Fredy Montero (or Fredy Fucking Montero to give him his full name coined by Michael during the match) came up with a brace in a game against his former team to help Vancouver Whitecaps defeat Seattle Sounders 2-1 on Friday night at BC Place.
However it was the defending MLS Cup champions who carried the play as they a number of chances but were unable to capitalize, dominating possession and having some late pressure, but leaving empty handed.
Seattle started the match the stronger, and Clint Dempsey crashed a long range looping effort from just inside the ‘Caps half off the bar eight minutes in, with David Ousted beaten all ends up.
Vancouver were able to wrestle back some momentum during the first half, creating a few of their own opportunities, yet neither team could score, sending the match scoreless into the break.
Ousted came up big six minutes into the second half as he stopped a Dempsey shot with the follow up shot blocked by Kendall Waston. Seattle kept the pressure on and Ousted had to come up big again moments later to keep out Nicolas Lodeiro.
You felt a Seattle goal was going to see the ‘Caps fold but they shocked the visitors in the 65th minute when Montero broke the deadlock, converting a Christian Techera cross by heading the ball past an outstretched Stefan Frei.
The ‘Caps would double their lead 15 minutes later when a Christian Bolanos corner was headed forward by Waston and found Montero who picked up his second of the night.
Three minutes after Dempsey hit his second post of the night, Will Bruin scored in the 89th minute to bring Seattle back to within one. And the visitors almost came back to tie the score at the death when a shot was missed by Ousted only to be cleared off the line by Waston.
It doesn’t get easier after this victory against the 2016 MLS champions as they will now hit the road to face the 2015 MLS Cup winners and fellow Cascadian rivals Portland Timbers next Saturday.
With four tough games on the road coming up, this was a much needed home victory for Vancouver and one they will hope will give them some momentum over the next month.
FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 2- 1 Seattle Sounders
VANCOUVER: David Ousted; Sheanon Williams, Kendall Waston, Jordan Harvey; Matias Laba, Russell Teibert, Alphonso Davies (Nicolas Mezquida 76), Christian Bolanos, Cristian Techera (Mauro Rosales 86); Fredy Montero [Subs Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Marcel de Jong, Tony Tchani, Andrew Jacobson, Kyle Greig]
SEATTLE: Stefan Frei; Oneil Fisher (Henry Wingo 78), Gustav Svensson, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan, Nicolas Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey, Harry Shipp (Will Bruin 68); Jordan Morris [Subs Not Used: Brian Meredith, Alvaro Fernandez, Henry Wingo, Seyi Adekoya, Tony Alfaro, Jordy Delem]
On if this was why Montero was brought in:
“Yeah, that might have something to do with it. It was a good game today, really good game. They’re a top team, they’re the champs, we know that. They started the game as if they were the champs, they’ve got good players, they’re confident. But we stuck with it. When you’re in games and you’re not having the play, it’s important you have a good mentality and our mindset going into the game was be organized and disciplined, and when you get your chances, take them. And Fredy done that, two goals is great for him. It was a good game.”
On if Montero a striker who can be unnoticed, then comes up big in key moments:
“I think he is. I read a statistic somewhere – I’m not a big stats person – but I read one that he only had a certain amount of shots in Seattle but scored a bundle of goals, so maybe he is. He had one in the first half which I think he will be disappointed that he didn’t hit the target. But he’s a poacher and that’s what goalscorers do, and we haven’t had that since Camilo left.”
On the team’s defending with Parker and Waston, and Techera being influential:
“Any game of football you play every week, if you can get seven, eight, nine performing at their highest levels, then you’ve got a chance of winning the game. You mentioned three or four, you mentioned the two centre backs, and Matias [Laba] and [Cristia Techera], they were all playing at their levels today, and that’s why we had a chance to win the game. You’ve got to do your job. Fredy’s is to score goals, Kendall’s and Timmy’s is to keep the ball out and defend the box, and they did that. Cristian Techera’s is – the bug – is to create goals, and he certainly did that. It’s a wonderful ball. It’s the hardest ball in football to defend. But obviously you need a goalscorer in there and we had that today.”
Thoughts on scoring and the match:
“Super happy to score two goals in these kinds of matches, it’s always a dream for a forward. Today’ I’m super happy that the team did a good job. We were looking through the week for this result, and thankfully we got it. It’s a good one for us.”
On the feeling of scoring against his former team:
“More than feelings, I just want to say that I felt all the support from the fans. Whenever I score the goal, when they were saying my name, I just want to thank all of them for their support. It’s my job, I enjoy scoring goals and playing football, and right now I think it continues in a good, good way for the rest of the season.”
On an emotional game:
“At the end of the day, what makes me more happy is that the team got the three points back home.”
On a sense of relief after scoring and pressure:
“Maybe during the week, but as soon as the game started I left everything behind and I just focused on helping the team, trying to find space, and when I had the opportunity in the first half, I knew the second one was coming. And that’s what I did when I had the opportunity in the second half. We scored the first goal, and we kept going and we scored the second goal.”
On not celebrating:
“It’s hard. Especially when all my teammates came and they were hugging me and saying different comments that were making me more happy. But I did my best and the Seattle fans, I have respect for them and all that they gave me in the four years that I was there.”
On getting a win before going on a four game road trip:
“It’s always good because we have extra motivation. Now we’re going to be away for a while, away from home. We know the points that we lose here at home, we need to go away and bring them home. So for us, it’s going to be to just focus and make as many points as we can.”
On where the team is at:
“Right now we are in the process of building the confidence of the team, on knowing every player. We know that we have different qualities, different players, but I know this team has more to give, and it’s going to come along the way.”
Thoughts on the match:
“It was up and down and it was sloppy at times, but we fought hard and Fredy came away with the brace, which is huge for our team, Fredy’s confidence, and for us moving forward.”
On where he would assess the team is at so far:
“Coming up from preseason, we’ve kind of had mixed and mashed lineups because of a lot of competitions and a lot of games. They came fast and heavy early on, so I think we’ve kind of found our stride and this game was proof of that. I thought we played well and we defended well. We would like to keep a clean sheet obviously, but they’re a good team, they’ve got some big bodies and they threw them forward for the last 10 or 15 minutes.”
On a tense ending:
“It’s a good team. They created some chances and they’ve got some good players, and like I said they were bombing forward there at the end trying to get that tying goal and so I think it’s a credit to our guys. Down the stretch guys rose to the occasion and you saw that, and that’s a positive thing moving forward.”
On how important this game was for their record:
Yeah, like you said it’s still very early. We aren’t going to be on cloud nine right now, we still have some work to do obviously, but at the end of the day it’s a huge positive and we just need to build on it. We need to have some confidence because of this game. It’s the MLS champs, they’re a good team and we showed we can compete with them and we performed to a good standard, but we can definitely raise it.”
On what they have to do on the big road trip coming up:
“Battle like we did. I think you saw a team that had some urgency, had a lot of confidence, and we need to continue that. On the road I think this team has the grit to grind out points like we did a couple years ago. This is a squad that top to bottom has positive guys. Everybody’s moving forward in a positive way and that’s a huge thing for us.”
On his thoughts on Montero’s two goals:
“That’s why we got him. Throughout my career I’ve seen him score a lot of goals for Seattle and a lot of goals like that, kind of in and around the box. He’s a poacher and that’s why we brought him in, to score goals and he’s proving his worth.”
On what he said to Montero after the match:
“Good. He scored two goals, he scored the game winner. Very good.”
On how the match slipped away:
“How? Well I’ve got to watch the tape, but preliminary stuff you know all the possession in the world doesn’t do you any good unless you can score. Having said that, seven shots on target, 15overall, 10 corner kicks, we had the ball there. Credit Ousted, credit their defence, credit them getting a timely goal to kind of throw us off. At 1-0 we’re not in panic mode, but 2-0 that’s a tough thing to swallow. But we’ve got to figure out ways to not let teams off the hook when we dominate them in some of the other stats that don’t mean as much as the score line.”
On the two goals conceded and last week giving up space to Wondolowski:
“Well we had worked on it earlier in the week. Blocking crosses in and staying with Wondolowski, Montero, all of the good forwards in the league. That’s standard training for us, but we’ll certainly ramp that up.”
On a slow start to the season last year and this year, and if it feels different:
“Little different last year, just because Jordy [Morris] was new… there was some other things. The team just needs to get that one breakthrough game. Certainly starting five out of seven on the road isn’t helping us. But look, there’s no excuses. I thought we played well in San Jose and we put ourselves in a position to grab points in San Jose, all three. And again tonight, before Fredy scored his goal, I was comfortable with the way the team was playing.”
On his performance:
“It felt good trying to utilize the minutes I get. I feel like I did a good job.”
On the cross:
“It was a great ball. I was just in the box trying to get in dangerous spots and he played a great ball. I just made sure I put it home for him.”
On the coach’s instructions coming into the match:
“You know he wanted me to score two. He just said fresh legs coming in, trying to do extra work for guys that have been going and just get in the box and cause havoc.”
On trying to get a late equalizer:
“We almost did that last one, but I don’t think we should be in those situations where we’re having to push numbers forward. If we can start out a little quicker and a little more aggressive in the final third and put ourselves in a better situation in the final 15 minutes, then we can avoid these problems.”
On playing on the road:
“Yeah it’s difficult. This is a difficult league to play on the road first and foremost. There were a couple breaks in-between, but you know I don’t think that’s an excuse, I don’t think that’s anything we’re thinking about. I believe we played well today we just didn’t put away our chances, we weren’t very careful on two opportunities they had and they took advantage of it.”
On hitting the post twice:
“It’s a bit like last season. At the beginning of the year of last season we couldn’t find any luck to find the back of the net. You know, it’ll come. It’ll come with time, we just have to be a little more clever and aggressive in the final third and the goals will come.”
On anything different to start the second half:
“I don’t think so. We wanted to play out of the back, we wanted to dictate the game, obviously that was our intentions in the first half. I think the intentions were always there to press and dominate the game and in the second half I thought we did so. First half, there were spells where they did and we did. I thought we played really well, we created chances. We got to be more careful in the back, Fredy had two poacher type goals and that’s the story of the game.”
On playing in a rivalry match:
“It was exciting obviously, but disappointing result. You could tell from the first whistle it was going to be a tough game, there were a lot of tackles flying. A lot of back and forth action, it was a good test, glad to be out there, but disappointing the way it ended.”
On instructions going out there:
“Just be dynamic, go forward every time I get. Make it hard for Harvey or whoever’s out there on that left side and try to create some chances.”
On playing away from home:
“It’s difficult. There’s a lot of things playing away from home, [it’s] hard and harder to get points. Whenever we can get out there and establish ourselves early on in the game… we’ve been getting a bit unlucky, Clint’s been hitting the post, getting balls cleared off the line. The luck will come our way, we’ve just got to keep playing and we’ll be fine.”