In the 2014 MLS season, many supporters across the league considered BC Place a fortress, but after the Vancouver Whitecaps (10W-2D-8L) fell to Sporting Kansas City (8W-6D-3L) by a scoreline of 1-0 on Sunday night, the ‘Caps return home after the Women’s World Cup did not go as planned.
Kevin Ellis scored the only goal of the game in the 52nd minute after heading in a cross behind the helpless David Ousted.
Despite the loss, the Whitecaps played well peppering SKC’s goal with seven shots, but Tim Melia came up with numerous big saves en route to the win for Kansas City.
Of course the ‘Caps continue to struggle with depth issues due to injuries and international call-ups. Notably, captain Pedro Morales and veteran centre-back Pa-Modou Kah remain out with calf injuries, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup and Pan-American Games have left the Whitecaps without Russell Teibert, Darren Mattocks, and Caleb Clarke. Unfortunately until the MLS starts to respect international competitions and breaks by taking league breaks, teams will be punished for having talented players.
Although the Whitecaps failed to pick up any points at BC Place on Sunday, they managed to maintain second place in the Western Conference behind the Seattle Sounders. However, only two points now separate first and sixth in the West. With teams such as FC Dallas and SKC holding games in hand, it’s nearly impossible to predict what will happen by the end of the season.
A healthy Pedro Morales and the return of international players look to be one solution for the ‘Caps heading into the upcoming Cascadia game on the road against the Portland Timbers. As of writing it looks like Morales will not be healed in time for the game, but Teibert’s last Gold Cup game could possibly be on Tuesday, and he could be prepared for Portland after limited playing time for Canada.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC:
Deybi Flores for Gershon Koffie (59′), Erik Hurtado for Kekuta Manneh (80′), Robert Earnshaw for Steven Beitashour (84′)
Paolo Tornaghi, Nicolás Mezquida, Christian Dean, Kianz Froese
Sporting Kansas City:
Connor Hallisey for Jacob Peterson (83′)
Jon Kempin, Erik Palmer-Brown, Paulo Nagamura, Servando Carrasco, Jimmy Medranda