Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers – MLS – Match Report

By FPL360


Cascadia Clash 

The Vancouver Whitecaps have lost ground in their chase for a Major League Soccer playoff spot on Friday night. The ‘Caps lost 1-0 in front of 8574 at BC Place against Cascadia Cup rivals Portland Timbers. A crucial defeat as the Timbers are a direct rival for one of the MLS Cup spots. 

Despite crucial playoff points on the line, the game never developed the urgency throughout the first 45 minutes. Both sides were wasteful in their decision-making in the final third. That trend continued in the second half and it was somewhat telling that an own goal would decide the match. 

Two situations were a metaphor for the overall match. First of all, there was the goal in the 65th minute. A situation in which Whitecaps had already dealt with Portland’s striker Felipe Mora but his shot across the goalmouth was deflected into the goal by Vancouver’s defender Ranko Veselinović

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Ryan Gauld: Whitecaps number 10 highlights importance to his team

The second key situation came just before the final whistle when Vancouver’s star playmaker Ryan Gauld had the opportunity to equalize. It was just one of two opportunities for Gauld that evening. 

Gauld was effectively taken out of the game by Portland and had completed 71.9% of his 32 passes. “He didn’t flourish like in the previous games,” Whitecaps’ interim head coach Vanni Sartini said after the game. “I think the performance was at least sufficient.” But Santini did admit that the Timbers did a good job targeting the Whitecaps Designated Player. 

Santini sees Gauld as a player who is most effective in playing between the lines and has utilized him both on the wing and as an inverted winger playing next to a more natural number 9. “He is very important for this team,” Santini said. “I would call him a number 10.” 

Four goals and two assists in eight games highlight his importance. But there is also a danger. The Timbers effectively shut Gauld out, and with Russell Teibert failing to support him on the wing, the Whitecaps attack struggled, giving up three important points in the tight MLS Cup Playoff race. 

Cavallini, Caio Alexandre, Caicedo & Co.: Vancouver Whitecaps record arrivals

Jon Erice | Signed from Albacete in 2019 | Fee: $440,000

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Lucas Venuto | Signed from Austria Vienna in 2019 | Fee: $440,000

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Jasser Khmiri | Signed from Stade Tunisien in 2019 | Fee: $440,000

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Ranko Veselinović | Signed from Vojvodina in 2020 | Fee: $649,000

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Kenny Miller | Signed from Cardiff in 2012 | Fee: $700,000

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Leonard Owusu | Signed from FC Ashdod in 2020 | Fee: $1.1m

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Anthony Blondell | Signed from Monagas SC in 2018 | Fee: $1.2m

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Érik Godoy | Signed from CA Colón in 2020 | Fee: $1.5m

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Previously on loan at the Whitecaps

In-beom Hwang | Signed from Daejeon Citizens in 2019 | Fee: $1.72m

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Ali Adnan | Signed from Udinese in 2019 | Fee: $1.96m

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Janio Bikel | Signed from CSKA Sofia in 2020 | Fee: $2.2m

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Déiber Caicedo | Signed from Deportivo Cali in 2021 | Fee: $2.5m

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Pedro Vite | Signed from Independiente del Valle in 2021 | Fee: $2.5m

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Octavio Rivero | Signed from O’Higgins in 2015 | Fee: $3.3m

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Caio Alexandre | Signed from Botafogo in 2021 | Fee: $4m

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Lucas Cavallini | Signed from Puebla in 2020 | Fee: $5m

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