The Whitecaps vs Valour FC finally got the Canadian Championship burden off their back with a 2-0 victory Wednesday night. Russell Teibert opened the scoring in the 19th minute before Ryan Raposo would double the lead shortly after in the 22nd minute.
That was all Vancouver needed as they sat back and let Valour FC try and break through their backline. It’s the second straight win for the Whitecaps who are coming off a big 1-0 win over Toronto FC in MLS action. It was also important for Vancouver to get to the next round of the Canadian Championship. Vanni Sartini spoke about it after the match.
“I would say learn from the past situations. There was a lot of players that were with us last year when we lost the Pacific. Some of them even though were with us three years ago when we lost against Calgary, so they knew that we had to do much better than and we did.”
All roads now lead to Calgary in the Canadian Championship and back home to the San Jose Earthquake this weekend to try and climb out of the MLS Western Conference basement.
Lineups, News, and Notes For The Whitecaps vs Valour FC
The Vancouver Whitecaps and head coach Vanni Sartini would make minimal changes to the lineup that was able to pull out a 1-0 victory over TFC. Cody “The Stopper” Cropper would start in the net with Thomas Hasal out for the next 6 weeks. Jake Newrwinski, Ranko Veselinovic, Florian Jungwirth, and Marcus Godinho start at the back from left to right.
Canadians Micahel Baldisimo and Russell Teibert would start in the midfield flanked by Ryan Raposo and Ryan Gauld. Deiber Caicedo and Lucas Cavallini would start up top for the Whitecaps vs Valour FC in a 4-2-2 formation.
Former Whitecaps assistant coach, and now Valour FC coach Phil Dos Santos would go with a straight down lineup. You all know how I feel about these lineup graphics and I refuse to name the starting lineup!
Rayane Yesli would start in the net with Rocco Romeo, Stefan Cebara, former Cap Brett Levis and Frederico Pena. Diego Gutierrez, Daryl Fordyce, and William Akio would be the next three players listed. Sean Rea, Alessandro Riggi and Moses Dryer would round out the bottom of the list.
Whitecaps Come Out With A Purpose In The 1st Half
Valour FC would kick things off to start the 1st half from BC Place Stadium. Both teams went into the first 5 minutes very tentative as the match got underway. Valour FC would win the first corner of the match in the 5th minute. The cross was at the top of the box and Vancouver was easily able to clear it. Dajome would try and break out for the Caps but get hauled down by Valour for the foul and Vancouver was able to slow things down.
Some early controversy as a shot by Cavallini looked to go off an arm but a corner kick was awarded by referee Alain Ruich. It was taken short and whipped towards the back of the box but the header by Cavallini was right into the feet of Yesli. The play would counter with Valour FC moving in on the attack. Akio would get sent in on a long pass and make a nice move on Nerwinski. He was able to get a shot away but it was right at Cody Cropper for an easy save.
Valour would stay on the attack and Cavallini was forced to give up a 10th-minute corner. Brett Levis was able to get a head-on it but it would run well off target and out for a goal kick. Against the run of play, Vancouver would get a great chance down the left side of the pitch. Cavallini had tonnes of space and floated in a great ball to Caicedo but his free header was over the net and the match remained scoreless. Vancouver seemed to want to let Valour control play early in the match and look for their chances to counter-attack.
The Caps would start to control more as we neared the 15th minute. They would win a free kick in the Valour FC half and move players forward. Gauld and Raposo would stand over the ball and drive it into the box. It was cleared easily and the 2nd phase was shot over the net by Cavallini. The physical play would pick up as Baldisimo would plough over Sean Rea for a Valour Free kick. The visiting side would control things and play it around the back before sending it out of touch for a turnover.
Vancouver would win another corner kick after the two squads would trade turnovers. It was initially cleared but the Caps would strike in the 19th minute. Some beautiful passing from Ryan Gauld and Michale Baldisimo would lead to a great shot on Yesli. The rebound would spill out to who else? Russell Teibert made no mistake putting it in the back of the net for the 1-0 Vancouver lead.
The Whitecaps would win the ball back right after the goal thanks to a clumsy foul by Valour. Gauld would fire it into the box but it was right to Yesli who didn’t have to come far off his line. It wouldn’t be long before Vancouver doubled their lead off a throw-in. Gauld was able to find a streaking Caicedo and he layed it off perfectly for a wide-open Ryan Raposo. Just like that, it was 2-0 for the Whitecaps vs Valour FC at the 22nd-minute mark.
Valour FC would try and break through the Vancouver backline but Ranko Veselinovic was having non of it as he stepped into the attacker and came away easily with the ball. The visiting side would continue to press but a chip across the box from Pena was over everyone and out for a goal-kick. The match would move into the 26th minute and Vancouver would win the ball back once again and Caicedo would rush down the left side. He was forced to turn back but the Whitecaps remained in control.
They would work it around the back and down the left side and win another corner kick. It was a great ball in from Gauld and Veseliniovic was able to get a good header on it. Yesli was able to make the save and keep the score 2-0 in the 27th minute. After clearing it briefly down to the Caps end Valour was once again forced to defend. They would do well and win a throw deep in their own half to try and slow things down and regroup.
It seemed like a very big uphill battle for Valour as every time they would win it back they would lose it right away. Vancouver would move in again on the attack as Raposo had way too much space on the left side. He fired a shot that Yesli had to be sharp to punch out but the Caps would stay in control. Godinho would get the next chance as Valour FC just didn’t seem to want to cover the left-hand side of the pitch. Cavallini would float a ball to the back post and Godinho just missed the volley wide of the target.
It was all Vancouver as we moved into the 32nd minute. Another long attempt on net and Yesli was called upon to make another stop for Valour FC. Some bad news for the Whitecaps in the 33rd minute as Micahle Baldisimo would go up for a header but come down a bit awkwardly. He was unable to continue and Sebastian Berhalter was substituted in the 35th minute. He was given a nice embrace from head coach Vanni Sartini as he was clearly disappointed having to come off the pitch.
After the play resumed Vancouver would continue to dictate play in the 1st half. Valour would win a free kick in a dangerous spot in the 27th minute but it was taken quickly and Valour FC wasn’t able to get any real chance from it. The left side was attacked so much by Vancouver and again Cavallini would have a chance to cross it dangerously into Caicedo. He wasn’t able to connect on his spinning heel kick and it would go out for a goal-kick.
The away side would resort to fouls to slow things down and Gutierrez, The Valour FC one, was shown a yellow card in the 39th minute. Without being able to control the ball Valour would try and clog up the middle of the pitch against the Whitecaps. It looked like Cavallini had a great chance but he was a couple of steps offside and the 1st half continued with Vancouver up 2-0. Valour would try to counter quickly but it was knocked out for a Caps throw.
The pressure for Valour FC would continue and Dyer was sent in alone but he was well offside. The Caps would come right back and Raposo would test Yesli with a weak shot but it was no problem for the Valour keeper. The squad from Winnipeg would get a great chance to get on the board in the 44th minute. The advantage was played and Dyer was able to float it into a wide-open Akio but his header was poor and over the net.
The 4th official would signal an additional 2 minutes and Valour would try and get a late first-half goal. Rea was able to walk into the top of the box and fire one on Cropper but the American was able to get the hand up before smothering the rebound. For Vancouver, it was the start they wanted and for Valour FC the second half would leave all kinds of questions.
The Whitecaps vs Valour FC Would Hold It Down In The 2nd Half
The Whitecaps would kick off the 2nd half with the 2-0 lead. Phil Dos Santos would make one change by bringing on Andy Baquero to replace Riggi. Valour would win the ball back quickly and start the second half in Vancouver’s half. They were able to string together some passes but the Caps weren’t leaving any spaces. Rea would try and work down the left side but it was defended nicely and the ball would roll out for a goal-kick.
Valour FC was doing a nice job of holding possession as we moved into the 50th minute. But Vancouver was very comfortable with all of the play being around the backline. The two teams would trade turnovers before Valour would push back in. It was whipped into the box but Veselinovic was there to head it away and out for a goal kick. It was played upfield and Cavallini would get a bit too physical and be shown a yellow card in the 53rd minute.
The second half started like the 1st half with both teams just sitting back. Vancouver had a reason too with the 2-0 lead. Caicedo looked to be sent in down the right side but was called for offside. Thins would slow right down before Valour would attack in the 57th minute. They would win a free-kick right at the top of the box. Gutierrez would try for a goal but sent it right over the top of the net and didn’t challenge Cropper. It was a wasted free-kick for Valour FC.
Vancouver would come right back on the attack and after a couple of failed attempts into the box, it was floated to Raposo. He was able to test Yesli once again before the rebound was cleared out of touch for a corner by Akio. Raposo would deliver in the corner to the middle of the box but Yesli punched it away before diving on the rebound. Vancouver tried to break out once again but Cavallini was offside and Vanni Sartini would make changes.
Pedro Vite, Brian White and Javain Brown would come on to replace Lucas Cavallini, Deiber Caicedo and Ryan Raposo in the 61st minute. Valour would get the next chance but Dyer’s shot was well wide of the net and didn’t test Cody “The Stopper” Cropper. Pena would take a hard tumble and be down for a minute but nothing would come of the play. The action really slowed down as Vancouver was happy with the 2-0 lead and didn’t feel the need to press players forward.
Vancouver would get a great chance to add to their lead in the 67th minute as Ryan Gauld would get a pass off to Brian White. His shot was blocked and Valour FC was able to clear the danger. Vancouver was right back in on the attack and they seemed to be tired of sitting back. More subs for Valour FC as we hit the 69th minute as Brett Levis would be replaced by Matthew Catavolo. Vancouver would keep pushing and Ryan Gauld would be sprung on a great chance.
He would fire it straight Yesli who was able to direct the rebound and Valour FC calmed things down. Ryan Gauld would make way shortly after for Cristian Dajome in the 72nd minute. While Anthony Mikhael would come on for Pena for Valour FC. The visiting side would control as the match remained 2-0 in the 74th minute. Daryl Fordyce would be called for a foul on Brian White and shown a yellow card just as we moved into the 74th minute.
The Whitecaps would try and attack quickly down the left side but it was cleared out for a throw. Vancouver could feel the victory and started to press upfield a bit more. They would win the ball back and look to cross it into the box but it was cleared for another throw. Valour would get a chance on the counterattack after an errant pass from Vancouver. Rea would find Akio with space down the middle but his shot was once again off target and didn’t test Cropper.
Vancouver would once again control possession as the match moved into the 79th minute. There was no rush to get things forward but they were trying to bait Valour FC into getting their backline too high up the field. Phil Dos Santos would make two more changes replacing the injured Gutierrez with Jacob Duarte and Matteo Brienne for William Akio in the 81st and 82nd minutes. Valour would control things as the clock slowly ticked away.
The Whitecaps were happy to let Valour FC play it around the backline far away from their net. They would take over possession and win a foul in the 84th minute to waste even more time. It was low event footy as the Caps could see the victory. Valour FC would see a late opportunity to make it a match in the 88th minute after a foul by Berhalter on Brienne. Catavolo would drive it into the front of the box but Vancouver was able to clear.
The 4th official would signal 3 added minutes Vancouver needed to kill off. Pedro Vite would try and get the 3rd goal for the Caps but the shot was deflected to Yesli. A late corner would kill off the remaining time and it was a solid performance from the caps as the final whistle would blow. Vanni Sartini would speak about the importance of the match to the media.
Post Match Thoughts And Media Availability
We heard from both teams after the 2-0 Whitecaps vs Valour FC victory. Former Whitecap Brett Levis spoke about the opportunity for some of these players to line up against a player on a $10 million dollar transfer fee and the team has to take it in stride and not let it affect their Canadian Premier League season.
“I think for a lot of these players, this was a big stage this is one of their biggest games. A lot of young players, their first professional contracts coming from university and now they get to see guys that are $10 million transfer feats. So I think there was a bit of nerve that beginning again I thought we settled in a lot, a lot more in the second half but obviously not the result we wanted.”
“One thing we pride our team on is, you know, as long as the game is in each, there’s always an opportunity to swing the game and whether we’re playing an MLS team or CPL team or whoever. That’s the mindset that we have is to continue to maintain that belief.” Brett Levis would speak about the mindset of his team.
Valour FC head coach Phil Dos Santos spoke next with the media. He talked about the resilience of his team to come back and fight in the second half after a tough start.
“We already know it’s a hard task to come in and get a result and as soon as you can see it and we can see the back to back goals very, very quick. So yeah there are doubts. You’re just the guy [who] started to make more mistakes, more uncertainty in the team a little bit less cohesive that division and we struggled to deal with that. I feel that after that we made some adjustments at halftime on our one press better to deal better with the movements in between our lines and even in behind and it was a better second.”
Vanni Sartini spoke for the Vancouver Whitecaps after the match about the team’s play and how he thought they took the foot off the pedal in the second half.
“I think that we relaxed too much in the second half, I wanted to see more hunger from the players to close the game because 2-0 is still an open game, anything can happen. They had a side free kick in minute 89 and we dealt with it but if they scored it then the last 5 minutes become serious. I think we relaxed too much in the 2nd half.”
“There was a lot of players with us last year when we lost to Pacific and some of them were also here with us 3 years ago when we lost to Calgary so they knew we had to do much better and they did so.”
Ryan Raposo spoke next for the Whitecaps and I asked him about having that self-belief and using it to push himself in not only the MLS play but in matches like Wednesday night.He also talked about the overall match and how the team could have scored a couple more goals in the match.
“Yeah, we definitely could have got a couple more. No, but it’s good for the confidence of the team. No one was overly excited. Like they weren’t expecting it. Yeah, it’s good and it’s good for team morale and it’s good for the team to get a couple of goals and more importantly keep a clean sheet. That’s two games in a row where we haven’t conceded and yeah, we’re good at home.”
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
A win and 2 goals! One of them by Rusty! You know what is coming in The UNnamed Moments Of The Match. The Canadian Captain is of course your Goal of the Match and the moment of the match also goes to a Canadian but not for a happy reason.
The Unnamed Goal Of The Match
You know who it’s going to tonight. Russell Teibert silenced his 7 haters and scored the first goal for the Caps in the 19th minute and set the stage for a 2-0 victory. Sarita Cam captured it perfectly as usual, and was most likely wearing high heels so respect!
Take that Absolutely Eze! You know I am calling you out after this one!
The Unnamed Moment Of The Match
We are all with you Baldy!
The Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match
Joshua Rey likes to sit in the front row and didn’t even ask a question but that didn’t stop Phil Dos Santos from asking, “Who are you?” after the media concluded. Not to be outdone Joshua would once again show up in my zoom feed as he stood up and got in the way of the camera. Joshua’s for the Win!
The Unnamed We Ain’t Done Yet Of The Match
Ryan Raposos would make it 2-0 for the Whitecaps vs Valour FC in the 22nd minute. Instead of celebrating he would immediately run and get the ball. The match wasn’t over and Vancouver needed to keep pushing he said. This is the mentality the squad needs to keep for the rest of the season no matter what match they are in.
“Like I’ve said previously, that’s a really good group. It’s a really, really good group and we never get down on ourselves or, or anything. So yeah, I think these two wins are important for the team. But we also understand that these next few games at home are even more important. And then obviously getting points on the road. That’s something we struggled with this year. So yeah, I think in time, we’ll figure it out.”
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
Once again it is just 2 days off for the Whitecaps as they get back into action Saturday night at 4:30 PM PST against the San Jose Earthquake. It will be a chance for Vancouver to try and move up in the MLS Western Conference table. Vancouver might also have some more players as Vanni Sartini spoke about after the match.
“We have players now and we can make the rotation, and maybe, I don’t know, there is some magic from immigration and [Andres] Cubas is here. It’s going to be good because I have a lot of players now that can play.”