Vancouver Whitecaps

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MLS Snapshot: Whitecaps blow lead, come back to draw Rapids

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The game in 100 words (or less): The Vancouver Whitecaps and San Jose Earthquakes (and perhaps the LA Galaxy, should Jonathan Dos Santos turn out to be Midfield Superman) seem destined to duke it out for the sixth and final playoff place in the Western Conference this season, and the Whitecaps’ bid took a significant, unexpected hit Saturday night, as Carl Robinson’s side threw away an early lead before coming back from a goal down to draw the last-place Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Everything was going according to plan after Tony Tchani fired the visitors ahead in the 5th minute, but Axel Sjoberg and Kevin Doyle bagged goals either side of halftime to put Colorado 2-1 ahead. As woeful teams are known to do, though, the Rapids capitulated defensively with fewer than 15 minutes to go. Two points, down the toilet, for each side. The point pulls Vancouver ahead of the Portland Timbers for fifth in the West, expected to fall back to fifth, though, assuming San Jose close out Columbus Crew SC in Saturday’s nightcap.

[ MORE: Sunday’s MLS schedule is chock-full of important matchups ]

Three Four moments that mattered

5′ — Tchani slides the ball through traffic for 1-0 — Pick your spot and pass the ball to it — that’s exactly what Tchani did for the opener, even if he needed a bit of good fortune to avoid a sea of bodies.

15′ — Sjoberg, the poacher, poaches — Just a guess: Sjoberg is the tallest player in soccer history to be referred to as a “poacher,” even if only for a brief moment.

54′ — Doyle slots it past Ousted for 2-1 — Doyle gets the goal, but here’s giving Marlon Hairston the credit he deserves for the quick-thinking backheel inside the box. Champagne football (by Rapids standards, at least).

76′ — Montero is forgotten, heads home to equalize — Someone Everyone forgot to mark Montero on this Cristian Techera free kick, and that’s how you blow a late lead, and that’s how you end up at the bottom of the league table.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match:

Goalscorers: Tchani (5′), Sjoberg (15′), Doyle (54′), Montero (76′)

MLS Snapshot: FCD lose 4-0 at home; HOU fight back to draw POR

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FC Dallas 0-4 Vancouver Whitecaps

The game in 100 words (or less): Every team in MLS has one or two games each season where absolutely everything that could go wrong, does go wrong. Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps appears to have been the giant hiccup of FC Dallas’ 2017 season. Oscar Pareja’s side entered the contest, which they played with 10 men for the final half-hour, first in the Western Conference; they now sit second, two points back of Sporting Kansas City. Carlos Gruezo got himself sent off in the 59th minute with FCD already 2-0 down after Bernie Ibini-Isei’s opener and the first of two goals for Fredy Montero on the night. Montero added his second eight minutes after Gruezo’s dismissal, and Nicolas Mezquida delivered the dagger seven minutes from full-time. The victory sees Vancouver climb over the Seattle Sounders and into fifth in the West, now just one point back of the Portland Timbers (with three games in hand) for fourth.

[ MORE: SKC trade Dwyer to ORL | Sigi back to LA | LAFC hire Bradley ]

Three moments that mattered

18′ — Ibini-Isei finishes far post for 1-0 — It wasn’t the best-struck ball ever, but you can’t score if you don’t shoot. (Also, Jesse Gonzalez has to do better than this.)

49′ — Montero converts from the spot for 2-0 — Montero beats Gonzalez to score his first of the night.

67′ — Montero beats Gonzalez with ages to pick his spot — If you give a poached this kind of time inside the box, he’s going to make you pay.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Fredy Montero

Goalscorers: Ibini-Isei (18′), Montero (49′ – PK, 67′), Mezquida (83′)


Houston Dynamo 2-2 Portland Timbers

The game in 100 words (or less): The Portland Timbers led twice, on the road to the Houston Dynamo, but coughed up the lead on both occasions en route to a 2-2 draw on Saturday. It’s a common theme for Portland, who’ve been their own worst enemy when defending a lead this season. Yet again, it was set-piece defending that was their undoing and cost them what would have been two massive road points. Diego Valeri scored the Timbers’ opener and assisted on their second, but saw his contributions negated thanks to goals scored by Mauro Manotas and Juan Cabezas. The point is enough, however, to keep Portland ahead of Vancouver and the Seattle Sounders (for the time being), in fourth in the West. Houston remain third, but fail to capitalize on FCD’s defeat and go second in the West; the gap to Sporting KC is now three points.

[ MORE: SKC trade Dwyer to ORL | Sigi back to LA | LAFC hire Bradley ]

Three Four moments that mattered

13′ — Valeri sidesteps a challenge, slams home for 1-0 — The speed and fluidity with which Valeri collects the ball, evades the on-rushing defender, and explodes into space before applying the finish…

37′ — Manotas pounces on a loose ball, makes it 1-1 — Jake Gleeson didn’t get enough behind his punch, and the ball wound off free atop the six-yard box, where Manotas was waiting.

43′ — Blanco slots it past Deric for 2-1 — Valeri’s cross eluded Fanendo Adi, but Blanco arrived at the perfect moment to hit it low and hard past Tyler Deric for a 2-1 lead.

81′ — Cabezas scores with his cabeza for 2-2 — Portland struggling with set-piece defending… now, where have we heard that one before?

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Diego Valeri

Goalscorers: Valeri (13′), Manotas (37′), Blanco (43′), Cabezas (81′)

MLS: Rookie Ebobisse stars as Timbers win in Vancouver

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP
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The game in 100 words (or less): The Portland Timbers, thanks to a standout performance in rookie striker Jeremy Ebobisse’s first MLS start, put to bed a six-game winless skid with a 2-1 win away to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday. The run of poor form stretched back to early June, and saw Caleb Porter’s side slip from contention for the Western Conference’s top spot, into the jumbled mess surrounding the playoff cut line (four teams separated by one point, either side of sixth place, coming into Sunday). Ebobisse scored the opening goal less than a quarter-hour into the game, and delivered the beautiful backheel assist to Sebastian Blanco to restore the Timbers’ lead four minutes into the second half, after watching it disappear just before halftime. The victory sees Portland leapfrog Vancouver to move into fourth place in the West, just four points off the top spot once again.

[ RECAP: Super-sub Dempsey propels USMNT past Costa Rica ]

Three moments that mattered

14′ — Ebobisse touches home his first MLS goal — Sometimes you don’t really have to do much beyond simply existing in the right place. Ebobisse existed in the right place.

45′ — Jacobson heads home before halftime — Update: Portland still have issues defending set pieces.

49′ — Blanco slots past Ousted for 2-1 — No one really stepped up to deny Blanco’s marathon dribble, and Ebobisse did so much more than simply existing on this one.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Jeremy Ebobisse

Goalscorers: Ebobisse (14′), Jacobson (45′), Blanco (49′)

16-year-old Davies scores again, Canada leads Costa Rica (video)

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The kid did it again.

(I may have used that lead for a Christian Pulisic goal, but this is a different country, you know?).

Alphonso Davies, 16, scored for the third time in two Canada caps, and this one was a very smart, side-footed finish that has given Canada hope of winning Group A at the 2017 Gold Cup.

[ LIVE: Gold Cup scoreboard ]

If Canada can pickup all three points, they will be a draw against Honduras away from winning Group A. A draw all but guarantees their participation in the knockout rounds.

Davies has four goals in 34 appearances for the Vancouver Whitecaps, though he’s yet to finish in 21 MLS appearances.

Canada’s 16-yr-old Davies nabs two in Gold Cup debut (video)

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Canada’s expected win over French Guiana at Red Bull Arena on Friday was anything but by the book, but Canadian fans will be buoyed by the performance of the Vancouver Whitecaps’ 16-year-old whiz kid.

Alphonso Davies scored a pair of goals, one to make it 3-0 and another to produce the game’s final 4-2 score line, as Octavio Zambrano’s Canucks started the 2017 Gold Cup with three points.

[ MORE: Gold Cup predictions ]

Davies is now the youngest goal scorer in Canadian men’s national team history. Burnley’s Scott Arfield and New York Cosmos’ Dejan Jakovic also scored for Canada.

Davies’ first goal was a breakaway that showed the speed and deft touch that has him being scouted all over the world.

His second goal also ‘megged the backstop, as Davies got into space to finish his chance off a Canadian break.