With Thanks To A Great Rival

Christy Casas - Vancouver Whitecaps/mlsfemale
Official Vancouver Whitecaps Reporter

By Christy Casas @nkstar9

Saturday, April 22: 2-1 Loss

At 2-4-1 the Vancouver Whitecaps are sitting in 9th place in the Western Conference and what a wild ride it has been. The Whitecaps seem to have the ability to rise to the occasion, the thing is, ‘the occasion’ isn’t every game.  This is reflected in our losing record.

This brings us to the Portland Timbers game. A great rival and Cascadia counterpart. Timbers at home are a sight to be seen on and off the field, with the Timbers Army and literally a lumberjack on the sideline cutting trees down and the array of well coordinated passes in their offensive zone. Wait…aren’t I supposed to be writing for the Whitecaps, yup, I am. Here I go…

The Whitecaps played well. They really did. They came prepared and with a 4-1-4-1 they were able to get some open space until the Timbers readjusted their midfield to make sure the space was taken away and every player was covered. The Whitecaps hammered the goal, but nothing was falling. You could see the frustration in their eyes.

The midfield was solid and they got the ball to where they need to, but Fredy Montero couldn’t make it happen. I saw some of the best ball movement from the mids I think I have seen all season, the inability to capitalize while having your defense get beat is the difference this game made. The Darlington Nagbe goal was Ah-mazing, I mean, it’s one of the reasons soccer is called the beautiful game. Stepping right around Kendall Waston to deliver the blow, the Caps fell down 0-1.

In simple terms, the second goal was avoidable, but man, if I scored that goal, I would still be celebrating. Mattocks was there to bury a great ball delivered by Valeri. I mean, what a combination.

After falling behind by 2, the Whitecaps were awarded a penalty kick for a takedown in the box and that revitalized the team, just not enough. Not to mention that Fredy Montero’s penalty was initially blocked and a lack of defensive awareness allowed Montero to try again, this time finding the back of the net.

Well, I can say that Portland just out-skilled us, but it could have fallen any way if we could have sunk a couple of those near misses. But this is the reason we play the game, because you never know.

Always and again we have to #Riseupraincity.

A special thanks to the people in Portland who hung this sign in solidarity with the Southsiders and those who chose not to travel within the US. We are together in this fight against hatred and fear.

Featured image courtesy: @timbersarmy

Follow and chat with me on twitter: @nkstar9

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