A hat trick from Brian White sent Vancouver Whitecaps FC to a 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at BC Place on Saturday evening, giving a surging Vancouver squad three big points in the Western Conference playoff race.

White continued his red-hot run of form since joining Vancouver via a June trade from the New York Red Bulls, with the hat trick giving him nine goals in 20 matches since his arrival, with eight of those coming in his last nine games.

After an end-to-end start that saw both teams log early chances, the Whitecaps found the opener 26 minutes into the contest through a rebound finish from White. Ryan Gauld had the initial shot that was saved by Quakes' goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski, with White crashing in to smash home the follow-up attempt.

White found his brace just before the hour-mark, this time cashing home a perfectly-placed flicked header off a free-kick assist from Deiber Caicedo to double the lead and put the 'Caps squarely in the driver's seat.

Any chance San Jose had at mounting a second-half comeback was extinguished in the 73rd minute when White found his hat trick. The 25-year-old deposited another clinical header off a corner kick from Gauld that allowed Vancouver to cruise to the comfortable victory.

Goals

  • 26' - VAN - Brian White | WATCH
  • 59' - VAN - Brian White | WATCH
  • 73' - VAN - Brian White | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: It's been a challenging season for Vancouver on multiple fronts, but heading into their final seven games, the 'Caps are right there challenging for a playoff spot in the West, with this result leaving them just one point shy of the seventh and final spot. That's something many might have thought improbable after a rough start to the season led to the departure of former head coach Marc dos Santos in August. For the Quakes, it was a second straight lopsided defeat against a Cascadia opponent, dealing a blow to their fading postseason aspirations.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: White's third and final goal put this match to bed and capped off one of the better individual efforts we've seen in MLS this season.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: There's really no debate to be had here. White is the only choice after his three-goal outburst.

Next Up

  • VAN: Saturday, October 9 at Seattle Sounders | 9 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
  • SJ: Saturday, October 16 at LAFC | 3:30 pm ET (Univision, TUDN, Twitter)