A late cracker from Andres Cubas gave the Vancouver Whitecaps vs LAFC the 1-0 victory on Saturday night from BC Place. The Whitecaps hosted the top-of-the-table LAFC with their sights set to show the rest of MLS they were here to compete.
Former Whitecaps Head Coach Marc Dos Santos and Keeper Maxime Crepeau gave extra motivation in front of 18,292 fans and the squad did not disappoint. It might have taken a while but they made sure that Whitecaps fans and supporters left the stadium in a good mood.
Lineups, News, And Notes
Head coach Vanni Sartini would make 2 changes to the squad from last week and slightly tweak his formation to a 3-4-3. Cody Cropper would once again start in the net with Thomas Hasal still getting back to full health. Former LAFC defender Tristan Blackmon would get the start along with Ranko Veselinovic and Javain Brown along the back line from left to right.
Ryan Raposo, Andres Cubas, Russell Teibert, and Marcus Godinho would start in the midfield. Ryan Gauld would split the two numbers 10’s, Lucas Cavallini and Brian White up top to round out the Whitecaps starting lineup.
For LAFC, Steve Cherundolo would go with a modest lineup after a midweek match against FC Dallas that saw them walk away with a 3-1 victory. There would also be a formation change to a 3/5 backline for LAFC. Former Whitecaps keeper Maxime Crepeau would return to BC Place against his former team for the first time since requesting a trade during the offseason.
Mamadou Fall, Sebastien Ibeagha, and Jesus Murillo would start at the back from left to right. Ryan Hollingshead and Franco Escobar would play out on the wings with Francisco Ginella, Latif Blessing, and Kellyn Acosta in the middle of the pitch. Danny Musovski and Cristian Arango would get the start-up top for LAFC.
Both Teams Saw Off The 1st Half 0-0
The Whitecaps would kick things off to start the match and the Whitecaps would win an early corner. It was sent in by Ryan Gauld but the shot from Raposo was wide of the target. Both sides would feel each other out in the first 5 minutes of play at BC Place Stadium Saturday evening. LAFC would work it around looking for space against the Vancouver backline but Tristan Blackmon made a nice defensive play to allow the ball to run out for a goal kick.
The two sides would trade turnovers after a Lucas Cavallini handball and then LAFC crossing it out for a throw. The visiting side was controlling more of the play to start the match and kept trying long crosses out wide to open up space. Cavallini was able to slow things down for the Whitecaps after winning a free kick in the 8th minute. The Caps played it around until a nice cross by Cubas to find Godinho down the right side. He was able to cross the ball in but it was too close to Crepeau who was able to come off his line and grab the ball.
LAFC would reset but twice they gave the ball away on the right side with errand passes looking for Escobar. The best chance of the first half would come in the 12th minute after a poor giveaway from Tristan Blackmon to Blessing. He was able to find Musovski in the box who passed it out wide to Ginella but his shot was blocked. The ball would fall right back to blessing who saw his left-footed attempt curl right off the top of the crossbar.
Vancouver would come back on the attack after some nice passing from Teibert and Gauld. Cavallini would dummy the ball and win a corner kick for the Whitecaps. Gauld would swing it into the box and it would fall at the feet of Veselinovic but his shot was blocked by LAFC before they cleared the ball downfield. The back and forth play would continue as the match moved past the 15th minute with LAFC in control of the ball.
After another long pass out wide went out for a Vancouver throw they would get some life in front of the home fans. A ball crossed in from Raposo was almost headed by Cavallini but Vancouver would remain in possession. Another nice switch to Raposo but his cut-back along the turf was cleared away. After Vancouver finally turned it over Cubas was called for a foul on Ginella in the 19th minute and it was LAFC that could regroup. They would work it around the back before trying to attack through the middle but Andres Cubas was there to win the ball back for Vancouver.
Blackmon would find some space and charge down the right side before finding Raposo. He was able to pick out Cavallini but he wasn’t able to dribble past all of the defenders and LAFC was able to regain possession. They would win a deep throw down the left side but nothing would come of it and they would be forced back. Vancouver was doing a good job keeping LA back deep in their end and not allowing any really dangerous chances.
The match would move into the 25th minute with LAFC controlling the ball. The physicality would pick up and Lucas Cavallini, of course, would be shown a yellow card by Referee Guido Gonzales Jr. for getting his arm up on Ginella. It was a bit soft and the fans at BC Place let him know their feelings about the card. When the play restarted LAFC would once again play it around the back. Now Vancouver was being more aggressive as both Brian White and Russell Teibert were called for fouls.
LAFC would get a free kick out wide to the left, it was taken short and the initial shot was blocked before the ball run out to the right side for Fall. He would cross it in for Arango who was unmarked but his header was over the top of the target and out for a goal kick. Vancouver would press ahead and win another corner thanks to a Russell Teibert cross in the 32nd minute. Gauld would go with the inswinger but it was whistled down right away for a foul against Brian White on Murillo.
The visiting side would almost get a nice chance but a pass from Arango to Blessing was a bit too Heavy and ran out for a goal kick in the 34th minute. Javain Brown would go down after taking a shot from Arango but there wasn’t enough for a yellow card. The back and forth play would continue before Veselinovic was forced to make a nice sliding tackle on Arango. LAFC would try the opposite side but it was cleared by Blackmon.
It was LAFC’s turn to see a yellow card as the Vancouver Whitecaps were trying to clear the ball. Jesús Murillo was shown a yellow card for getting his arm up on Cavallini in the 39th minute. Cavallini would win another foul on Ibeagha and the Whitecaps were moving down the pitch. Gauld would float the ball into the back post and Veselinovic was able to head it back into a dangerous area. Brain White wasn’t able to get on the end of it and LAFC was able to clear before Cubas was called for a foul on Blessing.
Musovski would take a shot on the free-kick and stay down on the pitch for several minutes before play resumed in the 43rd minute. LAFC would try and rush in but Andres Cubas was able to make two nice defensive plays and keep them on the outside. The visiting side would once again try to penetrate the box but were met by more Whitecap defenders. Blackmon and Musovski would collide and both be down on the pitch allowing for another stoppage in the play.
Both sides would trade turnovers once again and Ryan Gauld would be called for a questionable foul in the 45th minute on Escobar. The 4th official would signal an additional 4 minutes of stoppage time before Cavallini would once again get his arms up. This time it was on Murillo but just a free-kick was given despite protest from LAFC. Acosta would send in the free-kick when play resumed but it was easily cleared by the Whitecaps.
Vancouver would move back the other way but an early cross from Ryan Gauld was deflected right to Crepeau. Murillo would hit the pitch once again and have to leave the match with what appeared to be an eye injury. The Whitecaps would win one more corner before the half ended and Gauld would drive it into the box. Mamadou Fall would clear it away from danger as the referee would blow the whistle on the 1st half.
Andres Cubas Gives The VWFC A Late 2nd Half Victory
Changes for both sides as Vanni Sartini would bring on Cristian Dajome for Lucas Cavallini who was on a yellow card. Steve Cherundolo would replace Jesus Murillo with Eddie Segura after Murillo took an arm to the eye in the 1st half. LAFC would get the second half underway after a 0-0 1st half but the play would be halted right away after Blessing ran into referee Gonzales Jr. The home side would win back control of the ball but a pass to Teibert was long and LAFC would get a goal kick in the 48th minute.
LAFC would control things but once again couldn’t break through the Whitecaps backline. Andres Cubas came up with another defensive play and Vancouver was able to clear and control the play as the match moved into the 50th minute. Marcus Godinho would try and find Dajome down the right side but a mistake from Mamadou Fall would lead to a Caps corner. Ryan Gauld would drive it into the near post and it was cleared by LAFC for another corner.
This time Gauld drove the ball into the back of the box and it was cleared initially before coming out wide on the left to Brian White. He tried to cut it back across the box but Crepeau was able to dive off his line and smother the ball. LAFC would try for an early long ball and they would turn the ball back over to Vancouver. Both sides would trade turnovers before LAFC would move in on the attack. The ball would run into the middle of the pitch and Kellyn Acosta would have a go from distance but his shot was over the net.
It was the Whitecaps that tried to break out quickly but they were dispossessed and LAFC was back on the attack. Some quick passes before the ball would come to the feet of Arango. He would fire a shot well over the net and Vancouver had a goal kick in the 54th minute. The Caps looked to have a chance to move in on the counter-attack but Ryan Gauld was called for a foul on Escobar and shown a yellow card in the 55th minute. It didn’t seem to phase the Whitecaps who looked like the hungrier team to start the 2nd half.
LAFC would control the play briefly but a cross to the back post was played well by Ryan Raposo and it would run out for a goal kick. After LAFC would play it timidly around they would turn it over and Vancouver would win another corner thanks to Raposo. The Whitecaps Ryan Gauld would drive it into the box but it was cleared twice by LAFC. They would try and counter quickly but Vancouver was able to get back on defense.
Things remained 0-0 as we moved past the 60th minute with LAFC controlling the ball along the back three. They would find some space down the left side before winning a free kick in a dangerous area. Ryan Gauld was trying to come back and defend Musovski but ended up going through him for the foul. Arango would line up the free-kick and send it directly into the wall. After the teams traded turnovers Arango would be sprung down the left side but his cross was right into the chest of Cody Cropper.
Vancouver would once again look to attack quickly, this time down the right side with Marcus Godinho. He would float in a nice ball and Escobar had to play it out for a corner kick. Gauld would send it into the box and Crepeau was unable to handle the initial shot. It would come to Brian White who chipped it back into Tristan Blackmon but his header was stopped by a diving Crepeau and the match stayed 0-0 in the 65th minute.
LAFC would make more substitutions in the 66th minute bringing on Ilie Sánchez and Kwadwo Opoku for Kellyn Acosta and Danny Musovski. The Caps would continue to control play and win another corner down the right side after some nice work from Godinho. The corner was swung in by Gauld but right into the hands of Maxime Crepeau. Vancouver would make their next change in the 68th minute bringing on Pedro Vite for Ryan Raposo.
Vancouver would win a free-kick thanks to some hard work from Godinho in the 69th minute. They would continue to press up field and Cubas would win a free-kick after being hauled down by Francisco Ginella just above the box. Pedro Vite would lay it off for Dajome but his shot was well over the target. LAFC would turn it over quickly back to Vancouver who would play it around the back. Vancouver was able to slow things down after Andres Cubas was fouled by Ginella in the 72nd minute.
After some nice passing on the left-hand side between Gauld and Vite, the ball would fall to Teibert at the top of the box. He would unleash a shot from a distance that was over the net and didn’t test Crepeau. The Caps would win the ball back and again go down the left side, this time with Ryan Gauld but his cross was right to Crepeau. Vancouver would stay on the attack and Pedro Vite would thread through a nice ball to Brian White. He fired a sharp-angle shot that beat Maxime Crepeau but not the post and the score stayed 0-0.
Vancouver would stay on the front foot and Godinho would win the ball right back after being fouled by Opoku. The ball would come out wide to Dajome and he would win Vancouver their 10th corner of the night. It was taken short to Teibert but his cross was over everyone in the box and allowed LAFC to clear. They looked to have a chance to counter but a foul was called Opoku on Veselinovic and the visiting side would make another substitution. Danny Trejo would replace Arango in the 78th minute for LAFC.
Some individual play from both sides as Godinho tried to dribble through the entire LAFC team before Opoku tried the same for LA. Both players were met with the same fate of eventually turning the ball over and Vancouver would control as the match moved into the 79th minute. A quick strike down the left side with Dajome and Gauld and Vancouver would win another corner kick. It was floated in nicely by Ryan Gauld and would drop to Javain Brown but his shot was blocked straight up in the air. It would eventually come out wide to the right and be crossed in for another Vancouver corner.
LAFC would clear the danger and be forced to sit back on their heels while Vancouver attacked once more. It looked like the home side would break the deadlock but they would have to beat Crepeau in the net for LAFC. Brian White would get a great chance to open the scoring but he was offside in the 82nd minute. The visiting side would get a chance of their own but the cross from Hollingshead was too close to Cropper. LAFC would win it back but could only work it around the back before turning it over to Vancouver for a goal kick.
Vanni Sartini would make his final substitutions in the 85th minute bringing on Tosaint Ricketts and Luis Martins for Brain White and Marcus Godinho. Both sides would trade handballs as they looked to get into a rhythm. The Whitecaps would come out with control and Ryan Gauld was almost able to pick out Tosaint Ricketts in the 87th minute but the pass was a bit too heavy. LAFC would turn the ball over once again and the Whitecaps would go to work.
Dajome would first draw a yellow card on Mamadou Fall in the 88th minute before the Caps would go on the attack. Vancouver would work it down the right side and find Ryan Gauld. He was able to cross it into the box but it was cleared. A blocked shot from Vancouver and LAFC had a chance to clear the danger but couldn’t get it past Cubas who blocked it with his body. The ball dropped right to the Paragyian and he made a move before firing a shot that curled past Crepeau and into the back of the net for a 1-0 Whitecaps vs LAFC lead.
He was mauled by his entire team as BC Place erupted in celebration of the late goal. Both sides would make changes as LAFC would replace Ibeagha with Cal Jennings while Vancouver would bring on Florian Jungwirth for Ryan Gauld in a defensive substitution. The play would restart and the 4th official would signal an added 4 minutes of stoppage time.
LAFC would try and push back in the final minutes but were met by Ranko Veselinovic and the Vancouver back three. The Whitecaps were able to hold off the pressure until the final whistle to pick up all 3 points over LAFC.
Post Match Thoughts And Media
The Head Coach was all smiles after a thrilling 1-0 victory for the Whitecaps vs LAFC. He spoke generally about the team’s performance after the match. He had high praise for all areas of the Whitecaps including the training staff, coaching staff, and players.
“I think it’s because of three things. First of all the players, believe in what we do when we push. Second, a huge shoutout to our performance department. I think they’re not mentioned too much. Jon Poli is our head of fitness preparation and all the people he works with, not only the fitness staff, as well as the physio, allow the players to be always on top of condition to the end. And then third shoutout to the coaching staff because doing rotations and playing everyone makes it so we always have players ready at one hundred percent.”
He also spoke about the play of his newest designated player Andres Cubas.
“I was very happy. I actually was getting the perspective from my bench, it was hard to see if he scored or not. I was very happy, Andrés scored a fantastic goal but again, we deserved it, Brian hit the post, we were always in the box, a couple of times Maxime lost the ball in the air and it was kind of a scrum in front of the goal. We know how it works, we know their quality, I was very, very scared of their counterattacks, but I think Rusty and Andrés did a fantastic job protecting the back three.”
Sporting one of the beautiful bucket hats the Vancouver Whitecaps gave out to fans, Tristan Blackmon was next to speak with the media. He talked about the late goal from Andres Cubas, “Yeah, it was incredible, it was his first goal here at BC Place, in a tough match to put us up at the end. He’s a big player, with the last few games, what he can bring to the team and he’s going to be really important for us.”
Midfielder Andres Cubas was next to speak with the media and he was joined by the one and only, Sebastian Perriera to translate. He was asked about his goal, of course, “I stayed in that position at the top of the box. I thought the player would angle a pass to my right so I made the movement to intercept the pass. As soon as I got on the ball, I knew I had to do something with it. I saw the opening in the angle of the goal and thankfully it all worked out in the end.
I asked Andres Cubas about how he has dealt with the physicality of the MLS so far with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
He also talked about how it has been adapting to the club as translated by Sebastian.
“Very good, very good. Since day one, all the South Americans helped a lot since we speak the same language, from the first moment they asked what I needed. If there were any favors or if I had any questions that I needed [to ask]. And the entire roster as well has welcomed me really well, that’s all been super important and I’m super grateful for the way they’ve welcomed me into the team. Also, the entire club, whether that be my teammates, the staff, the front office, [or] anyone in the club has welcomed me super well so I’m extremely grateful to everyone around the entire club for welcoming me so nicely.”
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
We had a goal tonight which makes it very easy to choose my “Unnamed Goal Of The Match”. We also had some great stuff in media which made for a very easy choice for my “Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match”, Thanks Sarita! It was an exciting win for the Whitecaps with fans out in full force to cheer on their side against the juggernauts in the MLS.
The Unnamed Goal Of The Match
It was a 1-0 result so I am sure you can guess “The Unnamed Goal Of The Match”… It was the cracker from new DP Andres Cubas in the 89th minute.
Look for Cubas to play even more of a role for the Whitecaps moving forward and I would also look for him on this week’s MLS Team Of The Week after his performance on Saturday night.
The Unnamed Tifo Of The Match
I have never been a big fan of the Minions movie franchise but they do make me laugh. I can also appreciate excellence when I see it and that’s what this Tifo was to me. Great job as usual by the Couch Ultras.
The Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match
We get to see and hear a little more than the average person in media. Tonight it was Whitecaps sideline reporter Sarita Patel jumping on for a mic check and talking about backup keeper Isaac Boehmer trying to lowball her for a truck she is selling.
Isaac was unavailable for comment at the time this came out. We get a behind-the-scenes look at how the team interacts and it is a lot of fun. Classic Keeper trying to save on everything he can, even a truck from the Whitecaps social media person!
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Whitecaps will now set their sights on Minnesota United FC who comes to BC Place Friday, July 8th. Vancouver is now 6-2-2 in their past 10 matches leading the MLS with 20 points during that span. Vancouver is now tied with LA Galaxy at 24 points for that final playoff spot (LA holds the tiebreaker) in the MLS Western Conference.
Vancouver will take on Minnesota United FC on Friday night. The Caps will try to continue to make BC Place a fortress for opponents with a 5-1-3 record at home.
Make sure to check out the Sports Talk Line Network for all the latest news and notes about your Vancouver Whitecaps. We are also hoping to get the 90 + Podcast back up and running this week so stay tuned for that.