BY SPNW Staff 09:39PM 07/05/2014

Makeshift Sounders fall 1-0 to Whitecaps

Missing five regulars, the Sounders couldn’t mount a consistent attack and fell to the Whitecaps 1-0 Saturday night before a B.C. Place sellout of 22,500 in Vancouver, a weak start to three games in nine days against Cascadia Cup foes.

The Sounders’ four-game winning streak began to end in the 12th minute when Sebastian Fernandez took a pass from Pedro Morales and found himself unchecked above the top of the box from 25 yards. His booming knuckleball blew past goalie Stefan Frei inside the near post. The score was Vancouver’s first after two shutouts in a row.

The lead held in part because Seattle, which leads MLS with 33 goals, deployed a makeshift lineup thanks to the absences of Ozzie Alonso and Gonzalo Pineda (suspended for yellow card accumulations), Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin (yet to return from World Cup play) and the late hold-back of Obafemi Martins because of a hamstring injury that was not deemed serious. Also held back was backup goalie Marcus Hahnemann, with the same injury.

The loss was the first for the Sounders since Dempsey and Yedlin left to train with the U.S. Men’s National Team prior to World Cup play.  Brad Evans Evans and Michael Azira started in midfield, and Kenny Cooper and Chad Barrett started up front.

Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said to a TV audience at halftime that the Sounders “were getting nothing” from Cooper and Lamar Neagle, who were subbed out in the 74th and 55th minutes, respectively.

That gave playing time to reserves Cam Weaver and rookie Aaron Kovar, and Seattle newcomer Tristan Bowen made his club debut. But the Sounders were overwhelmed with Vancouver’s quickness in the first half, and put together only a handful of modest scoring chances in the second half.

Even as its record fell to 11-4-2, Seattle stayed atop the MLS table. fell However, the Whitecaps (6-3-7) extended their lead in the Cascadia Cup competition, moving to 2-0-1, while Seattle fell to 0-1-2 and Portland remained at 0-1-1.

The Sounders face the Portland Timbers at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup, then meet the Timbers again at 7 p.m. July 13 in MLS play. The Sounders figure to have all five regulars back for the second Timbers match, at the Clink.


  • jafabian

    Vancouver was much more aggressive compared to the Sounders in this match, the ball being in the Sounders end of the field most of the time. Considering how many players weren’t available it’s amazing the score was 1-0. But this could have been a tie very easily.

    • art thiel

      Same was said about the U.S. in WC.

  • RadioGuy

    22,000 is a “sellout” at BC Place? They must use a LOT of tarp to cover seats in the upper deck. Oh well, I’m sure they bought the tarps with some of the $486 million used to renovate the place (meanwhile, they built a 28,000-seater with luxury boxes for $14.4 million at Hastings as a temporary facility but chose to take it down when BC Place reopened…and we think WE have nitwit politicians).

    Anyway, pretty tough to win on the road when you’ve got so many starters out. Maybe Clint and DeAndre will be back from the talk show circuit sometime so they can play a little soccer here. BTW, didn’t Cam Weaver play for the USL Sounders? That’s a familiar name.

    • art thiel

      That’s the same Cam. Was a late add before the season began. And Yedlin and Dempsey were given the OK by the team to decompress fort this one. At the MLS level, country always comes before club.

      B.C’s nitwittery surrounded the 2010 Olympics, an event guaranteed to turn pols and most citizens to foolishness. Wait until you see Brazil in 2016.

      • RadioGuy

        I think it’ll be hard for Brazil to top the corruption and overspending they had for the World Cup. The Olympics will be a more contained opportunity for chicanery, while the WC involved eight cities and all kinds of new or renovated stadium.
        I’m wondering if the Chinese had anything to do with the Brazilian stadiums, BTW. When the Cricket World Cup was held in the West Indies in 2007, a lot of the new venues for that were built via Chinese “investors.”
        Thanks for the clarification on Hastings/PNE, Kirkland. I looked it up on Wikipedia, figuring there was a fair chance of at least 51% accuracy in what I read. I’d expect an MLB team to move directly into BC Place because at least it used to be baseball-acquainted (if not baseball-friendly). Ask Edgar Martinez about playing there. On second thought, that’s not such a good idea.
        Besides, if I owned the A’s, I’d be looking at how to make Sacramento work…Vancouver’s never been a very good baseball city. Historically, neither was Sac-Town, but they get pretty good crowds at Raley and there’s already a built-in A’s fan base there from being Oakland’s AAA affiliate and relatively close to the Bay Area.

    • Kirkland

      Instead of tarps, BC Place extends fabric from the bottom of the upper deck to create a second “roof”. Sounds strange, but it works.

      As for the temporary field in Hastings/Empire, that was intended to become a public park with soccer fields and such all along, which should be open by now. The “erector set” infrastructure (no concrete IIRC) was unlocked and reclaimed by the construction company. It’ll be rebuilt the next time a municipality needs a temporary stadium for a couple of years. The A’s, perhaps?