Report and Reaction: Latino threesome puts Whitecaps home woes to bed

Report and Reaction: Latino threesome puts Whitecaps home woes to bed

Home woes. What home woes? Vancouver Whitecaps banished them, for now at least, and put in a decisive display that saw them cruise to a 3-1 win over San Jose Earthquakes.

Carl Robinson had challenged his squad to step up and help out Octavio Rivero in the goals department. They responded. Three different players found their way onto the scoresheet, including Rivero.

Both Mauro Rosales and Kendall Waston grabbed their first goals of the season and it was Rosales who was instrumental in making the ‘Caps tick, scoring the first to set Vancouver on their way after just five minutes and then providing the assist for Waston.

A good, but not a perfect, outing for the ‘Caps who had numerous chances to bang in a lot more goals and seemed to lose focus in the last 10 minutes or so, giving San Jose a couple of chances, one of which they took in the last minute to deprive David Ousted of an eighth clean sheet of the season.

Waston and Pa Modou Kah looked good together in the centre of the defence and Christian Dean had an excellent outing at left back, boosted by his strong showing in Portland last weekend.

Nicolas Mezquida once again linked up well with Rivero and both worked extremely hard for not the biggest output, but the signs are there they could really click if given a run together.

So all in all, a pretty beautiful Sunday and for once the Whitecaps took advantage of the failings of those around them to give themselves some breathing space in the playoff race.

Seattle are next up and they now have a four point gap over the Sounders and a chance to make that a huge seven on Saturday. Great stuff.

Here’s our report from the game and full postgame reaction from both locker rooms.

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REPORT (by Steve Pandher):

After going their longest stretch without a win this season, three matches, Vancouver Whitecaps were able to pick up an important three points to avoid talk of a summer swoon with a 3-1 win over San Jose Earthquakes 3-1.

The opening half saw Mauro Rosales and Kendall Waston score their firsts of the season while Octavio Rivero finished the game off early in the second, before Quincy Amarikwa scored in the late in the match.

The Whitecaps immediately went for the opening goal, attacking San Jose right off the opening whistle and three minutes in they had a shot blocked and then Nicolas Mezquida was caught offside.

They didn’t have to wait long to draw first blood, with Rosales scoring his first of the season and first as a Whitecap.

Kekuta Manneh made a run to the box in the 5th minute and was stopped by Clarence Goodson, but the ball deflected over to Rosales who was free to fire it past David Bingham to give Vancouver the early lead.

Rivero nearly made it two moments later, chipping the ball over Bingham as he raced in on goal but he was unable to get a clean header on the ball as it came back down and the Quakes cleared the danger.

San Jose followed up with their own chances after going down a goal but nothing that really made Ousted work to make a save.

The home side doubled their lead after the half hour mark when Kendall Waston also scored his first of the season. After just missing on a corner, the Costa Rican defender was able to get his noggin on a Rosales corner and head the ball forcefully into the net.

Vancouver had two more chances in the first to extend their lead with Mezquida’s shot from outside the box heading for the right post before being handled by Bingham. Then just before halftime, Rivero had a free run on goal but the angle was poor and all he could do was bang it off the keeper for a corner.

The second half started with another Rivero chance. He looked to have a better angle but this time his chip went across the six yard area and over the end line.

His persistence finally paid off just before the hour mark when he converted a penalty, firing just out of the reach of Bingham into the bottom left corner. Rivero earned the penalty when he was sent into the box and was brought down from behind by Paulo Renato.

The ‘Caps had further chances to add to their tally, while Shea Salinas crashed one off the back for the Quakes in the closing minutes.

The Earthquakes were able to get a consolation goal in the 90th minute, however, when Quincy Amarikwa converted a chance from inside the box.

Despite the late goal it was a comfortable win for the Caps, their first at home since May 30th.

Vancouver will return to action next Saturday when they travel down the I-5 to take on Cascadian rival Seattle Sounders.

FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 3 – 1 San Jose Earthquakes

ATT: 20,298

VANCOUVER: David Ousted; Steven Beitashour, Kendall Waston, Pa-Modou Kah, Jordan Harvey; Matías Laba, Gershon Koffie(Russell Teibert 63), Mauro Rosales (Erik Hurtado 70), Nicolás Mezquida (Pedro Morales 68), Kekuta Manneh; Octavio Rivero [Subs Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Tim Parker, Deybi Flores, Robert Earnshaw]

NEW ENGLAND: David Bingham; Marvell Wynne (Tommy Thompson 84), Victor Bernardez, Clarence Goodson (Paulo Renato 13), Jordan Stewart; Matias Perez Garcia, Fatai Alashe, Cordell Cato, Shea Salinas; Chris Wondolowski (Marc Pelosi 70), Quincy Amarikwa [Subs Not Used: Substitutes Not Used: Bryan Meredith, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Sanna Nyassi, Mark Sherrod]

REACTION:

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

CARL ROBINSON

On today’s win:

“I am very pleased with it. There are a lot of good aspects in the game today. Scoring goals is one obviously, but there is a lot of aspects to improve on as well. The last-minute goal really, really annoyed me. So excuse me if I’m not smiling”

On whether he saw the offensive production coming:

“Yes, but if I sat here two weeks ago and said that against Kansas City, you’d probably have thought I was mad. I actually think we played better against KC than we did today. It’s fine lines in this game, as I talk about all the time. We took our chances today. Still probably didn’t take enough chances. We could have put the game to bed a lot earlier. We’ll take the three points and move on to next week’s very tough game.”

On the goalscorers and spreading the goals around:

“Mauro Rosales was super surprised. I know he sets up a lot each year. His goal record isn’t probably what he would expect but it was nice for him to make a great finish. The second goal is a great set piece. It’s nice to finally do that. Octavio Rivero is a young player and I said to the guys on the bench, ‘Young players go through spells and confidence spurts.’ Nico was like an energizer bunny today, he wanted to take the penalty, and rightly so because he scores them every day in training. I wanted Octavio to get back on the trail again and that’s why it was an important penalty for him.”

On next week’s match versus Seattle Sounders FC:

“It’s a very difficult game for us. They done us in our backyard last time which hurt. We go there and we beat them at the end of last year in their backyard. On any given day, you can beat anyone in this league. It’s proven because a lot of the top teams lost yesterday and the chasing pack caught up. So it’s important, every week is going to be different but we have to concentrate on the next game. It’s going to be a massive battle and one we look forward to.”

On passing and movement:

“Sometimes, you play with different personnel. We mixed it up a little bit because of injuries. We lost Pedro Morales for five to six weeks and other players have stepped up. Today, you saw a team with confidence and energy. Nico Mezquida is infectious and he rubs off on everyone and you got Matias (Laba) and (Gershon) Koffie behind him and the quality of Mauro (Rosales), the pace of Kekuta (Manneh), you’re going to be dangerous. It’s important we keep the backdoor shut and we did for 89 minutes.”

On Nicolas Mezquida, Octavio Rivero and Cristian Techera:

“They work a lot together in training. And once training is finished they hang about together off the field as well. In preseason, they had a very good relationship with scoring goals. So different players have different aspects and areas where they are good at and today, Nico plays a little bit closer to Octavio, then sometimes Pedro does and it worked today. Credit to both of them and it helped us score some goals. We have got a lot of games coming up next month so you have to consider whether it’s Cristian or Nico or Mauro, who may have picked up a slight injury so that won’t be great for us. But it will give someone else a chance. We are battered and bruised at the moment and we are going into this busy schedule and we have to make sure we make it through this.”

On Pedro Morales’ first appearance back from injury:

“It was nice to see him back, wasn’t it? I saw one flick and a little back-heel. It was good. I didn’t want to play him that long. I wanted to get him on and as soon as the crowd saw him warming up, they got excited. That put a little bit of pressure on me to get him on. I wanted to give him five to 10 minutes because he is not there yet. He’s been out for six weeks and it can be hard to go into a game but if we can’t do it when we are up 3-0, then when can you do it? Credit to San Jose, they never give up.”

On Christian Dean’s performance:

“I thought he was outstanding. Cordell Cato is a tough customer, he’s quick but I think Christian handled him well. He played physical and he joined in the attack as well. Again, it’s another good, strong performance by Christian in a different position. These young players in this club, it’s about challenging them sometimes. They learn from playing, they learn from watching and they also learn from playing at different positions. And Christian was able to do that. I have Christian and I left Tim Parker out today for a reason, just to bring Pa-Modou Kah back in with his experience in a difficult game, physical game. Timmy has played centre back and right back for me. It’s competition I want competition in this group and we certainly got that.”

KENDALL WASTON

On his first goal of the season:

“Finally, I did it. It’s a nice feeling. Most important thing was that we won today. Now we are in second place also so that is good for the club. We know that set pieces are very important for us. We have a lot of big players so we have to take more advantage of it.”

On conceding a last minute goal:

“We would have liked to keep a clean sheet as we don’t like to concede any goals. San Jose was playing well too. They were attacking us. We have to look at the video and try to correct those things.”

CHRISTIAN DEAN

On playing at left back:

“I felt pretty comfortable. Just trying to listen to Pa-Modou (Kah) and Kendall (Waston). They helped me out today. I felt really comfortable.”

On the importance of the home win:

“It’s very important. I think we were the better team and we showed we needed the win. Especially at home as we haven’t won in the past couple of games. On the road, we are very good but we need to assert ourselves at home. I felt that this game did it.”

On Whitecaps scoring three goals:

“We knew it was going to come sometime. I’m happy we did especially at home in front of our fans. That’s the best way to do it.”

On the physical side of the game as left back compared to centre back:

“A lot of running at left back, honestly, but I just tried to put myself in the best position possible to have to cover the least amount of ground especially if I am used to playing centre back. Going out wide is different but I thought putting myself in the best positions helped me.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

DOMINIC KINNEAR

On the current losing stretch:

“There are a couple of things. We’re playing against good teams. We can’t just say we should have won this game. Vancouver is a good team, LA is a good team, the Western Conference is stacked pretty high. We didn’t start off the game particularly well and we were punished for it. We worked hard to get back into the game but, it was too little, too late. Right now, we are playing well, but the results are going against us. We have to go back to basic stuff and just talk about it, look at our mistakes and go back to working hard.”

On the Earthquakes’ defensive performance:

“We were caught out of position a little bit. We were playing against good players, and at times we were playing a little bit too stretched.”

On the outlook in the Western Conference for the remaining schedule:

“You could have asked me that in March and I would have told you the same thing. We are falling away from some teams, but we do have games in hand at home against some conference opponents which we need to take advantage of to get ourselves closer. I think it will come down to the last few weekends as it normally does.”

On Quincy Amarikwa’s fit with the team:

“He’s fit in great – three goals in three games. He’s a threat, he’s made a couple of looks in the games leading up to this, and tonight. He works hard and he takes a little bit of beating at times but he’s played really well for us since he got here.”

MARC PELOSI

On his MLS debut:

“It is always hard coming in when you’re down 3-0 but I think we did better in the second half. The first half was rough, you could see by the score line, but I think in the second half we did better as a team. We were attacking more and we had some more chances. We scored the goal which was a little reward but we obviously want to do better on these away games and try to get at least a point out of it.”

On the physicality of MLS play:

“It’s hard to judge, I think it’s a little more physical because I was training with the first team but most of the games were with the under-21 league. You can see how big some of the guys are, and a lot more physical, probably a bit more in the air than I am used to. I can adjust to that easily and I will do that in the future.”

CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI

On today’s loss:

“It’s always tough to lose, this is always a tough place to play. I don’t think we have won here since the conception of Whitecaps FC in MLS, so it’s obviously very difficult and frustrating at the same time.”

On making the appearance after playing the day before at the Gold Cup:

“I wanted to get with the guys. I wanted to move on and it’s always kind of rejuvenating to get back with the group. I felt pretty good, a little tired but felt good. Obviously, it’s a little frustrating more than anything. I was up on the East Coast at 3:30 a.m.”

On the slow start for the Earthquakes:

“It’s one of these things where it can be fickle sometimes. It’s one of those things where we aren’t always getting the bounces. I think we had one and it went off the crossbar and I can’t tell but I thought it was in. I’m very biased. It’s one of these things where we aren’t really getting the bounces. When you don’t in this league and you play against good teams and don’t come prepared, you end up losing 3-1.”

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Authored by: Michael McColl

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