Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP

Vancouver cools off LAFC via Hwang In-beom’s first goal (video)

Leave a comment

Hwang In-beom has added his first MLS goal to his resume, and the 14-times capped South Korean made sure it mattered in a big way.

The 22-year-old midfielder bagged a first-half goal to lead Vancouver past form side LAFC and a first MLS win for his manager, former LA assistant Marc Dos Santos.

[ MORE: Klopp to face Messi for 1st time ]

New-look Vancouver is now 1W-4L-2T on the season, dropping previously-unbeaten LAFC to 6-1-1.

The ‘Caps stopped Carlos Vela despite another five shots, one of which was saved by keeper Maxime Crepeau. Jamaican Peter-Lee Vassell also put two shots on goal.

Seattle now has the best points-per-game in MLS this season, with 2.67.

Fire come back at home to secure draw with Whitecaps

Chicago Fire Soccer Club
Leave a comment

The Chicago Fire were on the verge of suffering an embarrassing defeat, but a video assistant referee decision and an expertly-taken penalty helped the Fire earn a point at home.

The Fire drew the Vancouver Whitecaps, 1-1, at SeatGeek Stadium on Friday evening. Yordy Reyna put the Whitecaps up from a very tight angle but Nemanja Nikolic tied the score, firing a strike into the roof of the net.

[READ: JPW’s Premier League Picks]

In the 53rd minute, Fire goalkeeper David Ousted chased down a cross, but quickly realized he was about to handle the ball outside of the 18-yard box. Instead of kicking the ball out of play, Ousted tried to punch it to a teammate. Instead, it fell right to Reyna, who side-footed it just inside the post.

In the 81st minute, former Toronto FC defender and Canadian National Team player Doneil Henry was judged to have handled the ball in the penalty box. A review with VAR led to the decision. Nikolic stepped up to the spot with his team needing a goal and he smashed a strike in for a goal.

In the game’s final minutes, CJ Sapong nearly scored on a scrum in the box, but Vancouver’s Max Crepeau made a game-saving stop at close range.

Vancouver defender Ali Adnan has ugly Panenka penalty saved (video)

Associated Press
Leave a comment

There’s been a wave of Panenka penalty attempts across world soccer in the last few months, and when they work, they make the penalty taker look really slick.

When they don’t work, they’re U-G-L-Y.

That’s what happened to Vancouver Whitecaps defender Ali Adnan on Friday night, as he came off worse for wear after failing to capitalize on the chance to give his side an early lead at home over the LA Galaxy.

Lass Bangoura was fouled by Jorgen Skjelvik in the very first minute of the game, leading the referee to award Vancouver the penalty. Adnan stepped up and attempted the Panenka. Unfortunately, his effort was far too light and instead of tucking into the back of the net over top of a sprawled out David Bingham, the weak shot fell short, allowing Bingham to recover just enough from his dive to reach back and collect the ball before it went over the line.

*cringe*

The LA Galaxy twitter account poked fun at the miss, alluding to the daring nature of their own striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic that has become famous as his own slogan. Zlatan started the match for the Galaxy having scored three goals in the two matches he has been healthy enough to play in, bagging a brace last time out against Portland that included – you guessed it – a Panenka.

The saved penalty is another blow to Vancouver, who has collected just two points through the first five matches of the season, nestling into the bottom third of the Western Conference and finding themselves on the wrong end of a major gulf in points already. The Galaxy, meanwhile, came into this match with 10 points through five matches, having already collected three wins.

MLS preview: DCU host LAFC in possible MLS Cup preview

Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Get ready for another busy weekend of MLS action, beginning Friday night…

[ MORE: Danny Rose breaks silence about facing racist abuse in Montenegro ]

D.C. United v. Los Angeles FC — Saturday, 3 p.m. ET

Based on four weeks of results, this could very well be a preview of MLS Cup 2019. A few numbers to paint a picture of early-season dominance:

  • No team in MLS has won more points than LAFC’s 13 (from five games)
  • No team in the Eastern Conference has won more than D.C. United’s 10 (from four games)
  • No team in MLS has conceded fewer goals than United’s one — one, singular
  • No team in MLS has scored more goals than LAFC’s 15
  • No player in MLS has scored more goals than Carlos Vela’s six, or assisted more than Vela’s three, thus no player in MLS has scored and assisted more goals than Vela’s nine
  • No player in MLS (other than Vela) has scored more goals than Wayne Rooney‘s four, or assisted more than Rooney’s three

Based on the above evidence, Vela and Rooney are clear frontrunners for the 2019 MVP award. At this moment in time, most would probably call their teams the frontrunners to lift MLS Cup on Nov. 10.

Vancouver Whitecaps v. LA Galaxy — Friday, 10 p.m. ET

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has vowed to play when the LA Galaxy visit stadiums with artificial playing surfaces in 2019, beginning with Friday’s trip to BC Place to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps. Despite missing more than three weeks of action due to an achilles issue last month, Ibrahimovic says he is fully fit and ready to go.

“I’m ready,” he said this week. “No consequences [from] my issue I had a couple of weeks ago. If I feel good, I will play.”

The big Swede missed just four games upon signing the Galaxy in 2018, two of which were played on artificial surfaces and one for a “suspension” for not playing in the All-Star Game, on turf. Despite missing two games during the injury, Ibrahimovic is off to a quick start with three goals scored in the two games he has played.

Toronto FC v. Chicago Fire — 3 p.m. ET

Toronto FC have, to the tune of three wins from their first three games, bounced back from a disastrous 2018 season which saw them miss the playoffs by 14 points. The Reds have gotten key contributions from the likes of Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, before the arrival — and stunning debut — of Alejandro Pozuelo.

With the Spaniard now in tow, a backline which was reduced to rubble last year back to full strength, Greg Vanney’s side has look downright dominant at times. Having scored no fewer than three goals in any game this season, the sky could be the limit once again as Pozuelo quickly acclimates to life in MLS offers his best impression of Sebastian Giovinco’s gaudy goal and assist numbers.

Full MLS schedule

Friday

Vancouver Whitecaps v. LA Galaxy — 10 p.m. ET

Saturday

New York City FC v. Montreal Impact — 1 p.m. ET
D.C. United v. Los Angeles FC — 3 p.m. ET
Toronto FC v. Chicago Fire — 3 p.m. ET
New York Red Bulls v. Minnesota United — 7 p.m. ET
Columbus Crew SC v. New England Revolution — 7:30 p.m. ET
Orlando City SC v. Colorado Rapids — 7:30 p.m. ET
Philadelphia Union v. FC Dallas — 7:30 p.m. ET
San Jose Earthquakes v. Portland Timbers — 8 p.m. ET
Seattle Sounders v. Real Salt Lake — 10 p.m. ET

Sunday

FC Cincinnati v. Sporting Kansas City — 3 p.m. ET

Report: Montero bringing his game back to MLS

Photo credit: @WhitecapsFC
Leave a comment

The Vancouver Whitecaps are getting close to adding a big and familiar piece to their 2019 team.

[ MORE: Sounders go carbon neutral ]

Fredy Montero, one of the club’s 2017 stars, will reportedly return to British Columbia following the termination of his contract by Sporting Libson.

Montero, 31, scored 13 goals with six assists in that run under coach Carl Robinson, and new boss Marc Dos Santos will be thrilled to bring him back to Vancouver.

The winger has nine goals and five assists in 37 appearances since leaving MLS, and joins an intriguing cast in Vancouver. Hwang In-Boem and Lass Bangoura headline a very new-look ‘Caps unit.

Montero was a two-time MLS All-Star with Seattle Sounders before beginning his European adventure.