Preview: Whitecaps welcome Rapids for West showdown
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs COLORADO RAPIDS
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
June 16, 2012 (WEEK 15, MLS Game #125)
4 p.m. PT (Altitude)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC look to make it two home wins in a row in a key Western Conference matchup, taking on the Colorado Rapids on Saturday afternoon at BC Place. Whitecaps FC put an end to their winless run last weekend, with a 3-1 win against the Houston Dynamo. The Rapids return to action after three weeks off from league play, last posting a 3-2 home win against the Montreal Impact.
REFEREE: Jasen Anno. SAR (bench): Mike Kampmeinert; JAR (opposite): Baboucarr Jallow; 4th: David Gantar
MLS Career: 30 games; FC/gm: 22.6; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 18; pens: 8
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC - OUT: FW Atiba Harris (R knee surgery recovery); FW Omar Salgado (R foot fracture); GK Brian Sylvestre (R knee surgery recovery)
- COLORADO RAPIDS - OUT: DF Anthony Wallace (L Achilles tear); MF Pablo Mastroeni (headaches); DOUBTFUL: DF Marvell Wynne (R hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: FW Omar Cummings (L ankle sprain); PROBABLE: MF Jamie Smith (R knee ACL tear); MF Ross LaBauex (sports hernia); FW Conor Casey (R hamstring strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: COL: Tyrone Marshall (through June 17)
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Jun Marques Davidson, Gershon Koffie ... COL: Jeff Larentowicz
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Martin Bonjour, Eric Hassli ... COL: Jaime Castrillon, Tyrone Marshall
ALL-TIME (2 meetings): Whitecaps 0 wins, 2 goals ... Rapids 2 wins, 4 goals ... Ties 0
AT VANCOUVER (1 meeting): Whitecaps 0 wins, 1 goal ... Rapids 1 win, 2 goals ... Ties 0
RETURN MATCHES: 7/4: Colorado Rapids vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:30 p.m. MT; 9/23: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Colorado Rapids, 4:30 p.m. PT
7/9: COL 2, VAN 1 (Casey 25; Palguta 68 - Camilo 77)
10/22: VAN 1, COL 2 (Rochat 49 - Larentowicz 59; Thompson 84)
- The Rapids won both meetings in Vancouver's inaugural season, winning 2-1 both at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and at BC Place.
- Coaches record: Martin Rennie vs. COL: first game ... Oscar Pareja vs. VAN: first game
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC put an end to their three-game league winless run in emphatic fashion, defeating the Houston Dynamo 3-1 on June 10 at BC Place. Whitecaps FC are in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with 22 points from 13 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: 'Caps get off the schneid vs. Houston
- Whitecaps FC opened their account after just four minutes. Darren Mattocks turned the ball into the top left corner of Tally Hall's goal following a fine cross from Young-Pyo Lee from the right for the opener.
- Mattocks added his second on 66 minutes, finishing a play masterminded by a fine pass from Gershon Koffie. The Ghanaian midfielder received the ball from Jun Marques Davidson before hitting a perfect pass with the outside of his boot for Mattocks to run onto and finish.
- Seven minutes from time, Macoumba Kandji belted home a finish from a Brian Ownby cross from the heart of the area to get the Dynamo back to within one.
- But four minutes later, Jordan Harvey put the game out of reach, tapping home from close range after a Houston defender failed to deal with Koffie's cross from the right flank after he stripped a Dynamo player of the ball.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made one change to the team that came back for a 1-1 result with the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Darren Mattocks started in attack in place of Camilo.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-3-3): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour, Alain Rochat - John Thorrington, Jun Marques Davidson, Gershon Koffie - Sebastien Le Toux (Michael Nanchoff 90), Darren Mattocks (Eric Hassli 87), Davide Chiumiento (Jordan Harvey 78).
Whitecaps jerseys through the years
- The win was the first in league play for Vancouver since a 2-1 win against San Jose on May 5 at BC Place, and the first in any competition since the second leg of the Canadian Championship semifinal vs. FC Edmonton.
- "We're just happy to get the win. There were some great performances by some individuals today. We played well, we passed the ball well and scoring three goals is always a great thing," said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. " ... We saw a lot from our young players, but everybody played well.
- Making his second start in three league games, rookie Darren Mattocks scored his second and third goal over the last two, recording his first MLS multiple-goal game.
- "One thing about Darren is that he creates chances and today he created maybe four or five others. Almost every game he creates chances and if he's consistent with his finishes, he can score a lot of goals. Scoring goals helps him get in the lineup and if he scores more, it will build his confidence," said Rennie. "His speed opened up the game and we were able to pass the ball really well and part of that is because there's a threat behind the opposition that Darren creates. Both he and Eric (Hassli) can contribute a lot to our team and the fact that they play differently is a positive. Some games it may be more suited for the way Eric plays and some others for the style Darren brings and some games it will be suited for both of them to play together."
- Mattocks has four goals over seven appearances in all competitions, not making his full professional debut until May 9 after suffering burns in a household cooking accident.
- "With his qualities, he's so fast - he can score a lot of goals," Davide Chiumiento said of Mattocks. "All the defenders now - they start to be scared. If they really drop because they are scared of balls behind, we have a lot of space between the lines, and if they come up, we can play in behind, so it gives us two different solutions."
- Gershon Koffie recorded his first MLS assist by setting up Mattocks' second goal, and nearly had a third on Jordan Harvey's late capper.
- "He won a lot of second balls and was good with his possession. He was athletic and powerful, but he played great balls behind as well," said Rennie. "His overall play was excellent. What's important for him and the team is for us to be consistently good. I can think of a couple of other games where he has played well in spells, but that's the most consistent 90 minutes overall. He wasn't the only one, but I thought at times he was excellent."
- After being kept out of the first team for three consecutive league games April 21-May 5, as well as coming off the substitutes' bench for both legs of the Canadian Championship final vs. Toronto FC, Davide Chiumiento has started the last four league contests.
- "He's finding himself in areas where he's difficult to mark," Rennie said. "He's got that final pass, he's got that ability to play people in. Today, he was dangerous one-v-one, and so overall he's got tons of quality and he showed that again today. He's a threat."
- Whitecaps FC learned second-year striker Omar Salgado will be gone 2-4 months with a broken foot, suffered while on international duty with the U.S. U-20 national team.
- "[The timing] makes it a lot more difficult for me," Salgado said. "Coming into a good moment in the league for me personally - getting back into the season and making a difference to the team was disappointing, but I can't really look back and say, ëWell, I could have done this different.' It just happened, and now it's just recovery."
The Colorado Rapids return to action after a two-week break, their last match a 3-2 win against the Montreal Impact at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on May 26. The Rapids are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 19 points from 13 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Rapids snatch a win against Montreal
- The visitors struck first after just 14 minutes, when midfielder Patrice Bernier took a clever lay-off from Brazilian playmaker Felipe Martins and chipped Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
- Just four minutes after Montreal's opener, Martin Rivero's through ball to Wells Thompson resulted in Thompson taking a hard shoulder from Hassoun Camara in the penalty box, and referee Mark Kadlecik pointed to the spot. Jeff Larentowicz stepped up and drilled the penalty kick into the bottom left corner.
- Colorado regained the lead in the 39th minute. Defender Drew Moor powered an open header from a Rivero free kick service from 35 yards out to give the home side the 2-1 edge at the half.
- But just three minutes after the second-half restart, Montreal rookie and 2012 No. 1 SuperDraft pick Andrew Wenger found the net to pull his side even, before the match again took a twist when Tyrone Marshall was sent off in the 61st minute after receiving a second booking.
- Yet with just seven minutes remaining in regulation, Rivero served a perfect set piece to the far post that substitute Scott Palguta desperately headed across goal. Impact 'keeper Greg Sutton, who himself had come on in the second half, got a hand on it, but the ball skipped atop the crossbar and fell to Jaime CastrillÛn, who guided it home for the match-winner.
- Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made one change to the side that came back for a 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Andre Akpan started up top in place of Conor Casey.
- COLORADO RAPIDS (4-3-3): Matt Pickens - Kosuke Kimura, Tyrone Marshall (sent off 61), Drew Moor, Hunter Freeman - Martin Rivero, Jeff Larentowicz, Jaime Castrillon - Wells Thompson (Harrison Henao 68), Andre Akpan (Scott Palguta 64), Tony Cascio (Kamani Hill 74).
Rapids preview Vancouver matchup after long break
- The Rapids have scored four goals from free kicks this season, most in MLS. They also lead the league with six goals in all scored from set pieces.
- "In the current games in this era, many of them are being resolved by set pieces. We discussed with them the ability and intelligence just to take the time and just try to take the most out of every corner, every cross that we have. I think they did a great job on that part (vs. Montreal)," said Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja. "At the end they get a result because they were very intelligent and patient with those set pieces. And as you say, Mart"n has been a good addition in that part because he delivers the ball very well."
- Over the last seven games, the Rapids have allowed two goals in five, while posting clean sheets in the other two. They are 3-3-1 in that stretch.
- "It's just poor defending. It comes through the midfield too easily and it came through the defense too easily. To be fair, Montreal overloaded the midfield and we were outnumbered in there for large periods of the game. They were able to open us up a couple times and both goals by them were good finishes," said defender Drew Moor. "There's nothing [Matt] Pickens can do about them. He's left out to dry and we need to do a better job of keeping their attack in front of us. We're allowing guys in behind and beside us and it needs to be cleaned up. It's frustrating."
- After starting back-to-back games, striker Conor Casey could not feature against Montreal, suffering from a hamstring strain. Winger Brian Mullan missed his second consecutive match with a knee sprain, while striker Omar Cummings missed his third complete match after suffering an ankle injury.
- "Brian [Mullan] is getting there, Conor [Casey] is getting close, Omar [Cummings] is getting close, too, hopefully we can get him back in full training early in the week," Pareja said. "[We're] getting there, getting people healthier."
- Marvell Wynne has also missed the last five league matches, while center back Tyrone Marshall will now be unavailable through suspension after he was sent off in the Montreal game.
- "I was checking my notes and I don't think there's been a team where we've looked around and said, ëThis is the full squad,'" Pareja said. "We are always just challenged with injuries, and it may be the case for many other teams. We are not complaining about it or making excuses, it's just a fact.'"
- Since the league match, the Rapids have played twice in the U.S. Open Cup. On May 29, they advanced with a 3-1 win against the NASL Tampa Bay Rowdies in a third-round match at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. Edu's penalty kick and Andre Akpan's 33rd-minute goal gave Colorado the early advantage; Kamani Hill added a goal in the closing minutes.
- Here's the Rapids team: Stew Ceus, Hunter Freeman (Kosuke Kimura 72), Tyrone Marshall, Scott Palguta, Luis Zapata, Harrison Henao (Joseph Nane 58), Wells Thompson, Jaime Castrillon (Tony Cascio 67), Kamani Hill, Andre Akpan, Edu
- Then, on June 5, the Rapids were knocked out of the Open Cup in a 2-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City. Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens allowed an own goal in the 28th minute and Teal Bunbury scored the clincher in the 79th.
- "I thought that the game didn't give us what we deserved for the 90 minutes. We had a silly goal, a self-goal for us," said Pareja. "Unfortunately the game didn't give us what we deserved. The boys fought well during the 90 minutes. We had a team on the field that wanted it to happen and wanted to play. Unfortunately the game became too chippy. There were a lot of fouls in there but I have to recognize that my team tried to play all the time and tried to put things together."
- Here's the Rapids team: Matt Pickens; Scott Palguta, Tyrone Marshall, Kosuke Kimura, Hunter Freeman; Martin Rivero, Jeff Larentowicz, Jaime Castrillon (Ross LaBauex 85); Tony Cascio (Kamani Hill 46), Edu, Wells Thompson (Andre Akpan 75)