Want to re-live Wednesday’s night’s Champions League “action”? No seriously, we’re asking you!
Here’s our report and postgame reaction from both Vancouver and Seattle, whether you want it or not!
REPORT (by Steve Pandher):
Making their debut in the CONCACAF Champions League, Vancouver Whitecaps drew Seattle Sounders 1-1, fielding a completely different eleven from the weekend when they beat their Cascadian rivals.
After a forgettable first half Tim Parker opened the scoring while Lamar Neagle responded for the Americans.
The opening 30 minutes of the match saw neither side generate any dangerous opportunities on goal, with Seattle controlling the majority of possession while Vancouver looked to start something on the counter but fizzled once they got into the final third.
It took until the 34th minute for the first chance on goal when Andy Rose headed a cross from Aaron Kovar just over the target. Barrett would have another crack from outside the box just before half time but sent the ball well wide of the net.
The second half looked to be as dreary as the first but the ‘Caps finally started to show life and some signs of attack around the hour mark. Moments after a wild shot by Christian Dean, Pedro Morales was able to find Erik Hurtado and the winger was able to get Vancouver’s first shot on target forcing a corner.
It was the ensuing corner that saw the ‘Caps take the lead, with Tim Parker scoring his first professional goal and the first for the club in the competition. The rookie broke away from his mark in the box and back flicked the ball past Troy Perkins for the 1-0 advantage and another impressive strike from a defender.
The Sounders came close to equalizing minutes later when a collision between Barrett and Paolo Tornaghi provided an open net for Rose, but Diego Rodriguez provided a key block deflecting the ball wide.
The Sounders would get that leveller shortly after, as Lamar Neagle scored to end Seattle’s 432 minute goalless streak.
After a poor free kick, the ‘Caps defence switched off and Rose was able to collect the ball and send it to an unmarked Neagle at the edge of the six yard area, who one timed his attempt into the top corner with less than 18 minutes to go.
The remainder of the match saw both teams push for the winner without troubling the opposing keepers and they had to settle for a share of the points in the Group F opening match.
Vancouver returns to action this Saturday as they look to extend their four game unbeaten streak when they host Real Salt Lake. Seattle now face the tricky trip to LA on Sunday, desperately trying to find their groove again in MLS.
Vancouver Whitecaps 1 – 1 Seattle Sounders
VANCOUVER: Paolo Tornaghi; Ethan Sampson, Tim Parker, Diego Rodriguez, Christian Dean; Russell Teibert, Deybi Flores, Erik Hurtado (Marco Bustos 77), Pedro Morales (Robert Earnshaw 65), Kianz Froese (Sam Adekugbe 70); Darren Mattocks [Subs Not Used: David Ousted; Jordan Harvey; Gerson Koffie, Kekuta Manneh]
SEATTLE: Troy Perkins; Oniel Fisher, Brad Evans, Zach Scott, Dylan Remick; Andy Rose, Michael Azira, Cristian Roldan, Aaron Kovar (Thomas 74); Lamar Neagle (Darwin Jones 87), Chad Barrett (Erik Friberg 79) [Subs Not Used: Stefan Frei, Gonzalo Pineda, Andres Correa, Jimmy Ockford]
Thoughts on the match:
“I think it was an okay game. I’ll keep using the word okay now. It’s important that we didn’t lose. I think we didn’t play great. Obviously, sometimes that happens when you make that many changes. I’ll accept that. But we got our noses in front. Unfortunately we switched off at a vital moment and we let them back in with a bad goal. But I think it was probably a fair result.”
On how it took a while for the team’s chemistry to get going:
“Well I hoped it wouldn’t take an hour, but it did probably take an hour. That happens sometimes when you make that many changes. But it was a win-win because it was important that I got these guys games, with the busy schedule we have coming up. The group that plays in the first team at the moment wouldn’t be able to cope with eight games in a month. It gave me a few answers to questions I had in my mind with some players, which was good. Obviously, we will take the points at home, but we would have liked three.”
On whether he was disappointed he didn’t get more out of his players:
“I can’t fault their work. I’ll never fault their work ethic. They put a hell of a lot of work in today. Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t come off. When they don’t come off, I challenge them to work as hard as they can and that’s what they did today. There was no champagne football today, unfortunately, but there was a lot of hard work. So I’ll never fault that.”
Thoughts on Tim Parker:
“It was a well-worked set piece. It was a really good delivery. It was a cross from Pedro; great movement by Tim. He has come close. He gets his reward. We got our noses in front, because the first goal was always going to be crucial. When you’re at home and you get your nose in front, then it’s important you stay switched on. We switched off at a vital moment. It was a second phase on a cross. We didn’t stop the cross at the source, and then we didn’t defend the cross well enough. Tim’s goal is great, but disappointing that we didn’t win the game. When you get tired, sometimes when your mind stops working, your legs stop going. That’s what happens. That’s why it’s important that these guys got games under their belt. They trained brilliantly. The group that played today have been training really, really well. And I need to give them a reward and they got their reward today. There’s a lot of positives I’ll take, obviously there’s a lot of room for improvement, but we got some young players a couple more minutes, which is vital for us.”
On being torn between important games and entertainment business of the game:
“No [on not being torn]. I take each game at a time and I pick the best team that I think can win the game. And I really genuinely believe that this group of young players that I put out today, because it was a very young team, scattered with Paolo and Pedro, had enough. I think Sigi done the same. Sigi made eight changes as well. You have to do that as a manager. When you win, everyone pats you on the back. When you don’t win or don’t entertain, people are quick to criticize. So, it’s part of the game.”
On whether he is disappointed that they didn’t maximize the points from Group F:
“Yes, a little bit. I’ll be brutally honest. When you play well, and you don’t win, I’m disappointed. When you play okay and don’t win, you have to be honest. I think a draw was a fair result. So would I have liked to have won? Of course I would, and I’m disappointed that we dropped two points at home, but we’re not bad on the road, depending on who we play. So, we’ll take the next game in this competition when it comes along. And we’ll try and win that one.”
Thoughts on the game:
“Yeah, we got a point from the game. We wish we started with a win at home, especially, but we got a point, so half and half.”
Thoughts on Sounders goal:
“We knew they were dangerous on set pieces, especially in the second phase, and that was one example. The ball was cleared out on the side, but they kept players in the box and we lost focus.”
Thoughts on Chad Barrett:
“He’s a big boy, especially during the first half. So, happy to get involved in the game, especially at the beginning of the game.”
Thoughts on the rivalry:
“Maybe there were some talks during the week about the game, but it doesn’t matter who you play, you want to win, especially at home.”
Words from David (Ousted):
“We talked about how to get better for the second half. When we had possession with the ball.”
Thoughts on the match:
“Tough to play in. I think what we did to them in Seattle, they didn’t want to lose this game. I think we could’ve played better, but it’s about the guys that don’t get much playing time. I think this was the first time we got to play together, so something was off. So, it was going back and forth, back and forth. I think it was a fair result at home.”
Tired from Saturday’s game? (not sure who the hell asked that one!)
“I wouldn’t say we were tired because like I said, it was a totally new 11 out there. I think it wasn’t pretty for the fans to watch, but that’s how it goes sometimes in soccer. Some games are going to be pretty, some aren’t going to be pretty. We’re pretty satisfied with a 1-1 tie.”
Thoughts on Parker goal:
“Fantastic. I think he came in really well. I think it shows this season.”
Thoughts on his scoring chances:
“I had chances and probably on another day, and against another team, I would’ve taken those chances, but like I said, 1-1 is a fair result.”
Thoughts on goal:
“It was great to score at home, great to score against Seattle. Just a little heartbroken we didn’t get the win from it.”
Thoughts on scoring from a corner kick:
“It was just a set piece. I was just trying to get to the near post and just try to beat the other guy there, and I ended up beating the other guy there, and just got a piece of the ball and just fortunate enough to find the back of the net.”
Thoughts on team chemistry:
“It’s not that difficult. We get to play with each other in training, and we get to play with each other with the USL team. So for us, I’ve played with all those guys before. I think it just took us a little time to find a rhythm tonight.”
Thoughts on the match:
“I didn’t think we played with enough energy on Saturday night, so we wanted to make sure tonight that we came out and played with energy. I think we showed good energy. We were a lot more aggressive going forward. Offensively we tried to play balls behind their defence more, I thought that was good. We were unfortunate to go behind 1-0. At that point I thought we had carried more of the game. Happy to see us get an equaliser, it’s been a long time since we hit the back of the net. Hopefully this is a start of going forward.”
On emotions after goal was scored:
“A little relieved. It was definitely good. I felt like we just needed one and others would come. Obviously Andy Rose had a good opportunity, Barret could have landed that ball over the goalkeeper. Lamar had some good looks. In the first half I thought we had some decent chances.”
On Lamar Neagle goal:
“Obviously I am happy for him to have scored a goal, happy for our team. I do think there are a number of guys who could have had a goal and could have needed it. So it’s good for him, but mainly good for our team.“
If anyone caught his attention today:
“I thought some guys stepped up and played well. I thought Fisher played very well at right back for us. We wanted to put Roldan in the middle of midfield deeper and I thought Cristian in that role was very very good. Azira had some good moments as well. Kovar had a really good 45 minutes. Even though he is one of our fittest players, he always seems to run out of gas though. I don’t know if it’s nervous energy or what but that’s something that we’ve got to try and resolve, but I thought in the first half he was very good. So those guys stepped up. Andy Rose covered a ton of ground tonight.”
On result and future Champions League games:
“You want to win your games at home and get results on the road. Being able to come up here and get a point is good for us. As I said, we are a team that is still searching to get back into our groove and tonight was a big step in that direction.”
On goal and teammates reaction:
“Great. A little bit of relief. Going into half in the locker room, we felt like we should have had a couple. We felt like we were going to get a couple and unfortunately we did not get a couple but it is still good to get one.”
On recent tough stretch:
“After a few years were I was continuously getting better and statistically it was showing, it’s been kind of a stand still for everybody it seems like but it’s good to get back on the board and keep it going”
On feelings after the goal:
“Just relief. We obviously deserved to have a couple of goals that game, so it’s fortunate that we got one”
On if this breakthrough can lead to further success:
“Absolutely. Now that’s it off our back and we actually have a goal we can build on it. We definitely had a ton of opportunities and hopefully we can start converting.”
On whether they believed they had a goal in them before the goal:
“I felt like the group we had, we are all hard workers. We are going to keep our heads down and keep working hard. We didn’t get frustrated. We knew that we can score goals and were just waiting for the time to come”
On whether changed line-up was opportunity for players to showcase talent:
“It was probably the youngest line-up we had out there in a while and those guys were hungry for minutes and showed that they want more playing time. I don’t think there was a guy that stepped off the field that should hang their head. 1-1 in Vancouver is a good result. Now we’ll move on from it and its baby steps forward from this point. We are not looking to change around the season with one game but we’ll take this run with it and hopefully get a good result in LA on the weekend.”
On what the goal meant for the team:
“It was a collective sigh of relief. It wasn’t for a lack of effort that things weren’t falling our way. It was just one of those situations where we couldn’t find the back of the net. We’re proud of the effort. I think it was the first 90 minutes where we worked from beginning to end and even fought back from being down a goal.”
On Oniel Fischer’s performance:
“Fish has been great all year. His only problem is that Tyrone [Mears] is in front of him. Other than that, you’d probably see him out there every Saturday with us. For a young guy like him it is good to get playing time. It’s good for him to be healthy and see that it’s not for any other reason that he’s got an EPL veteran right in front of him.”