Report and Reaction: Seattle regain Cascadia Cup after Vancouveresque away performance

Report and Reaction: Seattle regain Cascadia Cup after Vancouveresque away performance

All good things come to an end, and with that comes the, temporary, ending of Vancouver Whitecaps’ two year reign as Cascadia Cup champions.

Any 3-0 home loss is a bad one, but one to your closest regional rivals that costs you a trophy is really tough to take.

If you can re-live the pain, here’s our report and postgame reaction from both locker rooms.

REPORT:

It could all have been so different. They had their chances, but they failed to take them. Great defending and goalkeeping, poor finishing, a mixture of both? That’s for another time. All we know is not taking those opportunities cost Vancouver Whitecaps dear as they fell to their biggest loss of the season, 3-0 to fierce rivals Seattle Sounders.

It was a defeat that cost them the Cascadia Cup and leaves their lead at the top of the standings wafer thin, but it wasn’t a poor performance as the ‘Caps fought hard and were caught out three times against the run of play, as the Sounders played the Whitecaps usual road game to perfection.

A goal on the stroke of half time set Seattle on their way, before two late second half goals as Vancouver pushed forward made for an unrepresentative final scoreline.
Injuries forced Carl Robinson into two changes from what has been a pretty settled MLS line-up. A knee strain for Steven Beitashour saw Jordan Smith come in for his second MLS start, while Pedro Morales was still rehabbing a hamstring strain and Mauro Rosales took over the number 10 role.

Both teams attacked in the early going, but Seattle had the first real chance of the game five minutes in when David Ousted was forced into a one-handed save to tip over a Brad Evans header.

Octavio Rivero was looking a threat and he gave the ‘Caps their first chance of the match with a header of his own, getting onto the end of a Mauro Rosales free kick in the 13th minute but heading narrowly over.

The Uruguayan came even closer moments later, pouncing on a sloppy Seattle backpass to curl a low effort just past the right post.

Seattle’s Ossie Alonso was next to try his luck, cracking a fierce drive from the edge of the box over the ‘Caps bar.

Rivero was kept at bay again in the 19th minute when Cristian Techera played him in with a perfect pass but Sounders keeper Stefan Frei was off his line quickly to block the chance.

The action started to dip a little as both sides fought for possession and referee Baldomero Toledo opened what you had to fear were the yellow card floodgates.

Techera sparked some life back into proceedings in the 42nd minute when he showed great control to bring down a long Pa Modou Kah pass forward and ghosted past Oneil Fisher before forcing Frei into a low save.

Robinson is always one to talk about fine lines in football and once again that proved to be the case as Seattle took the lead three minutes later, right on the stroke of half time.

Ivanschitz shook lost Smith and got onto the end of a lobbed Obafemi Martins cross to drill the ball past Ousted.

Vancouver took the game to Seattle at the start of the second half and had a couple of strong penalty shouts waved away by Toledo when the ball seemed to strike the hand of first Fisher and then Martins in the box.

The Whitecaps launched wave after wave of attack, peppering Frei’s goal but without finding the crucial breakthrough and they were punished when Pineda doubled the Sounders lead in the 71st minute, after Seattle broke quickly, crashing a shot in off the left hand post.

It was scantly deserved by the visitors and things threatened to boil over in the latter stages before a stretched Vancouver defence conceded a third three minutes from time when an open Martins poked home a cutback from Clint Dempsey.

Gutting, but if anything positive can be taken from the result it was the fighting qualities shown by the ‘Caps in the second half and it will hopefully act as a wake up call for the remaining five games.

Chances have to be taken at this stage of the season.

Amazingly the big plus side is that results elsewhere once again went in the ‘Caps favour and they’ll be finishing the weekend as they started it, in pole position. It’s just getting mightily backed up behind them now.

FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 0 – 3 Seattle Sounders

ATT: 21,000

VANCOUVER: David Ousted; Jordan Smith, Kendall Waston, Pa-Modou Kah, Jordan Harvey (Sam Adekugbe 89); Gershon Koffie (Kianz Froese 89), Russell Teibert; Cristian Techera, Mauro Rosales (Nicolás Mezquida 74), Kekuta Manneh; Octavio Rivero [Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Deybi Flores, Tim Parker, Robert Earnshaw]

SEATTLE: Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Oniel Fisher; Brad Evans (Cristian Roldan 74), Osvaldo Alonso (Leonardo Gonzalez 85), Gonzalo Pineda, Andreas Ivanschitz (Nelson Valdez 65); Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins [Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Marco Pappa, Chad Barrett, Jimmy Ockford]

REACTION:

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

CARL ROBINSON

On tonight’s loss:

“Congratulations to Seattle for winning the game. More importantly, Sigi’s in good health. I can’t fault my boys out there today. I thought they were fantastic. It’s easy to say that but we lost 3-0. I was proud of them because of the way they went. It was a sucker punch in the first half when we had two or three good chances and we didn’t take them. They have one chance and they take it. They are a good team, so it happens. In the second half, we threw our players on the front foot and we played some exciting football but we lost.”

On Seattle’s experience:

“They are a very experienced team. I’ve said that in the lead-up to this week. They have good players, they have good high-profile players. If you give them the opportunity to go ahead, it’s going to be difficult. We worked all week and I think we eliminated majority of their good work. We had lot of possession in the first half but they had a bit of magic and they scored on one chance. We lost to their experience at the end.”

On learning lessons and staying level-headed for run in:

“We don’t get carried away. I won’t get carried away. Sometimes, because we progress so much within a short space of time, we have to keep everyone level-headed.”

On the matchup between Clint Dempsey and Kendall Waston:

“It was a good battle. Clint is a fantastic American player and Kendall is a tough competitor. It’s part of the game.”

On the rivalry between the two sides keeps ratching up every meeting:

“They have a very experienced team and a very experienced manager. We have a younger team and a young manager. They are similarities between the clubs but a lot of differences too. What I saw is that we have a passionate group of players and they have a passionate group of players in there. Good rivalry. You want big games. This morning, I was up watching Chelsea and Arsenal, great game. Then we had Vancouver and Seattle. Great game too but we lost.”

On today’s substitutions:

“Regarding substitutions, people look at it differently. If you get it right and the substitute scores a winner, you are a genius. If you don’t, you’re a mug. The boys have played very well. We’re using our youth and exuberance to get into great positions. I didn’t want to upset the rhythm too much because I think the boys were playing well. I wanted to bring on Robert Earnshaw at some stage but we were causing them problems with our full backs. We didn’t want one centre back against Obafemi Martins. We were leaving ourselves in danger at times. We still have to be careful.”

On what the club can take away from the loss:

“They’ve beaten us twice at our place now, and credit to them for doing that. Today, they got the first goal in the first half, maybe against the run of play and chances. We showed heart. We showed a spirit and a togetherness in that group, that young group that we’ve got, and that’s what pleases me the most.

“I said to them be disappointed, because we lost, but be proud because you never gave up even till the end. When you’re two-nil down and three-nil down, and people are leaving the stadium, it’s hard, but the boys didn’t give in. So that’s one of the positives that I’ll take because I can’t take the result as a positive.”

JORDAN HARVEY

On tonight’s loss:

“I think we did play well. We were organized in the first half, we created some good chances. It’s a tale of two games. I feel like whoever scores first really has the upper hand. Then the other team pushes and the other team gets three goals. We go in their place and we do this to them. So I really do feel like it’s whoever scores first.”

On using the loss as a motivation:

“We lost a bad one last year against Portland and we pushed on for the remainder of the games. I feel like we will use this as motivation.”

On what the team can learn from the loss:

“It’s a good lesson for everyone, top to bottom. This result really puts things into perspective and we are willing to push on. With that said, I thought we played well still. We created chances, we defended really well. It’s a tough one to swallow, giving up that one right before the half. We have to push through to the end of the game. I don’t really think the score tells you the whole story of the game. With that result, we have to move on.”

On Wednesday’s match in Seattle:

“It’s a quick turnaround with the CONCACAF [Champions League match] coming up and then back at home with another regular season game. We are still in the mix, there is nothing to really dwell on. We still have a great squad, top to bottom. You’ll see different lineups in these next couple of games and we are going to push for it. That’s a team that has heart and we aren’t giving up. ”

DAVID OUSTED

On tonight’s loss:

“I thought in periods of the game, we did well and got at them but at the end of the day, the scoreboard doesn’t lie. They were better than us at scoring goals.”

On what the team can learn from the loss:

“We need to keep our heads cool, keep ourselves in the game, and take our chances when we have them. I felt we had some today and played well in periods, like I said. If you don’t finish your chances, you won’t win games.”

On Wednesday’s match in Seattle:

“We have a chance to advance in the CONCACAF [Champions League] and it should be a great opportunity to redeem ourselves. Hopefully, we’ll push on.”

On losing the Cascadia Cup at home:

“It hurts losing at home, especially in front of our fans. I’m sad for our fans because they were obviously expecting us to lift that trophy. I feel bad not being able to give them that pleasure. We know they are there for us and we have other silverware that hopefully we can share with them.”

On Seattle:

“The quality they have in that side was obvious today. The difference today is they finished their chances and do it well. I have never been one to second guess them because I know the quality they have. They are only three points back of us now and they’ll be chasing us. It is our job to keep them and everyone else behind us.”

SEATTLE SOUNDERS

SIGI SCHMID:

Thoughts on the match:

“Obviously, we are happy with the result, I thought we played very well. In the first half, we did a good job of keeping possession. We held steady, I knew we were going to get some chances on the counter attack because they were pushing people forward and we were able to score two goals on the counter attack.”

On the nature of the rivalry:

“I’m not going to try and figure out the series, what I am going to try and figure out is how we can show we are a good road team. Today was a good victory for us, and I hope we will gather some momentum and use that momentum as we move forward and keep gathering points to move up the standings as high as we can. That’s all we are concerned about right now.”

On the performance on defence:

“I think they were pretty resilient, I think we blocked some shots, which was important. Stefan [Frei], you sort of get used to him making great saves. He made a couple of big saves in the first half, another one where [Oniel] Fisher gave the ball to [Octavio] Rivero and another where Rivero was on a one-on-one and he came up with the big save.”

STEFAN FREI

Thoughts on the match:

“It means everything, it’s come at a perfect time for us, and there is a trophy on the line. Three points on a tough team, and I think arguably the best side in the league right now.”

On the performance on defence:

“We brought a whole lot of heart today. We’re working so hard, we know they’re offensively so strong. They like to run at you and punish you, they have tons of offensive weapons but I think we limited their chances pretty well.”

On playing in front of the Whitecaps fans:

“I had a bit of a gaffer here last year but I’ve always enjoyed playing here. I’ve always enjoyed playing here and it’s a great rivalry but I’m happy we were able to get all three points.”

ZACH SCOTT

Thoughts on the match:

“Is that not a rivalry game to a tee? In the second half they picked up the pressure and it was a little bit tougher but we knew if we could maintain any sort of possession in the second half that we were going to break on them because they were pushing some many guys forward. Credit to Clint [Dempsey] and Obafemi [Martins]. Our midfielders were great going forward and keeping possession to give us breathing room.”

On winning the Cascadia Cup:

“It’s huge, I can’t remember the last time we won it. It’s something we are proud to take home and I know, to the fans it’s a big deal to them. Any trophy you win is fantastic but the three points in the league are key.”

On the importance of the win:

“You really want to be playing your best at the end of the season. For all the ups and downs we went through in the middle part of the season, this is really the right time to be peaking, it feels like if we can stay healthy, we are going to be playing our best soccer.”

ANDREAS IVANSCHITZ

On his first goal with Sounders:

“It was great. It was awesome, not only for me but also because we won against a very good team. Three points on the road, that’s great for us. I’m very happy to score my first goal for the Sounders. That feels great for me.”

On his motivation:

“Of course, I was very motivated. Of course, you have to do your best, you have to go out and give your best and that is what I did. I was a bit nervous but I was well prepared and my teammates helped me a lot.”

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Authored by: Michael McColl

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