The Vancouver Whitecaps enter the 2020 season in hopes of new and much higher expectations moving forward.
Given the disastrous season they had in 2019 along with various changes, one thing is for certain and that’s to put a much better product on the pitch!
Despite dropping the match by a 3-1 margin, the sell-out crowd of 22,120 were entertained from the moment the Cap’s entered the stadium.
Returning to home pitch at BC Place seemed to give the team a “lift” to their previous six (6) pre-season games all of which were on the road.
They managed three win’s, two losses and one draw playing at the University of California in San Diego, the Galaxy home pitch Dignity Health Sports Park as well as Providence Park in Portland.
Home pitch seemed to have what many call “the welcome feeling” for the squad taking on their Western Conference rival; while the Cap’s are focused on making amends moving forward for their upcoming match against the LA Galaxy March 7th at Dignity Health Sports Park in California.
I had the chance to walk around BC Place during half time making idle conversation with many of the young and older fans alike, all having the same thought that this season will be not just better, but more entertaining.
Sporting KC opened the game that saw Alan Pulido send a header past Maxime Crépeau in the 17th minute taking some of the thunder out of the jubilous Whitecap supporters.
One thing that seemed to impress many in the crowd was that of ball control by various Whitecap players, which seemed to be missing in past seasons, which was impressive to say the least.
Being down isn’t necessarily new for any team and given the “new look” Whitecap squad they managed to even the match at one in the 28th minute that saw Milinković set up Nerwinski collect his second MLS goal bringing the crowd to a deafening roar.
Jake Nerwinski provided the scoring for the ‘Caps collecting his second MLS career goal of the early season.
Given the play one would have thought that the Caps could grab a second prior to the end of the first half, but that simply wasn’t in the cards.
Sporting KC’s Luis Martin managed to dish one to Gadi Kinda in the 39th minute who managed a left foot volley put the visitors up by a 2-1 margin.
Despite trailing by one the Caps pressed that saw Cavallini come close to getting the equalizer moment’s later that saw his shot deflect off the post.
The second half started where the first ended with both squads playing fast, entertaining and aggressive play with both getting several chances.
It wasn’t until the 88th minute that Mississauga’s Whitecaps Lucas Cavallini came close to getting the tying marker only to be denied by Melia.
Player movement isn’t something new for any club and it takes its toll on both the player leaving as well as his team-mates, but it’s a business decision that can either help or hinder either party.
In this case it was former Whitecaps Eric Hurtado who returned after spending his first six seasons with Vancouver who entered the match delivering the final blow to the Caps scoring giving Sporting KC a 3-1 win.
Despite dropping the home opener, the fans left feeling entertained yet satisfied to know that the Caps had all they could in an attempt to pull out the win.
Vancouver travels south to take on the LA Galaxy Saturday March 7th and return home March 14th as they host the Colorado Rapids with kick-off at 4 pm.
For ticket info visit whitecapsfc.com and don’t miss any exciting Whitecaps action.
Game Stats as follows:
Possession: VAN 48.3% – SKC 51.7%, Fouls VAN 10 – SKC 13
Offsides: VAN 0 – SKC 0, Shots: VAN 9 – SKC 11, Corners: VAN 4 – SKC 3
Shots on Goal: VAN 5 – SKC 4, Saves: VAN 1 – SKC 4
Three cautions were handed out in the match by Referee Ted Unkel
3’ – SKC – Gadi Kinda, 23’ – VAN – Derek Cornelius, 57’ – SKC – Khiry Shelton
Make plans to attend the next match and you won’t be disappointed!!!