Pa Modou Kah

MLS Snapshot: Vancouver Whitecaps 4-0 Real Salt Lake (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Players Real Salt Lake were without Saturday night in Vancouver: Javier Morales, Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando, Joao Plata, Jamison Olave, Chris Schuler, Jordan Allen and Luke Mulholland. With both eyes firmly placed on their US Open Cup semifinal on Wednesday night — and in the midst of a 15-day, five-game jaunt across North and Central America — Jeff Cassar, who was sent off himself in this one, opted to rotate his squad a great deal. So, it’s really little surprise they were beaten and battered, to the tune of 4-0, by the Whitecaps at BC Place. It was shocking, however, at just how easy RSL made life for the Whitecaps and how quickly things got out of hand. With their 13th victory of the season in hand, the ‘Caps remain very much in the thick of the Supporters’ Shield race, where they trail D.C. United by just two points with a game in hand. Meanwhile, RSL sink to eighth in the Western Conference, three points behind the Seattle Sounders for the sixth and final playoff place.

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Three moments that mattered

7′ — Rivero taken down in the box, PK awarded — Elias Vasquez was (woefully) adjudged to have taken down Octavio Rivero inside the RSL penalty area despite minimal contact, and certainly nothing outside your run-of-the-mill jostling on a set piece. Rivero converted to give the ‘Caps and early lead.

40′ — Kah scores his third in two games for the ‘Caps — Pa-Modou Kah, center forward, am I right? Nope, still wrong. This is one of the more hilarious — and Kah-esque— goals you’re bound to see in MLS this season. With roughly 85 percent of the net wide open through which to tap home his easy goal, Kah somehow hit the 15 percent occupied by Jeff Attinella, and scored anyway.

50′ — Techera taps home from close range — “Close range” doesn’t really do justice just how far Cristian Techera actually had to hit Jordan Harvey’s cross to put it over the line. Though, to be fair to Techera, the tight angle was quite difficult and he did well to not hit the post followed by his face.

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Man of the match: Cristian Techera

Goalscorers: Rivero (PK – 7′), Kah (40′), Techera (50′, 68′)

MLS Snapshot: Seattle Sounders 0-3 Vancouver Whitecaps (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): The Seattle Sounders’ summer slide continued on Saturday night when Sigi Schmid’s side fell to the Vancouver Whitecaps, by the score of 3-0, at CenturyLink Field. Pa Modou Kah was the unlikeliest of goalscorers on the night — twice, in fact — as the Sounders lost for the seventh time in eight games. Clint Dempsey returned from US national team duty, but the Sounders remained without his running mate up top, Obafemi Martins. The Sounders controlled possession throughout the entirety of 90 minutes (60-40 in terms of possession), but were ultimately undone on three Whitecaps set pieces. At the end of day on Saturday, the Sounders (32) remain fifth in the Western Conference, level on points with their other Cascadia rivals, the Portland Timbers. Meanwhile, the ‘Caps (39) have leapfrogged FC Dallas (who now have two games in hand) for the West’s top spot.

[ MORE: DCU 6-4 RSL | OCSC 5-2 CLBNYCFC 2-3 MTLDrogba arrives | Johannsson to MLS? ]

Three moments that mattered

6′ — Kah hammers home an early rebound — You’d probably expect Kah scoring from a free kick to look something like the leaping Norwegian center back towering over his marker and headed the ball downward and into the back of the net, right? Nope. Try a really classy volleyed finish on a half-turn from near the top of the penalty area.

49′ — Kah scores from another set piece — On the list of “ways Kah might score from a set piece,” a cheeky backheel flick is probably even further down the list than his first goal on the night. Yet, here we are, basking in the glory of Kah.

75′ — Morales curls a beauty of a free kick near post — That is an infinitely more believable and likely scenario in which the Whitecaps might have scored a goal than anything Kah did tonight. This free kick is just so basic for Pedro Morales.

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LINEUPS

Seattle Sounders: Frei, Remick, Marshall, Evans, Mears, Thomas (Rose 76′), Alonso, Pineda (Roldan 60′), Friberg, Barrett (Neagle 63′), Dempsey

Vancouver Whitecaps: Ousted, Harvey, Kah, Waston, Beitashour, Koffie, Laba, Manneh (Mattocks 79′), Mezquida (Morales 72′), Techera (Teibert 86′), Rivero

Goals: Kah (6′, 49′) Morales (75′)

Cascadia Cup trash talk – over Seattle’s Clint Dempsey! How great is this?

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Let’s be clear about two things when it comes to Cascadia Cup and trash talk:

First, we don’t really need additional conflict on what is already the league’s top rivalry. It’s already pretty awesome.

Second, never mind that, because it is even more awesome with trash talk.

Portland center back Pa Modou Kah was something less than impressed with Seattle Sounders man of the moment Clint Dempsey, who made his CenturyLink Field debut with his new club Sunday.

The Sounders finished on top in this version of Major League Soccer’s top rivalry (a 1-0 victory), one that goes back to the 1970s during both clubs’ North American Soccer League days. But that didn’t stop Kah from tossing a bit of accelerant on the rivalry. On Dempsey he said:

He’s the best player in MLS? If he’s the best…I’ve seen much, much better in Europe. … If he was so good, he would still be at Tottenham.”

A couple of points:

Dempsey’s signing is important for a lot of reasons, but many of them symbolic. It’s about an important player in Europe, at the top of his game, making the choice to come back into MLS. It’s about an American being the league’s highest paid man.

But that doesn’t make Dempsey the “best player in MLS.” I’m not sure anyone ever said so … not people who really understand what’s going on, at least. He’s an impact player, and surely one of the best. But let’s not spill over the top with hyperbole here.

Further, Kah was lucky to see out the 90 minutes Sunday. He should have been cautioned (and ejected, as it would have been his second booking) for kneeing Eddie Johnson in the back of the head.

Given his fortune, maybe it would have been better for Kah not to call any more attention to himself than was absolutely necessary.