Report and Reaction: Fredy gives Sounders more nightmares as ten-man Whitecaps storm back for a point

Report and Reaction: Fredy gives Sounders more nightmares as ten-man Whitecaps storm back for a point

Despite being out possessed for the majority of the match, and playing a man down for the final hour, Vancouver Whitecaps were able to escape with a 1-1 draw against bitter rivals Seattle Sounders. after Fredy Montero’s fifth goal in five matches for the Whitecaps cancelled out Nicolas Lodeiro’s first half spot kick for the visitors.

It was the kind of draw that will leave Vancouver feeling victorious and Seattle wondering how their 25 shots resulted in just a solitary goal and two points dropped.

The Sounders were lively from the off and were able to get on the board within the first 20 minutes when Lodeiro converted a penalty after Sheanon Williams, who was in for the injured Jake Nerwinski, took down Victor Rodriguez in the box with a clumsy challenge that got all man and no ball.

Rodriguez almost put the visitors two up before the half hour mark as he was found open on the right side of the box, but sent his curling shot wide of the far post.

David Ousted would come up with a massive diving stop and deny another chance from Rodriguez in the 33rd minute from a free kick that was heading for the top corner.

Despite losing out heavily in the possession stakes, Vancouver did have a couple of chances in the first half, with Kendall Waston’s header that just missed the post being one of them.

The ‘Caps best chance came in the 38th minute when Montero intercepted an errant pass from Stefan Frei, but the keeper made up for that mistake as he stretched to knock the arching shot into touch.

The second half started with the Ousted being forced to make a couple of saves, with the first coming off a Chad Marshall header and the second off a shot from inside the box by Kelvin Leerdam.

And it looked very bleak for the home side in the 60th minute when Tony Tchani picked up his second yellow card in less than eight minutes to reduce the ‘Caps to ten men after a stupid challenge on the touchline.

Seattle almost took advantage of the extra man almost immediately with Jordan Morris finding the ball in the six yard area but seeing his shot hit the bar.

That miss by the Sounders would prove costly moments later as sub Alphonso Davies won the ball from Marshall, cut into the box, and showed great composure to find Montero for the shot instead of trying to score himself. The Colombian made no mistake to make it three goals in two games against his former club and level the scoreline.

With less than ten minutes to go Davies almost put Vancouver in the lead, but his shot from inside the box was blocked by Bernie Ibini and the danger was cleared.

It was Seattle, however, who would come up with the majority of chances in the final minutes, with the best chance coming in injury time when Ousted stopped Aaron Kovar from just outside the six yard area.

The final whistle sparked joy and relief on the ‘Caps bench, with the single point keeping Vancouver above the playoff line and within six points of top spot in the ever tightening Western Conference.

Four points from two home games is a good, if not perfect haul, but considering the adversity faced by Vancouver during the Seattle match, it’s a massive confidence booster and a moral victory if nothing else. They now need to build on that now though as they head to the heat of Orlando on Saturday.

FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 1 – 1 Seattle Sounders

ATT: 22,120

VANCOUVER: David Ousted; Sheanon Williams, Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Jordan Harvey; Andrew Jacobson (Bernie Ibini 56), Tony Tchani, Christian Bolanos, Yordy Reyna (Russell Teibert 68), Cristian Techera (Cristian Techera 56); Fredy Montero [Subs Not Used: Stefan Marinovic, Marcel de Jong, Nicolas Mezquida, Brek Shea]

SEATTLE: Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Chad Marshall, Tony Alfaro (Osvaldo Alonso 76), Nouhou Tolo (Aaron Kovar 84); Cristian Roldan, Gustav Svensson, Jordan Morris (Clint Dempsey 68, Nicolas Lodeiro, Victor Rodriguez; Will Bruin [Subs Not Used: Tyler Miller, Oneil Fisher, Calum Mallace, Jordy Delem]

REACTION:

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

CARL ROBINSON

On the effort after Tony Tchani’s ejection:

“From that moment onwards, the subs that came on were brilliant. The character shown was brilliant. The mentality was phenomenal.”

On the depth on display tonight:

“You need to do that. You get caught up sometimes. I wanted to play the same team and I nearly did, I played the same 10 players but we looked flat in the first half. Things didn’t go our way. Then we lose a man, then we need to make some adjustments. We do, the boys come on and they brought positivity. I expect the subs that come on to do that. They’re a bit disappointed when they don’t play. But when they come on, they have an effect. Bernie and Phonzie certainly did, and Rusty, when he came on, he was excellent. I need my players to do that. Forget the point, forget the game. The mentality and the character shown was phenomenal, and they deserve a lot of credit.

On the penalty kick and the red card:

“I haven’t seen it. I felt we could’ve avoided it. A penalty is a penalty, but Sheanon fell on the ball in the first place. Whether it’s a foul or not, we just gave away a penalty. I haven’t seen the red card.”

On Fredy Montero:

“A difficult game all around for us, it wasn’t easy. It’s about concentration levels when the ball comes to the box and it’s alive. He nearly got one in in the first half. He waits for his chance, he showed great positivity in the final third. He should’ve scored again but he decided to hit Bernie in the middle of the goal or wide. Fredy’s in there for that reason. I’m delighted for him. He’s very calm and he won’t talk too much after the game because of the respect he has for Seattle. I applaud him for that. I was jumping over hoops today when he scored.”

On Alphonso Davies:

“I still don’t think he’s at 100 percent. Maybe we’ll get to see him on Saturday. He needed a break, a mental break, a physical break. You have to remember how old the boy is and there’s a lot of things going on. We support him and he respects my decisions and he listens, because I know what’s going on with him. When he comes on like that, he’s excited to watch. We want to encourage him to play like that more, and he will.”

On David Ousted and the backline:

“David was excellent. When you go down to 10 men, especially, you need to rely on your defenders and your goalkeeper. David came up with a few key saves. I think he even headed one out. Stewart Kerr deserves a lot of credit for teaching him how to do that. Jordan, Kendall, Timmy, Sheanon, they put their bodies on the line. You need to do that.”

On the character shown versus top teams:

“We’ve played two top-of-the-table teams in the last four days and came out with four points. We’ve got to be pleased, we know we can be better, but we have to know who we are. We certainly knew who we were today with our character.”

FREDY MONTERO

On tonight’s result:

“It is like a win. We were playing one of the best teams in MLS and we were one man down, it was very tough. But at the end of the day, we pushed harder, and we got that goal and we got one point.”

On playing his former team:

“I just want to do the best that I can. I don’t see what team is in front of us. I just want to help the team. I’m happy that I scored. It means one point for us.”

On Alphonso Davies:

“That’s what Alphonso Davies is. He’s young, he has a lot of energy, and it was good for us that he fought for the ball, he won the ball, then he gave me a really good assist.”

On the message at halftime:

“We needed to push harder, we want to play more with the ball. Let’s run it. In the second half, we changed that mentality. The red card changed it a little bit. They forced us to draw back. But as I said before, we pushed harder, we gave everything that we had. We scored a goal and we got one point.”

KENDALL WASTON

On tonight’s result:

“It was a hard game, obviously we wanted to win but I think it wasn’t the best game that we’ve played this season, and sometimes it happens. Obviously, we’re going to learn from it and try to be better each day.”

On rallying around Tony Tchani’s red card:

“After Tony’s red card, I think we gave a little bit more of each one of us and the guys that came in as subs, they helped us a lot, they gave us more air. They’d tried to create more chances in the other box.”

On upcoming matchup versus Orlando City SC’s Cyle Larin:

“The same how we mark other players. He has good quality but we worry about ourselves and try to be very precise in every aspect and try to win obviously.”

DAVID OUSTED

On tonight’s result:

“We weren’t at it in the first 45, but a lot of character shown in the last 45, and going down a man and down a goal, got back and got a point.”

On Fredy Montero’s goal:

“I’m still really impressed with what he does, not just the goals he scores, that’s obviously something we need but the work rate, the way he sets the press up there. He’s been really impressive and I’m happy to see he’s getting his goals.”

On upcoming challenge versus Orlando City:

“Listen, we’re going in there to win, I’ll say it straight out. We’ve been good at going away from home and taking those games head on and I want to go there and win. It’s going to be a long travel, we all know that but we’re also going down to play a team that is really good at home but also see the possibility of going there to get points.”

SEATTLE SOUNDERS

BRIAN SCHMETZER:

On tonight’s result:

“We had more than enough chances to put them away. Whenever you leave a team that’s playing at home, we’ve always talked about the parity in MLS, you talk about the quality that Montero possesses, you let a team like that stick around, they are going to make you pay.”

On not scoring in the run of play:

“I’m not concerned about it. We created enough. They will come.”

On the active first half:

“It was a good half. We ended up putting the game in a good spot. 1-0 up, controlling tempo, I thought maybe we could’ve gotten another one in the first half. The pursuit for perfection is insanity, right? But we’re all trying to get there. We’ll keep working at it.”

On making mid-game adjustments:

“We knew they were going to bring in some speedy guys on the field. They couldn’t get out of their end. They’re setting their team up for the counter. We were ready for it. The young kids came on and did a good job. Cristian comes down on the left, does what he does, Tchani’s out, then again, we were in control of that game.”

On Victor Rodriguez’s debut:

“Good. You saw what he brought. Good quality, good passer. I liked the fact that he was being a little dangerous, that’s something we discussed. I need goal production out of that position. He was good.”

WILL BRUIN

On tonight’s result:

“We dropped two points. It’s a game where we should’ve gotten all three points out of. It’s just the final touch, final pass, final cross. It wasn’t happening tonight.”

On the disappointment in a draw:

“It’s definitely a good quality to have. A lot of teams in the league would be happy with ties on the road. We look at the way we played, even before the red card, I think we controlled the game. We had the better of the chances. It’s just disappointing but it’s a quick turnaround, and no better opponent than Portland.”

On the active first half:

“We got the goal and we continued going the exact same way it was. Sometimes you get a goal and teams want to take their foot off the gas pedal a little bit but I think we just kept the same possession style that we’ve been doing and that was working. I think if we get a second one, we put away the game to bed. That’s just something we need to improve on.”

CRISTIAN ROLDAN

On tonight’s result:

“When they went down to 10 men, we have to set the tempo of the game. I think we didn’t do that in the second half.”

On missed opportunities in the first half:

“We just weren’t sharp enough in the final third. You can talk about how we created chances, we were good at that. Just the final product, we weren’t sharp enough. When you don’t put teams away in this league, especially on the road, they’re bound to take it back or get a couple of chances. That’s the storyline of this game.”

On the team’s possession soccer in the first half:

“I thought everybody worked extremely hard off the ball. We had possession of the ball. We always had guys moving. For us to be able to possess the ball, outpossess them and make them run was quite the joy for us but we have to bury our chances. Possession is nothing unless you win the game.”

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Steve Pandher
Authored by: Steve Pandher

AFTN Soccer Show co-host and Senior Writer

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