The Vancouver Whitecaps had a rough start to the season with multiple injuries and needed every player they had to make a stand. With the list of injured players behind them, it seems the Whitecaps are back to full strength.
Vancouver recorded their sixth win of the season against the FC Dallas on Saturday, and for head coach, Marc Dos Santos, it could not have come soon enough. Commenting, Dos Santos said,
“After the weeks that we’ve had — 16 days, five games, travel that was a nightmare, it’s a reality — we knew coming in here that … (we needed) a level of passion and commitment and heart more than anything else. We deserved the three points tonight because of the commitment and passion and the toughness of the group.”
Major League Soccer
The Vancouver Whitecaps have now won their last three games and have proven in those games. Jake Nerwinski., who plays right back, feels that as a team, they are in sync. Nerwinski commented that it is a team effort adding,
“It’s not just 11 guys, it’s not just 14 guys with three subs off the bench. It’s a whole team. We shifted lineups three different times over the last eight days and we got results every time. It just shows how important every player on this team is.”
Sunday’s win was the Whitecaps first multi-goal win of the year and would have earned a shutout had Dallas not scored late in the second half. Nerwinski, adding to his comments above said the team likes the theatrics adding,
” We would have liked the shutout tonight, of course. It’s unfortunate they scored. But our response after the goal to just become a block in the back, I think we did really well and we were able to just grind out a result.”
While Dallas dominated the play 60% of the match and even outshot Vancouver, they failed to find the point, and with Vancouver not wavering, they managed to breakthrough and scored their first goal at the 30 minute mark. That came when Ali Adnan got between defenders Reggie Canno and Michael Barrios and went straight to the net. Adnan, who hails from Iraq earned his first MLS goal by sending the ball to the upper right corner and beating goalie Jesse Gonzalez.
Ten minutes later, Vancouver’s Lucas Venuto made it 2-0 for the Whitecaps with a back-heel pass he converted from Fredy Montero sending a low shot past Gonzalez. It looked like Vancouver was going to earn a shutout until Dominique Badji scored for Dallas with 5 minutes remaining after sending a bouncing shot past Maxime Crepeau.
Crepeau had a solid performance in net and made three big saves, and the game was a memorable one for Ottawa native Theo Bair, a striker making his who debut in the MLS debut. Blair, who is 19, had a chance to score to put Vancouver up 3-1 when he connected with a pass from Nerwinski and taking a shot at the net. Commenting, Blair said,
“I’ve worked really hard. This is what every player who comes out of the academy dreams of. I got my chance, I got my moment. It felt great. Hopefully many more to come.”
Blair added that he knew his parents were watching the game back home and that he was happy knowing they got to see it. The stands also saw members of the Caps academy in attendance to show their support to Blair. After the game, Blair’s sister, who was in attendance, gave him a big hug. Commenting, Blair added,
“The fact that I actually touched the field, I wanted to cry myself. I won’t lie. It’s just amazing. It’s everything.