An active and relentless Leo Chu was too much for the Vancouver Whitecaps to keep track off. The Brazilians two goals helped secure a classic smash-and-grab win for the Rave Green over their Cascadia Rivals. The last time the two clubs met was May 20th and the Sounders were on the losing end of a 2-0 pasting by the Whitecaps. All week head coach Brian Schmetzer reminded the team about the lackluster effort against their rivals.
A rivalry that dates back to 1974. The Cascadia Cup matches are always about pride. On Saturday the match-up was literally about PRIDE. The club hosted its 20th Anniversary Pride Match
On the pitch the heated contest was about pride in club and dominating your opponent. The first twelve minutes of the game saw both sides prodding and feeling each other out. More jabs than punches. A Chu gallop down tho left midfield earned the Sounders a corner that was wasted. The left flank romp by Chu served as a punch to the Whitecaps defense who countered punch with their own attack down the flanks of the Sounders defense. The Sounders were caught on their heels in the 23rd minute and took the lead on a set piece after a foul by Nicolas Lodeiro. Ryan Gould’s cross found Serbian strike Ranko Veselinovic wide open in the Sounders goal box.
Were it not for a couple of brave saves by goal keeper Stefan Cleveland the Sounders could have easily found themselves down by several goals.
SECOND HALF ADJUSTMENT
With effort but no reward Brian Schmetzer made a tactical change at the halftime break. Alex Roldan back after his stint with El Salvadorian national team pushed further up the field to give some balance to the Sounders attack. Chu continued to be active on the left flank with the added dimension of taking on defenders. In the first half, Chu was streaking the down the left and crossing the ball into the goal mouth. Having both flanks active and in attack mode disheveled the Whitecap’s defense.
Relentless offensive pressure by the Sounders paid a dividend in the 60th minute when Lodeiro’s corner kick was flicked forward by Jackson Ragen to Chu for the equalizer.
With the wind at their sail, the Sounders looked to be going in for the knockout punch. What they got was a sucker punch by the Whitecaps. Vancouver goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka’s long goal kick found Brian White wide-open in the middle of the field. White deftly headed the ball to a streaking Ryan Gould who raced past Ragen and Yeimer to give the Whitecaps a 2-1 lead at the 72-minute mark. A determined and undeterred Sounders squad continued to push the ball upfield and once again were rewarded for their efforts. Four minutes later the Rave Green found the equalizer.
With momentum back on their side, the Sounders continued their offensive push which is different from the last several games. Yes, the team beat Houston but against the Whitecaps the Sounders were determined to win the game. The door for the victory opened in the 89th mine when Whitecaps Mathias Laborda fouled Chu in the 89th minute and earned his second yellow card of the game. With the Whitecaps down to ten men, the Sounders wasted no time. It took a mere two minutes for the Rave Green to find the game-winner and bag all three points.
This win was about a determined, gritty, and unrelenting team. Joao Paulo left the game received stitches in his head after a collision and returned to gut it out. Stefan Cleveland was brave in his start while Lodeiro, Obed Vargas Nouhou, and of course, Yeimr, stepped up and answered the call time and time during the game.
Seattle Sounders FC 3 – Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
Saturday, July 8, 2023
Venue: BC Place Stadium
Referee: Ramy Touchan
Assistants: Stefan Tanaka-Freundt, Diego Blas
Fourth Official: Renzo Villanueva
VAR: Victor Rivas
Weather: 70 degrees and clear
VAN – Ranko Veselinovic (Ryan Gauld) 24’
SEA – Léo Chú (Jackson Ragen, Nico Lodeiro) 60’
VAN – Ryan Gauld (Brian White, Yohei Takaoka) 72’
SEA – Léo Chú (Jackson Ragen, Nico Lodeiro) 76’
SEA – Yeimar 90’+1’
SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz (caution) 48’
VAN – Tristan Blackmon (caution) 75’
SEA – Nico Lodeiro (caution) 79’
VAN – Mathias Laborda (caution) 82’
VAN – Mathias Laborda (ejection) 89’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Cleveland; Alex Roldan (Cody Baker 90’+3’), Yeimer, Jackdon Ragen, Nouhou; João Paulo, Obed Vargas, Nico Lodeiro, Albert Rusnák, Léo Chú; Raúl Ruidíaz (Abdoulaye Cissoko 90’+5’)
Substitutes not used: Andrew Thomas, Reed Baker-Whiting, Josh Atencio, Dylan Teves, Fredy Montero, Héber
Total shots: 15
Shots on goal: 6
Vancouver Whitecaps FC – Yohei Takaoka; Mathias Laborda, Ranko Veselinovic, Luis Martins; Alessandro Schöpf (Jean-Claude Ngando 90’+4’), Sebastian Berhalter (Deiber Caicedo 90’+3’), Ryan Gauld, Ryan Raposo (Tristan Blackmon 71’); Sergio Córdova (Pedro Vite 71’), Brian White, Levonte Johnson (Simon Becher 83’)
Substitutes not used: Thomas Hasal, Karifa Yao, Russell Teibert
Total shots: 12
Shots on goal: 5