winning ways Sunday night when they take on another top team in the west. Vancouver will host Sporting KC on October 17th at BC Place. It will be an uphill battle with just 6 matches left for Vanni Sartini and his squad.
The action continues so make sure to follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for the latest news and updates about your Vancouver Whitecaps. Check back into the Sports Talk Line website for more on the Whitecaps and sports in general.