Report and Reaction: Crepeau can’t save Vancouver Whitecaps from a loss in San Jose despite record breaking display

Report and Reaction: Crepeau can’t save Vancouver Whitecaps from a loss in San Jose despite record breaking display

It was a record breaking performance for Max Crepeau which unfortunately meant he was a very busy keeper in a 3-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes.

He broke a 22-year-old MLS record by making 16 saves, but he couldn’t keep everything out and ended up allowing goals from Judson, Andres Rios, and Chris Wondolowski as San Jose ran out comfortable winners. Jake Nerwinksi scored his first in MLS to give Vancouver the lead, but it was all downhill for the visitors after that.

The shots came early at Crepeau but it was Nerwinski who struck first taking a pass from Bair, cutting into the middle of the field and unleashing a low left footer to give the Caps an early lead just six minutes in.

That advantage only lasted a minute as the Quakes struck back when Wondolowski found Judson making a run into the box and the Brazilian was able to beat Crepeau and tie things up.

The next 25 minutes were the Crepeau show as the keeper made saves off the likes of Wondolowski, Vako, Eriksson, and Espinoza in an incredible spell of pressure from San Jose.

Wondolowski, who was denied earlier at the far post by Crepeau, got a second chance in the 34th minute and made it count, punishing some poor Whitecaps marking, to give San Jose a lead 10 minutes before the half.

The MLS all time leading scorer almost got another one three minutes later but was denied by Crepeau, who also made a difficult save from Vako before a well deserved half time break.

There was very little difference in the second half as the Earthquakes kept coming, hitting the post from an Espinoza shot in the first five minutes.

While Crepeau wasn’t as busy in the second half, he had a lot to deal with and was beaten in the 73rd minute by a curling shot off the post by Andre Rios to double the Quakes lead.

The record breaking save came in the 85th minute off a Florian Jungwirth free kick as the keeper got his fingertips on the ball to deflect the ball off the bar.

It was a very one sided loss by the Whitecaps, especially when you look at the stats, being outpossessed 75-25%, being outshot 43 to 5, and outpassed 713 to 236.

This scoreline would have been even uglier if it wasn’t for Max Crepeau who broke a 22-year-old record held by Tony Meola, making 16 saves which included a number of very challenging ones. It was an outstanding performance, but one which demonstrates the issues the players in front of him are having.

Hopefully this match was a blip instead of a return to their play in July and they will get a chance to prove it next Saturday at BC Place against New York City FC.

FINAL SCORE: San Jose Earthquakes 3 – 1 Vancouver Whitecaps

ATT: 17,458

SAN JOSE: Daniel Vega; Marcos López, Guram Kashia, Florian Jungwirth, Tommy Thompson; Judson, Jackson Yueill, Valeri Qazaishvilli (Andrés Ríos 70), Magnus Eriksson, Cristian Espinoza (Shea Salinas 80); Chris Wondolowski (Carlos Fierro 81) [Substitutes not used: Andrew Tarbell, Danny Hoesen, Aníbal Godoy, Harold Cummings]

VANCOUVER: Maxime Crépeau; Jake Nerwinski, Doneil Henry, Derek Cornelius, Ali Adnan; Andy Rose (Lass Bangoura 76), Inbeom Hwang, Russell Teibert; Theo Bair (Tosaint Ricketts 60), Fredy Montero (Michaell Chirinos 77); Yordy Reyna [Substitutes not used: Zac MacMath, Jon Erice, Scott Sutter, Brett Levis}

Possession: SJ 75% – VAN 25%
Shots: SJ 43 – VAN 5
Shots on Goal: SJ 19 – VAN 2
Saves: SJ 2 – VAN 16
Fouls: SJ 10 – VAN 9
Offsides: SJ 1 – VAN 1
Corners: SJ 16 – VAN 1




On the match tonight overall:

“First of all, we scored. I think one of the important things is they [San Jose] answered right away. Took less than a minute for them to tie the game, and then overall, they were just the better team. They were a better team from A to Z. They won every 1-v-1. They were more intense, I would say, in their game, created a lot of chances. They allowed a lot of chances. If we had a little bit more quality coming out of pressure and deciding well in the first pass, it would’ve made a difference, I think. We weren’t able to get out in pressure, we weren’t able to secure that first pass, and then at the end of the day I don’t think there’s much to say. They were the better team and they deserved to win the game.”

On the team’s quality given one-sided possession and shots total:

“That’s why I don’t think there’s much to say. They were a better team – more possession, more shots, won their 1-v-1 battle. I don’t have much to say, you know, and that’s why they deserve to win.”

On Max Crepeau’s performance in goal:

“Great because he’s been like that, but I don’t like to talk about individual. The team lost the game. And for us to be talking about Max’s saves. The highlight of the game is we played a team that was better, a team that created more and a team that deserved to win.”

On San Jose’s man-to-man marking system:

“I spoke about it all week. It’s not a surprise for us, so we have to get over that.”

On the key to forget this match and move on:

“It’s key to just not forget this game, because there are a lot of things to learn from this game. But it’s key to move on and prepare for Montreal.”

On the positives from the match:

“Not many today, but I take that we’ve had five games, the last four there were a lot of positives: the win at home against D.C., the win in Cincinnati, the tie in Minnesota. For us to say that we’re going to take positives for the next game is wrong. We have to be hard on ourselves as a team if we want to do better in the game in Montreal because today, the reality is we played against a team that was better and deserved to win.”

On the expectations of Michaell Chirinos after his MLS debut:

“There’s not a lot of games left. My expectations are we could get a good evaluation. It’s very quick, everything that happened. Michaell arrived three, four days ago. He had very few training sessions with the team, and we want to get it in to get his feet wet right away and make sure he gets ready for what’s next. He’s not coming here to be the savior, he’s coming here to help the team and play a role as much as he can.”

On what needs to change in the midfield:

“We need to be better. We need to be cleaner. I felt that today, there were a lot of times that we were floppy in that first ball out of pressure. When you don’t secure that first ball, it comes way back their way and that’s what was happening.”


On the game tonight:

“This is a tough place to come and play. I thought that we had the right attention, started off really lively. We weren’t strong enough throughout the 90 minutes and San Jose deserved the three points.”

On San Jose’s pressure:

“They have a good attack in five or six players. It’s really difficult over a stretch of 90 minutes to defend counter after counter after counter after counter and stuff like that. It puts a lot of pressure on us. I thought they were a bit more tidy on the ball, I thought that we could’ve done better today, from everybody. I’m disappointed, but we look forward to the game in midweek against Montreal.”

On Jake Nerwinski’s first MLS goal and Max Crepeau’s performance:

“We talked about Jake. He comes to training every day and does his part. It’s good to see that he got his first MLS goal, definitely well-deserved. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t win it for the two of the boys tonight. Max has been exceptional all season in net, being that presence behind. It’s difficult because we have guys like that who work really hard. We just want to get a full run from everybody else, but it’s tough. We look forward to the game on Wednesday and we hope we can get one in Canada.”

On the inability to get the first ball out against San Jose’s defence:

“We weren’t tidy enough. It’s that simple. San Jose presses a lot in a really aggressive game. I just know if we get that first entry pass, if we’re a bit more tidy and then we can beat that whole press, but on the night, they were really good and we weren’t as good as we usually are. We have to go back, look at the video and see what we can do better.”


On giving up so many shots in two games against San Jose:

“I think it’s every game that a team is attacking us, we’re dropping a little bit too low and we’re a little bit too passive in our last third. Teams like San Jose are crashing the net every time they have a chance, so that’s why those starts are possibly up high after the games.”

How do you get momentum back for last few matches?:

“To be more aggressive in our half defending and then after that when we win the ball back just securing that first pass and getting it out of pressure because we struggled with that first pass in our half and after that we didn’t maintain possession and we struggled to defend the whole game, just because we didn’t secure the first pass and keep possession.”

On whether his return to Montreal midweek is special:

“It’s points up for grabs for sure. I’d be lying if I was to say it’s just another game. It’s family, friends there. It’s always a special moment when a player that’s born somewhere goes back home and plays against his former team. It’ll be nice to see familiar face, family and stuff, but once it goes on the pitch, it’s business.”


On the race for the playoffs:

“I apologize for being unable to respond to the question you just asked. I want to share that it is very bizarre not to have [head coach] Matias [Almeyda] present here. It’s very strange for us, it’s very strange for the club, for the players not having Matias participating in the match. We are very sorry, we apologize on behalf the staff. It would be good to speak with the players; they were the true protagonists. The players will respond to all your questions.”


On earning a positive result after Wednesday’s defeat:

“We knew we had to hit the reset button. No need to panic, but at the same time, iron out details. LAFC is a good team. We made a couple of mental and physical mistakes and got punished. I think this was more of the KC [Sporting Kansas City], Colorado [Rapids] one where we needed to iron out a couple of details to really hone in and make ourselves better. It was good to get three points again.”

On scoring a game-winning goal:

“It felt great. I love it. Love this group. It’s great to just get back on the board and get back into winning ways and just to be a part of it is fun, but to get a goal as well is real nice.”

On breaking the record for most shots in a single match:

“We needed to be a little more clinical. I think that’s kind of been our bug even in those games prior. We’ve been creating chances and we have to finish them. We have to be deadly out there, just have that killer instinct and be able to put teams away maybe a little bit earlier. But when you’re not creating chances, that’s when you really have to worry and start changing things. So, I think right now, we’re on the right path. Hopefully it kind of snowballs, hopefully it keeps getting better and we end up going on a hot streak at the right time.”


On playing the match without Matias Almeyda:

“I think it was a big example of our character. We have a bunch of leaders on this team. Every single guy steps out there and make sacrifices for their teammates, and it showed tonight, and it was an amazing performance.”

On the result giving the team momentum:

“I think it’s an important result just because we’re playing at home and we wanted three points, we believed we can get three points. I don’t know about momentum. We were still confident in the team we were able to be and we were able to show that tonight.”


On the game:

“I’m very happy, happy with the goal, happy with the win. When we are playing here at home, we know the fans are coming to see us win.”

On Andres Rios’ debut:

“I feel happy because the group has received me well. The coaching staff also makes me feel comfortable. I try to show my gratitude when I get minutes on the field.”

On his celebration:

“Right after I celebrated the goal, I dedicated it to my family, I told everyone including the substitutes to join me because we are a team, a group and that’s what we want to see grow and form because that will make us strong.”

Authored by: Steve Pandher

AFTN Soccer Show co-host and Senior Writer

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Dave M at 09:56

    It seems to me the Whtecaps just played the worst defensive game in the history of MLS. Not marking the best goal scorer in the history of MLS on two corner kicks where Wondolowski scored on one and should have scored on the other is utterly inexcusable. 43 shots for San Jose, 25 in the first half!! This result is not just the players. MDS and his coaching staff may be in well over their head. But for super hero Crepeau the game could have been 8 or 10 goals for San Jose. Another new low for the MLS Whitecaps. Didn’t think that was possible after what’s happened this season.

  2. Michael McColl at 10:45

    I think that’s nailed it. For all the plaudits about Crepeau (and they were very well deserved), it just shows what a shambles the team was defensively. The marking on the first two goals was shockingly poor, but to do it on the all time goalscorer in the league, who already is a Cap killer, was unbelievable. The marking has been a huge issue all season and the zonal marking on Wondo’s goal made them look so static and amateur.

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