Whitecaps vs Sounders

Whitecaps vs Sounders Battle To A 1-1 Draw And Vancouver Can Celebrate The Playoffs For The First Time Since 2017

The Vancouver Whitecaps vs Sounders did just enough to earn a 1-1 draw Sunday afternoon at BC Place Stadium. The result pushed them into the MLS Playoffs for the first time since 2017. In front of a massive crowd of over 25,000, the Whitecaps fell down 1-0 early after a handball was called on Cristian Dajome. Fredy Montero would make his former team pay from the spot.

The Whitecaps would battle back in the 1st half to equalize thanks to a Ryan Gauld header. Maxime Crepeau who was named 2021 MVP after the match concluded, had a strong performance with an amazing late save to preserve the result. Let’s check out how the match went down and then get into the post-match media, “The Unnamed Moments of The Match” and more.

News, Notes, And Lineups

Vancouver Whitecaps

Head coach Vanni Sartini would make two changes to the starting lineup that played to a 1-1 draw against LAFC. Vancouver would start with the usual 3-4-1-2 lineup with Maxime Crepeau between the sticks. Florian Jungwirth, Ranko Veselinovic, and Jake Nerwinksi would start from right to left at the backline. Russel Teibert and Leonard Owusu would start in midfield with Cristian Gutierrez flanked out on the left and Javain Brown out wide on the right.

Whitecaps vs Sounders Starting Lineup

In his biggest match to date as a Whitecap, Ryan Gauld would start in his normal role. Brian White has 6 goals in his last 7 matches and would try to improve upon that up top with Cristian Dajome. Lots of attacking choices for Vanni Sartini when he decides to go to his bench. He would be without both Erik Godoy and Deiber Caicedo as options for the match.

Seattle Sounders

The Sounders and Brian Schmetzer would go with an interesting lineup as they tried to secure the top spot in the MLS Western Conference. No change to the 3-4-2-1 formation but three changes to the squad that played to a 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy. No changes in the net or to the backline as Stefan Frei would start behind Nouhou, Xavier Arreaga, and Yeimer from left to right.

Whitecaps vs Sounders Lineup

Brad Smith, Kelyn Rowe, Nicolas Benezet, and Alex Roldan would patrol the midfield from left to right. Josh Atencio and Cristian Roldan would try and provide service to former Whitecap, Fredy Montero. Vancouver catches a bit of a break as both Raul Ruidiaz and Nicolas Lodeiro are out of the twenty with injuries.

Sounders Strike Early In The 1st Half But The Whitecaps Respond

The Whitecaps would kick things off in the 1st half and after a brief turnover, they would win an early corner. Ryan Gauld would skip it along the ground into the top of the box. It would run out to Cristian Gutierrez but his shot was wide of the net. The sounders would turn things over themselves in the 2nd minute to Gauld. He was able to find White but his cutback attempt for Dajome was blocked out for another corner. This time it was delivered in a nice spot but White wasn’t able to head it on target.

It was a nice start from the home side as Teibert would get on the end of a long pass. He would try and find White but it was a bit heavy and ran out for a goal kick. Another quick change of possession as Vancouver was having its way of controlling the ball. The 1st half moved past the 5-minute mark and Seattle would get their first chance on the attack. Roldan would try and cross it in but it was cleared out for a corner off brown.

The ball was played into the box and headed off the arm of Dajome. Fotis Bazakas would point to the stop and Fredy Montero would make no mistake for the 1-0 lead in the 8th minute. He would wait out Crepeau and slot it into the right side of the net. Seattle had the start they wanted to quiet the home crowd and Montero keeps adding salt into the wounds of the Whitecaps.

Whitecaps vs Sounders: Fredy Montero Gives Seattle The Early Lead

The play would resume with a turnover by the Whitecaps before the Sounders tried going over the top. They were called for offside but would win it back and Fredy Montero would draw a 10th-minute foul on Gauld. It was a goal against the run of play as the Whitecaps got back on possession. Dajome would win a foul against Yeimar and move players forward. Owusu would deliver it beautifully to Brian White but his header was just wide of the post and the score remained 1-0.

The Whitecaps vs Sounders would slow things down and play it through the back waiting for space. White would find some down the left side and win a 15th-minute corner. It was a nice delivery into the box and would bounce around before Dajome missed on the volley. It was far out to the right and out for a Sounders throw. They would try and attack quickly but Dajome was able to come up with a block on the cross and Vancouver would regain possession. The fans were starting to regroup after the goal as Vancouver controlled the play.

Whitecaps vs Sounders | Sports Talk Line
Whitecaps vs Sounders 1st Half Action

Brown would cross in a great ball and Frei had to come off his line. He wasn’t able to grab it but Dajome was beaten by Arreaga to the loose ball and it was cleared out of danger. Seattle would control things as we moved into the 19th minute of the 1st half. Rowe would test Crepeau from distance but the Caps keeper had solid hands and didn’t let any rebound out for Montero.

Vancouver would re-take control but they were working it around at midfield and not pressing the issue. That would change as Gutierrez would deliver a great ball in from the left side and find Brian White. He was able to head it right to Gauld who put it off the far post and past Frei to tie things 1-1 in the 20th minute. It was a quick strike from the Whitecaps who hadn’t shown much in offense to start the match. Brian White would need some medical attention after getting cut above the eyebrow but he would be okay to continue.

1st Half Action Whitecaps vs Sounders

The play would restart as the match moved into the 23rd minute. Dajome would try and win a foul down the right side on the attack after Vancouver won the ball back. It was waved up by referee Bazakos and play resumed. Vancouver would come back in but Ryan Gauld wasn’t able to dribble through 4 green shirts and turned it over. The play would get a bit physical in the 25th minute as Vanni Sartini got animated on the Caps bench. Seattle would win a throw and Benezet would try and rush in alone but the ball would roll off his foot right to Crepeau.

The Sounders would get a great chance to take the lead after a nice give and go from Benezet and Smith. Smith would cut it back and find Montero but his shot was robbed by Crepeau as the 26th minute came to an end. Vancouver would work back on the attack and try more direct through the midfield. Jungwirth would find Teibert on a nice run and he would win a 28th-minute throw for the home side. It was taken poorly and turned back over to Seattle. It was a short-lived possession as Montero would make a bad pass and give it right back to Leonard Owusu.

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Whitecaps vs Sounders

Both teams would trade turnovers and the Sounders would start getting impatient. Brown would do some nice work on Nouhou and win a corner kick. The Sounders defender did not agree with the decision and was shown a yellow card in the 31st minute. Gauld would cut the ball into the near post but it was flicked out for another corner. This time it would rattle around in front of Dajome before Frei came out of his net to calm things down. Vancouver almost had a great chance but a pass to Ryan Gauld would run just beyond his reach and the Whitecaps were forced to regroup.

Seattle would take control and work things around the outside but that was all the room they would get. A cross into the box and Crepeau was able to come off his line without any pressure. The Sounders would get a great chance to take the lead once again but a shot by Roldan wasn’t saved by a sprawling Crepeau and Nerwinski, who was also on the turf. Vancouver would clear and Yeimar would get a yellow card in the 35th minute as he tried to stop the counterattack. The Whitecaps would head back into the attacking end and Dajome would look to cross it into White. It was cleared away before deflecting out for a goal kick.

Both teams would trade turnovers before the Sounders controlled things. They would play things around the left side but Vancouver kept a nice shape at the back and limited any penetration. Teibert looked to win the ball cleanly but was called for a foul on Fredy Montero in a good spot. It was sent right through the box and out for a goal-kick. Vancouver was able to slow down the first half after winning a thrown down on the right side. Jungwirth would play it back to Ranko and Vancouver was happy to play it at the back momentarily.

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Whitecaps vs Sounders

Jungwirth would run it down the right side and try and find Gauld. It was too long but Vancouver would remain in control. The Whitecaps would control as the match moved into the 42d minute. Roldan would steal the ball from Dajome and the Caps forward would take a cheeky foul. The teams would be comfortable to see the 1st half end in a 1-1 draw as the urgency wasn’t there. A late foul by Dajome and the Sounders would win a free-kick but nothing would come from the attack. The 4th official would signal an added 2 minutes of stoppage time and the teams would go into the half-tied 1-1.

The Teams Solidify Their Playoff Spots In The 2nd Half

The Sounders would make the only change at half bringing on Jordan Morris to replace Josh Atencio. Seattle would kick things off to start the half and both teams would trade turnovers as we quickly moved into the 48th minute. Vancouver knew if the result held they would be in the playoffs and they started the half with that mentality. Seattle would take a deep throw in their half but play it right to Gutierrez. It would eventually come to Owusu in the middle of the park but his pass to Gauld was too long and right back to the visiting side.

The Sounders didn’t look comfortable and continually gave it right back to Vancouver. Owusu and Gauld almost connected on a nice run but it was cleared and Seattle would go on the counter-attack. Brown would make a nice defensive run back and force Morris to let it go out for a goal kick. Space would start to open up for Vancouver as Gutierrez would try and find White on an early run. It was cleared away but the Caps would remain in possession. Vancouver should have taken the 2-1 lead in the 51st minute.

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Whitecaps vs Sounders

Gauld would send a great ball down the left side to Gutierrez. He was able to cross it into the box between the two defenders right to Brian White. His header was just far from the post and out of touch. He would once again need to head off the pitch to get medical attention and change jerseys. Vancouver would stay on the ball and Dajome would win a free kick in the 53rd minute after being pushed in the back by Brad Smith. Dajome would make a run with the ball down the left side but he didn’t have any support and the cross was well wide of the net.

Brad Smith would try and force the issue for Seattle but a good defensive play from Brown would win another goal-kick. The match moved past the 55th minute with the score still tied 1-1. Vancouver would get another chance to take the lead after some nice work from Gauld and White. It was cut back into the box but Dajome wasn’t able to get on the end of it. Seattle would try and counter quickly and win a free-kick after Benezet was fouled by White. It was delivered into the box but far too close to Crepeau who would grab the ball and slow things down.

Crepeau would try and spring Brian White on a quick run but he was called for offside and the Sounders would re-take control. Roldan would try and find some room down the left side but would run right into Florian Jungwirth and the ball would come to Brown. He was able to clear before a foul was called on Morris. The Whitecaps would attack quickly trying to break the tie. Seattle would give too much space to Ryan Gauld in the middle of the pitch but his pass for White was just a bit too long and out for a goal kick.

Whitecaps vs Quakes | Sports Talk Line
Whitecaps vs Sounders 2nd Half Action

The match moved into the 60th minute and space was opening up for both sides. Vancouver would control things with no rush to get forward. It was starting to frustrate the Sounders as Fredy Montero would foul Jake Nerwinski. The Sounders looked to have a promising rush but the cross-in was too close to the Caps defender and Montero would go through his back. Brian Schmetzer would make his second substitution of the match replacing Brad Smith with Danny Leyva. The play would be halted momentarily for a Seattle injury but play would resume as the match moved past the 65th minute.

Seattle would control and Montero would make a nice run into the box. His cross would run past everyone and out the other side. Seattle would remain in control with a throw from the left side. Javain Brown would take a foul on Danny Leyva and the Sounders could move players forward. Montero would drive it into the front of the box and it was cleared easily by the Whitecaps. Stefan Frei would fire it downfield and Seattle would push once more. Roldan would try and cross it into the box from the right side but ended up slipping and the ball would run out for a Caps goal-kick.

Owusu would give Vancouver some time on possession in the attacking zone. He would win a free kick in the 70th minute of play. Seattle would teal and Dajome was lucky not to see a yellow card for a foul on Arreaga. Vancouver would make their first substitution of the match bringing on Janio Bikel to replace Dajome in a very defensive-minded switch. The Whitecaps and Vanni Sartini would switch to a 3-5-2 formation. Seattle would win a corner right away and it was a nervous moment for Vancouver as Crepeau was forced off his line and had to punch it away.

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Whitecaps vs Sounders

Nerwinski could break out and relieve the pressure before switching play to Brown. Brown would do some nice work to win a 73rd-minute corner. Ryan Gauld would float it right into the arms of Frei and the score remained 1-1. Both teams would trade turnovers before Vancouver would make another change in the 75th minute. Bruno Gaspar would come on to replace Brown as both teams had 3 changes remaining for the final 15 minutes plus stoppage time. The Whitecaps would push to take the lead as the match moved on in the 2nd half. Gauld would look to spring White but once again his touch was heavy and Seattle would take over.

They were even quicker to turn the ball over and Crepeau would send the ball long in the 77th minute. White would find Gutierrez down the left side and his cross was to the back off the box. It was right on the foot of Bruno Gaspar but his cut-back was cleared away before Gauld could get on the end of it. Seattle would trade turnovers and get a great chance in the 79th minute. The ball was given away from Janio Bikel and ran out to Kelyn Rowe but his shot was over the net as he put his hands to his head.

The play would resume with a hard foul but Vancouver would play the possession. Danny Leyva would be shown a yellow card when play stopped for his tackle on Gaspar. Seattle would get the next chance but some great defending by Jungwirth would send Gauld off on the counter-attack. Some nice work by Gauld and Frei was forced to play it out for corner kick. The Scottsman would deliver it in and Veselinovic looked to give Vancouver the 2-1 lead by Montero was sharp at the back post to save the goal. Owusu would send it in but White and Frei would collide and the Sounders would come out with the free-kick.

Whitecaps vs Sounders 2nd Half Action

The Sounders would take control and switch play down the left side. It was crossed into the box and would run out to Roldan before Seattle would win a throw. Another switch for the away side as Leo Chu would come on for Kelyn Rowe. The Whitecaps would quickly regain control of the ball and Gaspar would try to go on the attack but turn the ball over. Seattle would control and Morris would try and cross the ball into the box but it was cleared momentarily. The Sounders would remain in control as we moved into the 87th minute.

Vancouver would win a throw and slow things down as Gauld did some nice work down the left touchline. The Fans could feel the playoffs but a turnover by Nerwinski would send the visiting squad back the other way. A cross into the box but Maxime Crepeau was impeded by Fredy Montero. He was called for a foul and Vancouver could let more time tick away from the clock. Seattle would finally win the ball back as we moved into the 90th minute of play. They were trying to secure the 1st round playoff bye with a late goal.

Some nice work by Jungwirth and Veselinovic to block shots and the ball would come out wide. It was crossed back in but the shot from Leo Chu wasn’t anywhere near the net and Vancouver could make their final switch of the match in the 1st minute of stoppage time. Lucas Cavallini would replace Brian White as the 4th official would signal an added 3 minutes. Owusu would try and kill more time down the left side but his touch was heavy and Seattle would take control. Things would get nervous for the home side in the last couple of minutes of action.

Whitecaps vs Sounders

Seattle would win a late corner with just 30 seconds left in added time. Veselinovic was able to clear but the Sounders were right back in on the attack. Cavallini would take down Benezet and set up one last late chance for the Sounders to come away with all 3 points at BC Place. It was sent shortly to Roldan and after bouncing off Yeimer it would bounce dangerously into the box. Montero would head it on the net but Crepeau was able to stop it while dealing with the Sounder contact. It was a season-saving stop from the Caps MVP.

Thins would calm down and Crepeau would send the final kick before Fotis Bazakos would blow the final whistle. It was a thrilling finish for the Whitecaps who end up needing the draw to solidify their playoff hopes. You could see the relief from the squad as they joined the supporters to sing the most well-deserved “Stand By Me” of the season.

Post Match Thoughts And Media

It was a lively media as expected after the Vancouver Whitecaps vs Sounders were able to hold on for the 1-1 draw and punch their ticket to the playoffs. Several players posted Instagram live stories to commemorate the celebration. Vanni Sartini joined the podium along with his technical staff to deliver a heartfelt message after the victory. He spoke about the team’s drive to see the result home in the second half.

Whitecaps vs Sounders Post Match Media… Group Media

“I think we did a miracle. Pure and simple. And we’ve been fantastic. And I’m not talking about only my time in charge. I’m talking even before. If we went to the playoff, it’s also credit to Marc Dos Santos and Phillip Dos Santos that were here before because the team was already improving a lot. The team was starting to win. And so it’s their win too, not only the win that we’re here now.”

Vanni would also speak about the support of the fans at BC Place on a huge match for the Whitecaps vs Sounders.

“It was fantastic, You Know, that’s the reason why we do this thing, it’s to share the beautiful moment with the fans and to receive from them the relation and to really have a fantastic moment with them and it’s also our way to thank them. If we are in the playoffs, the fans played an enormous role. Because if we weren’t able to play here in front of our fans, we wouldn’t have done 22 points at BC Place in nine games, so we owe it to them.”

Maxime Crepeau would speak next and be joined halfway through my question by Ryan Gauld. I asked how close the locker room was after a stretch like that to make the playoffs on the final day of the season. “That close,” he said as he clutched Ryan at the podium. He was also asked about the last-minute flurry to keep things 1-1.

Whitecaps vs Sounders

“It was a play that it’s like, it’s not a clean play and it bobbles a little bit, ball’s loose. Someone got on the end of it and I have to throw my body in the way and then from there, Flo gets kicked and obviously, it escalated. You know, the tensions are high, especially at that time of the game. But I’m happy that we had a tie and the goal tonight was to be in the playoff spot at the end of the 90 minutes plus so we have a two-week preparation ahead of Kansas City.”

Ryan Gauld would speak last about the mentality of the squad in the locker room on a match-by-match basis.

“Yeah, I would say it’s like the closest changing room I’ve been in. Everyone gets on with everyone. Everyone’s wanting to fight for each other. It’s a great change room to be a part of, that definitely helps you out on the pitch. When there’s times when someone’s beaten, another boy’s there to help you. So I think it’s been a huge, huge factor in us putting together good results and managing to get into the playoffs.”

The Unnamed Moments Of The Match

A great result for the Whitecaps vs Sounders meant lots of post-match celebration from the teams and fans alike! Let’s get right into “The Unnamed Moments Of The Match”.

The Unnamed Fans Of The Match

BC Place was the site of the largest crowd for a sporting event in British Columbia since the start of the pandemic. Over 25, 000 people announced in attendance to cheer on their Caps in a playoff push. It was much appreciated by the squad and they capped things off with another glorious rendition of “Stand By Me” with the supporters and fans.

The Fans Showed Up For The Whitecaps vs Sounders
Whitecaps vs Sounders
Whitecaps vs Sounders
Whitecaps vs Sounders

The Unnamed MVP Of The Season

Was there ever any doubt as to who this was going to be? Sure Ryan Gauld and Brian White have had amazing seasons but it all started and stopped with the Whitecaps keeper this season. Congrats to the 2021 MVP of the regular season for the Vancouver Whitecaps Maxime Crepeau.

Whitecaps vs Sounders

The Unnamed Media Moments Of The Match

I normally get my producer to clip my questions during media access. The team plays it live on their social media platforms. Tonight was a bit different as Vanni Sartini and the rest of the squad were in particularly good moods and the quotes were flowing freely Sunday night. I can’t really tell you what happened but make sure to check back to the Whitecaps Twitter account when they edit it up for appropriate viewing!

Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps Playoffs

The Vancouver Whitecaps vs Sounders earned a big 1-1 draw and can now focus on the MLS Playoffs. They will take on Sporting Kansas City on the road after the international break. Can they just take them on or does Vanni Sartini have bigger plans for the Vancouver Whitecaps playoff run?

The season continues for the Vancouver Whitecaps after the international break. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for the latest news and updates as we get closer to playoff action.

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