The Whitecaps at Earthquakes played to a 1-1 draw Saturday night from Paypal Park. After a slow first half that saw the teams slowly get their legs. The second half had back and forth action that saw Vancouver open the scoring in the 53rd minute. Benjamin Kikanovic would tie things up in the 60th minute for the San Jose Quakes and both teams pressed for that winning goal.
San Jose looked to get it late when the ball would roll to super-scorer Chris Wondolowski. Maxime Crepeau came out of nowhere to dive on the ball and preserve the road point for the Whitecaps at Earthquakes.
Lineup News and Notes
Vanni Sartini would continue the squad rotation after a big 3-2 win over the Portland Timbers. Six changes once again with limited rest time between matches. Maxime Crepeau would start in the net, with former San Jose Earthquake Florian Jungwirth, Rannko Veselinovic, and Erik Godoy from left to right in a back 3-4-1-2 formation. Cristian Dajome, Leonard Owusu, Russell Teibert, and Bruno Gaspar would make up the midfield. Ryan Gauld would play his normal Number 10 role with Brian White back into the starting lineup alongside Deiber Caicedo up top.
Matias Almeyda and San Jose would be forced to make changes due to yellow card accumulation so both Nathan and Marcos Lopez would miss the match. JT Marcinkowski would start in the net with a back 3 of Paul Marie, Tanner Beason, and Tommy Thompson from left to right. Jackson Yueill and Eric Remedi would play holding midfield roles to start for the Earthquakes.
Cristian Espinoza, Andres Rios, and Eduardo Lopez would play in an attacking midfield role. While Jeremy Ebobisse and Kikanovic would start up top.
Whitecaps At Earthquakes Play To A 0-0 1st half
The Whitecaps would kick things off from left to right to start the first half. An early cross from Dajome into the box but San Jose was able to clear. A quick counter from Espinoza but he ran into the shoulder of Jungwirth and Vancouver would regain possession. The teams would trade the ball back and forth as both teams got their legs. San Jose tried to get on the attack in the 4th minute and Maxime Crepeau would be called upon for a huge early save. A great pass from Kikanovic to Ebobisse but Crepeau was able to shut the wickets and send it out for a corner kick.
The ball was delivered in by Espinoza but it was headed away and out of danger by the Whitecaps. Some control from Vancouver but they couldn’t get into the final third. San Jose would come back on the attack in the 7th minute and Chofis would find Rios. He was able to turn and fire a shot but Ranko was able to block it out for the second corner of the match. It was delivered too close to Crepeau and the Caps keeper was able to grab it for the Whitecaps at Earthquakes. Brian White would draw a foul on Remedi as the ball would be played upfield.
Vancouver would win their first corner in the 8th minute and Ryan Gauld would stand over the delivery. A nice out swinging ball but Dajome wasn’t able to rise above the Quakes defender. The home side would regain possession and work down the left side. Kikanovic would force Erik Godoy into a sliding tackle and win another corner. It was taken short and pressed back by Vancouver before any danger. San Jose would try down the right side but a cross-in was deflected up in the air and Crepeau was able to slow things down in the 12th minute.
After a turnover by the Quakes, the Whitecaps looked to build some progressive passes. They played it around the back and tried the right side with Caicedo before switching it back to the left and turning it over. After a steal from Ryan Gauld, he looked to be fouled by referee Marcos de Oliveira waved play on and San Jose was almost able to counter quickly down the left side. A cut back from Kikanovic but Jungwirth was able to clear. The two teams were scoreless as we moved into the 16th minute of play.
San Jose would win a throw and take it quickly looking for space in the middle of the pitch. The Whitecaps were good to force them wide and Espinoza’s cross was blocked by Jungwirth. Vancouver tried to counter but it was turned over quickly. Veselinovic would foul Ebobisse to slow things down and allow Vancouver to regroup. Chofis and Espinoza would play give and go but the shot from Chofis was over the net and didn’t test Crepeau. The delivery was poor from the keeper and San Jose would take over once again.
We moved into the 19th minute and Vancouver was having a tough time stringing together successive passes. Another chance for the Whitecaps at Earthquakes to attack. Erik Godoy was given tonnes of space to walk down the right side and found Gauld in the box. it would run a bit heavy and Tommy Thompson was forced to clear it out for a long throw. San Jose would win it back in the 21st minute before a foul from Dajome on Marie. An errant pass and Vancouver could try their luck on the attack once again.
Florian Jungwirth would move down the left side and cross the ball into the box. Marcinkowski was forced off his line to punch it away before Brian White could get his head onto it. San Jose would counter quickly and float a ball into the box. Crepeau had to be sharp at the other end but the danger was cleared. Physicality would pick up as Rios would get his hands upon Leonard Owusu. The free-kick was sent into the box and headed by Brian White but it was a slow roller and easy for Marcinkowski to handle. He would get things going quickly but Espinoza was called for a foul.
Caicedo would get a nice pass from Ryan Gauld and look to turn but was taken down by Thompson. It was a dangerous spot for the Whitecaps and Gauld and Caicedo would stand over it. Caicedo would take it but send it well over the bar for a goal kick. A turnover and Gauld would look to find a running Caicedo over the top but Marcinkowski was quick again off his line. Both teams would trade counter-attacks but they fizzled out as the teams moved into the final third. It was still 0-0 in the 30th minute as San Jose took a throw down the left side.
Another stray elbow, this time from Brian White, and Beason would be down on the pitch. He would be fine to continue with 15 minutes plus stoppage time left in the first half. A quick pass from Gauld to find Gaspar but the winger was hesitant if he was shooting or crossing and it went over the net for a goal kick. San Jose would respond quickly as Chofis would find Thompson on a nice run into the box. His cut-back was right to Crepeau and the Caps keeper calmly grabbed the ball.
San Jose would take over once again after a turnover and win a free-kick. Jungwirth took a silly foul on Espinoza and the Quakes would send the ball into the box. It was cleared back over halfway before San Jose came back on the attack. A cross from Marie but Crepeau was able to dive on it before taking a boot from Kikanovic. He would get treatment for several minutes but be alright to continue. After the restart, San Jose would go back on the attack. This time it was Godoy that was pushed down for a foul by Ebobisse. The rough stuff continued as Owusu and Rios would come together hard.
Tack on several more minutes of first-half added time as we restarted action in the 40th minute. The play would resume and the home side would work it around their backline. They would try down the left side but a cross into the box was cleared away by the head of Ranko Veselinovic. They would try the other side and Chofis would find Kikanovic in the box. He tried a little back heal but it was to a Whitecap and cleared. Jungwirth would do some nice work to relieve the pressure in the 43rd minute winning a foul against Kikanovic.
The whistle would come out to end the first half for the Whitecaps at Earthquakes. The teams would trade fouls as we moved towards the last minute of regular time. Crepeau had to be sharp once again on a cross from Espinoza. He was able to punch it away before Ryan Gauld looked to break on the counterattack. He was taken down by Thompson who was shown a yellow card for his effort. The 4th official would signal 3 added minutes of stoppage time in the first half and Vancouver tried to attack late.
They would win a deep throw and Godoy would cross it into the box. It would bounce around before San Jose could clear and try and counter. More could by both teams as Caicedo, Remedi, and Espinoza would all be called for infractions. Oliveira had seen enough and blew his whistle on the first half with the Whitecaps at Earthquakes level 0-0 after the first 45 minutes.
Both Teams Strike In An Even 2nd Half For The Whitecaps At Earthquakes
No changes as San Jose would kick things off to start the 2nd half and move in quickly down the right side with Espinoza. He would try a cross in but it was blocked nicely and then cleared by Jungwirth who was everywhere against his former team. San Jose would test the other side with Ebobisse finding Kikanovic but he couldn’t get his flick on the net. The home side was happy to control the play to start the 1st half. A turnover caused by Owusu would almost lead to a chance for Caicedo but it was blocked by the Quakes.
San Jose would take back over as we moved into the 50th minute. A great chance for Ebobisse but his shot was deflected before Kikanovic would get a slow shot. The flag was up and Vancouver could relax as the score remained 0-0. The home side was controlling play and Espinoza had a great chance to open the scoring. Jungwirth was able to get his foot in and disrupt play before a cross into the box was headed over the net by Kikanovic. The pressure was relentless and the home fans were starting to feel it.
Against the run of play, the Whitecaps would open the scoring thanks to some great work from Brian White and Ryan Gauld. A cross into the box and White would touch it down perfectly to Gauld who would play the give and go. White would fire a shot from distance and Marcinkowski was forced to make a diving save. Bruno Gaspar was quick to the rebound and blasted it into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute.
San Jose would almost get the goal right back after a steal from Remedi. He would go for the far post on Maxime Crepeau but it was just wide and the score would remain 1-0 for the Whitecaps at Earthquakes. Dajome would move back in the other way and be fouled hard by Remedi. Caicedo would deliver it into the box but Beason was able to clear. It was only as far as Teibert and he would move in with some room looking for White. It was a poor pass and San Jose was able to regain possession and win a foul in the 57th minute.
Vancouver was allowing the Quakes to play it around the backline and look for counter-attack opportunities. The Whitecaps were giving up too much space down the wings and Espinoza was able to get room and float in a great ball to the back of the box. Kikanovic was finally able to beat the Vancouver Keeper and tie the match up 1-1 in the 60th minute. San Jose would stay on the attack and win a corner kick shortly after the goal. They could feel the momentum shifting and looked to get that second goal. The cross came off a Quake head and out for a goal kick before the Whitecaps made their first changes.
Vanni Sartini would bring on Lucas Cavallini for Caicedo and Michael Baldisimo for Owusu in the 63rd minute looking to spark his squad. The Whitecaps at Earthquakes would win a throw but then turn it right back over after a foul by Cavallini. A long ball looking for Kikanovic on the back post once again was a bit too far and would run out of touch for a goal kick. Crepeau’s delivery was poor and it was once again at the feet of the home side as we moved into the 66th minute. Gaspar would be forced to clear it out for a deep throw but it was sent well over the net by Marie.
The Whitecaps at Earthquakes would come back on the attack and win a corner thanks to a shot from Dajome. Cavallini would turn nicely and switch play to a trailing Dajome. His shot was parried out by Marcinkowski. It was a strong save for the San Jose Keeper to keep the score 1-1. Matias Almeyda would make a line change in the 69th minute of play. Chris Wondolowski would come on to replace Lopez while Carlos Fierro and Shea Salinas would come on for Espinoza and Tommy Thompson.
Ryan Gauld would stand over the ball and deliver it into the near post. Vancouver would remain on the ball but Jungwirth had his touch go heavy and out for a San Jose throw. Vanni Sartini would make another change bringing on Javain Brown for Dajome in the 71st minute. Vancouver had moved up their press after giving up the tieing goal and was forcing turnovers from the home squad. Some room down the right side but the cross was deflected and Marcinkowski was able to grab it and send San Jose back the other way.
The Quakes would win a free kick in the 74th minute but it was cleared by Vancouver. Cavallini tried to take on 3 opponents but San Jose was able to win the ball back. A poor attempt over the top and Veselinovic had time for the Whitecaps but a poor decision would give it right back to San Jose. The Cross was headed wide by Kikanovic and Crepeau would slow things down with a goal kick. It was the Whitecap’s turn to attack as Bruno Gaspar and Ryan Gauld would do some nice work down the left side. They tried to cross it into the box but it would eventually run long to Teibert.
The match moved into the 78th minute with the teams still locked in a 1-1 tie. A mistake from Godoy and Kikanovic would have a great chance of moving into the box. He would try and cut it back but a bunch of white shorts would hit the pitch and block it to keep things tied. It was getting frantic as we neared the last 10 minutes of play. San Jose needed a win to keep their playoff chances alive so we would be in for a great finish. San Jose would control things and Marie would cross it looking for Wondolowski and Salinas.
San Jose would win a corner in the 80th minute but would bring on Cade Cowell for Rios before taking the set piece. The ball would run out the box and Vancouver could clear and take control momentarily. Remedi was able to steal the ball before Baldimiso was called for a foul on Marie. San Jose would make more changes bringing on Jack Skahan for Marie in the 82nd minute of play. The Quakes would deliver it to the top of the box and it was cleared for a second phase. Vancouver would defend well and force it out for a San Jose throw.
A great cross and Ebobisse would almost give the home side the lead but it was wide of the net. Vanni Sartini would take no chances after Ryan Gauld went down with a slight knock. He would bring on Ryan Raposo for Gauld and Jake Nerwinski for Erik Godoy in the 85th minute. Vancouver would steal the ball down the right side after some hard work from Javain Brown. He looked to cross the ball into Brian White but it was cleared to Baldisimo at the halfway line. Cavallini tried to work in but the ball was displaced and Gaspar was forced to foul Wondolowksi.
The home side would take it quickly and try and find Cowell on a run. He was stopped in his tracks by Jungwirth who cleared it and shouted “He-Man” style at the fallen Quake player. San Jose would move back in but the ensuing cross from Wondolowski was headed away by Jungwirth. It would run out to Skahan but his shot from distance was 10 feet over the net. Crepeau could settle things down for the Whitecaps in the 88th minute. Vancouver would move up their press in the final minutes of the match. A shot from distance but Ranko Veselinovic was able to block it and start a counter for the Whitecaps at Earthquakes.
Gaspar would move down the left side but fall going after the ball. He would win it back from the seat of his pants and play it back to Baldisimo at midfield. He would make some fancy moves and look for Brian White but his pass was far too heavy and out for a San Jose goal kick. The 4th official would signal an additional 4 minutes as the Quakes would keep attacking trying to salvage their season. The ball would get crossed in and fall to Wondolowski. It looked like the 3 points would be to San Jose until Maxime Crepeau would come out of nowhere and dive on the ball.
It was amazing as usual from the Canadian keeper to solidify the road point. Crepeau would take his time sending the ball upfield and Vancouver looked to kill the remaining added time. After turning the ball over the home side would get one more chance to strike in the death. Wondolowski would find Salinas but his attempt from just outside the box was gobbled up by the Caps keeper. He would send it downfield as Marcos de Oliveira would blow the final whistle. It was a solid road point for the Whitecaps at Earthquakes to stay right in the thick of things with 3 matches left.
Whitecaps At Earthquakes Post Match Thoughts And Media
A point gained or 2 points lost? What did Vanni Sartini think of his squad’s performance after the Whitecaps at Earthquakes played to a 1-1 draw.
“You could see even from the first half that we were a little tired today, we weren’t able to be aggressive and do the pressure like we normally do and they were playing like kind of a last chance game, put in all the arrows on the field. So we had to suffer, and second half I think it went better in the sense that we managed better when we put Michael [Baldisimo] and we put Gauld a little behind, playing kind of in a 3-5-2 instead of 3-4-1-2.”
“I know that we had a lot of chances, even in the last 10 minutes, not real chances but potential to manage those counter attacks in a better way because there was really high, because they were attacking with eight, nine players sometimes. And of course it was very hard to defend, but also it was very, kind of easy, to attack the space if we were doing the better choices, I would say better decisions.”
“But in the end, I think it’s a very good point. It’s a point on the road and on the third game, seven points in in three games in this, I would say kind of hell week, that we were supposed to have against the top two teams and in San Jose, so I’m very happy.”
Maxime Crepeau was next to speak about his team’s performance on the road against San Jose. And about a playoff push from the Whitecaps in the last 3 matches of the season.
“We’ve been working all year long and it comes down to the last eight, last seven games, where it’s a playoff push. The objective is to be above that line all year long, but at the end of the day, MLS there’s always a push towards the end and we’re right in it. The seven points that we got in the last three is helping us to build momentum and believe that we can beat and get results pretty much everywhere.”
“Now Wednesday, obviously against Minnesota, they have one point on us, if I’m not mistaken I just looked at the standings really quick. And, I mean that’s the one, that’s the one that will be really, really huge. Portland lost as well if I’m not mistaken. So, it’s points up for grab. We’re home, we want to make a fortress, we need our fans to show up, guys show up, we need you, and we’ll all be together there.”
Last, unfortunately for him, was Jake Nerwinski. He got the bad end of a sweaty chair but was looking past it to Wednesday against Minnesota United FC.
“We weren’t celebrating too much to be honest, and I think that kind of shows what team we’ve become. We weren’t satisfied completely with how we played. It’s always big to get a point on the road, a seven point week is huge for us and it’s keeping us in a playoff spot. But after this game, it wasn’t anything like Portland where we were celebrating hard, we know that we still have a big, big job to do.
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
The Unnamed Player Of The Match
This was a tough one because Maxime Crepeau had such a great match between the sticks for the Whitecaps at Earthquakes. But “The Unnamed Player Of The Match” goes to the man left out of the roster in the last match at Paypal park…
Florian Jungwirth had a beast of a game and was refered to several times as “He-Man” in the post-game media. He has had an infectious attitude ever since he joined the club and it is very evident everyone is happy to have him around in the locker room. He even made a sliding tackle, got up, and yelled at Cade Cowell. please don’t ever change Flo!
The Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match
Why is it always Jake that has to come out last and sit in someone else’s pool of sweat? Last time it was Jake sitting in the chair after Flo. This time it was coming out after Max. I need to remind Jake to bring a towel when he comes last to the media.
The Unnamed Away Supporter Of The Match
With “Caps on Tour” flying the skies like Leonardo Dicaprio, we have to turn to the away supporters that are doing their thing from home. Everyone should know Couch Ultras who crushed it with a Super Mario-themed Tifo this week hoping to bash the Quakes.
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
With the draw, the Vancouver Whitecaps stay above the playoff line the MLS Western Conference standings. A huge matchup Wednesday night at BC Place against Minnesota United will go a long way to help the Whitecaps stay there. BC Place will have full capacity and the team couldn’t be happier.
Make sure to check out the Sports Talk Line website as the MLS season winds down to decision day. Follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for all the latest as the Whitecaps train this week and get ready for a mid-week showdown against the Loons.