In what could have been a much worse result, the Vancouver Whitecaps opened them Canadian championship on the road with a 0-0 draw against a match Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League. In some respects, the visiting MLS side was lucky enough to hold a scoreless draw.
What is missing in that overview are the eight corner kicks in favor of the Whitecaps, and the thirty-two (!) Free space to which they were forced, suggesting that Cavalry had no trouble at all to compete in Vancouver.
In fact, it would not be too far-fetched to think it was Cavalry who figuratively tore up the turf in the CPL that led to the literally flattened, worn-out grass at Spruce Meadows, although in reality the field was only a few days away from a jumping competition that led to his spotty condition. Nevertheless: dizziness.
Marc Dos Santos seemed to stay true to his "Canadian championship is ALL!" mantra (or at least make the final) alluded to earlier this year by drawing up a line-up that closely resembles what was done in MLS:
However, there were a few changes in the line-up that went through a 6-1 throttling LAFC last Saturday in competition match.
Scott Sutter slid to the right wing plate instead of Jake Nerwinski, while Brett Levis gave way to Ali Adnan on the left, with the reissue of Adnan's International Transfer Certificate after his official transfer to the club.
Derek Cornelius joined Doneil Henry and Erik Godoy in the background, if Andy Rose pushed up to replace Hwang In-beom on a midfield consisting of Russell Teibert and Felipe, which will allow Jon Erice a well-deserved break.
And participate Yordy Reyna in front was the red card man himself, Fredy Montero, who was certainly looking for some kind of redemption tonight, personally or otherwise, after the replacement Lucas Venuto in the match at LAFC, only to be eliminated in the 85th minute.
Mixed between the first eleven of Cavalry FC & # 39; s were a handful of famous names and faces:
Former Whitecaps abound!
Mixed in the XI Dominick Zator, part of the WFC2 USL development squad; Elijah Adekugbe, VWFC Academy member and brother of former Whitecap defender, Sam Adekugbe; and Mason Trafford, who played on the side of Whitecaps USL in front of the club joined MLS.
Oh, and that may or may not be the former & # 39; Hat Holder & # 39; Marco Carducci in just before Cavalry FC. I'm pretty sure that I heard during the broadcast that there was actually a call.
The Whitecaps hit the ground running, literally, with Yordy Reyna hard on deck within seconds of the kickoff. After this, early high pressure was mixed by the Whitecaps with a number of stop-and-start errors at both ends of the field.
A dangerous early spotkick came from the hosts like Jose Escalante put a ball over and over the head of Godoy, leading to a quickly released cornerkick.
Cavalry FC was certainly not afraid to run to the Whitecaps with the ball at their feet, but was more than accommodating in the first half when it came to allowing deep Whitecaps possession. Bye appeared to be early when Vancouver apparently was unable to make bad pass height when attempting to get past the center of the field.
And it was taken over at the end of the Whitecaps that led to the first threat on the net, where sales led to a rapid Nico Pasquotti shot in the penalty area, although the tight angle allowed goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau to push him to another corner, which, when he was played quickly and quickly, luckily found no one when he squirted through the box.
After finding a bit of decorum, the Whitecaps earned their first shot of the game in the 13th minute, with a strong individual effort from Reyna resulting in a slow roll to Carducci for a Trafford block.
After both sides had changed a long throw that was placed directly in the reach of the opponent, Reyna got a second attempt from a distance, this time a low rocket that Carducci threw aside.
Half more or less ran with both sides and kept decent periods of possession often truncated by long balls that went a bit too long or square balls that were far too messy.
In a concise analysis, specifically for the Whitecaps …
For example, Andy Rose was almost able to fit a loop in the 30th minute, only to make it to the end line, while Cavalerie quickly combined that with a potentially effective long ball of his own, where a powerful pass over Adnan was caught Dean Northover square in the chest, shoot forward to the end line.
With half the only real distinction between each team was the marginally better occupancy statistics for the Whitecaps, as the teams saw the first 45 with a mutual inability to break the opposite third.
It only took a few minutes before Vancouver saw a heavy effort put in for offside. After calling for a pass, Adnan jerked his way deep into Cavalry before going to Montero. Adnan kept his point going and took a pass in the area where the answer showed a well-timed series, although it did not raise the flag of the linesman.
– Eighty Six Forever (@ 86forever) July 11, 2019
I mean, we're not biased, right?
The Whitecaps had a fear in the 59th minute, where a seedy Pasquotti pitch was trapped in a leg salad just outside of the Vancouver Six. Fortunately, the ball was cleared and quickly turned into a successful outbreak, with Reyna Carducci again forcing a sharp save and a conceded corner.
Prior to the rapid replacement of Teibert for PC Giro in the 64th minute, the Whitecaps were almost made to suffer when Henry gave up the property in a sloppy way Dominique Malonga just outside the penalty area, only for the Congolese striker to shoot his shot well over the bar.
A second freebie by Henry in a matter of minutes allowed for sub and Canadian international Nik Ledgerwood breaking through. Fortunately Godoy was able to limit the threat to a corner.
A second turn on the left provided a reasonable penalty shout for Cavalerie, as Sutter Pasquotti broke through the chest with a jump and a high knee, but after a conversation with his assistant it was not enough for the referee to decide a PK.
A reasonable, if not unspectacular, night ended for Reyna in the 70th minute, as Lucas Venuto entered the field, just before a free kick earned by Montero almost found Henry's head just outside the six.
After a number of long throws from Pasquotti helped the Whitecaps deeply buried, a quick breakout ensured that Venuto could launch a ball on the path of the PC, which kept the ball next to the post:
Cavalry continued to put pressure on the Vancouver backline, which defended well enough, but could never find a way to consistently maintain the possession of the club in the first half.
Joaquin Ardaiz, coming back from a hamstring injury, found a strong run early in his team after replacing Montero in the 76th, but he too was unable to achieve success in third place and was expropriated at the top of the box trying to defeat Venuto.
An abundance of late action all came before the Whitecaps net, only when Zator almost reached a net-wide head shortly before a deflecting Henry gave in to another corner and blocked a low shot from Pasquotti.
Giving away one after another for the Whitecaps was almost fatal in the 89th minute as Crepeau was able to stand up and push a long, curling effort from Escalante wide.
I tell you, if it wasn't for Crepeau, this season would look a lot worse.
Despite the decidedly one-way-play end of the game, a final sigh over the field for the Whitecaps almost resulted in an important out goal.
After taking a free kick outside the right side of the Cavalry Penalty Area, Rose was the beneficiary of the subsequent dead ball, which remained unmarked and stood up well to meet the cross, just to go over the net just before the whistle.
At first glance you would think that an MLS side would have achieved a better result at a club in a newly formed competition and a selection of players who had once or somehow been limited to the margin of MLS without a professional breakthroughs.
Ah, but this is the 2019 Vancouver Whitecaps they were facing, proving that their inability to move into an opponent's penalty area can be achieved at any level of football.
In all honesty, Cavalry FC is a strong side; they still won the "apertura" of the CPL, and you could say that the Whitecaps might take them for granted. But given how strong the start eleven seemed to be for Vancouver, it is their inability to break down an opposing defense that brought the club to a draw in the first leg of their semi-final in the Canadian championship.