TUCSON, ARIZONA – Vancouver Whitecaps FC suffered their first defeat of the preseason on Tuesday, falling 1-0 to Houston Dynamo at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona.
A 52nd-minute tally by Jermaine Taylor was the difference in an evenly-played contest between the new Western Conference foes. Tuesday’s match brings Whitecaps FC’s preseason record to 1W-1L-1D and an end to their stay in the Grand Canyon State.
Unlike Vancouver’s previous two matches, Tuesday’s tilt consisted of three 30-minute minute periods rather than two halves. Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson rolled out a strong lineup to start the match, featuring the same front four that finished Saturday’s draw with San Jose.
Mauro Rosales and Kekuta Manneh occupied the wings, while Nicolas Mezquida played behind lone strikerOctavio Rivero. Russell Teibert and Matias Laba also formed a partnership in central midfield for the first time this preseason.
The ‘Caps had the first real chance of the match in the 40th minute, when Mezquida found some space at the top of the box before sending a low shot wide. The Uruguayan came close again minutes later.
This time, after some good work by Rivero and Parker in the corner, the ball fell to Mezquida in the box but his shot from in tight was stopped by Dynamo keeper Tyler Deric.
Houston’s first real opportunity of the match came in the 51st minute.
That’s when Dynamo captain Brad Davis let loose a heavy left-footed strike from inside the area, but David Ousted made a diving save to keep things level.
The Dynamo broke the deadlock just a minute later, however, when Jermaine Taylor tapped the ball into an open net after a scramble in front of goal.
Vancouver nearly responded in the 56th minute, when Rosales curled in a well-taken free kick from 25 yards. But once again, Deric was there to make the save.
At the other end of the park, Whitecaps FC looked quite sound defensively for most of the match. They didn’t allow the Dynamo to create much, and when they did, the ‘Caps managed to shut the door – such as in the 60th minute when substitute Diego Rodriguez made a last-ditch sliding block to save a goal.
The ‘Caps came on strong in the final period after making seven changes at the hour mark – six of the seven players who came on are 24 years old or younger.
The other substitute was trialist Robert Earnshaw, who nearly completed a bicycle kick in the 73rd minute after some nice build-up from the Blue and White.
Darren Mattocks, who came on for Rivero at the 45-minute mark, also had a late opportunity, but a goal was not in the cards for Whitecaps FC on this night as the match ended a 1-0 defeat.
The ‘Caps return to Vancouver on Wednesday ahead of their annual preseason friendly with the University of Victoria Vikes, which is set for Sunday at Centennial Stadium in Victoria, BC.
52′ – HOU – Jermaine Taylor
Shots: Vancouver 9 - Houston 6
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 5 - Houston 5
Saves: Vancouver 4 – Houston 5
Fouls: Vancouver 11 – Houston 17
Offsides: Vancouver 2 - Houston 0
Corners: Vancouver 4 – Houston 4
17′ – HOU – Roul Rodriguez
29′ – HOU – David Horst
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 26.Tim Parker (27.Ethen Sampson 45′), 4.Kendall Waston (18.Diego Rodriguez 45′), 44.Pa-Modou Kah (22.Christian Dean 60′), 2.Jordan Harvey (3.Sam Adekugbe 60′); 15.Matias Laba (30.Ben McKendry 60′), 31.Russell Teibert (38.Kianz Froese 60′); 7.Mauro Rosales (19.Erik Hurtado 60′), 9.Nicolas Mezquida (8.Robert Earnshaw* 60′), 23.Kekuta Manneh (32.Marco Bustos 60′); 29.Octavio Rivero (11.Darren Mattocks 45′)
31.Joe Willis (1.Tyler Deric 30′; 30.Michael Lisch 60′); 5.Raul Rodriguez (2.Kofi Sarkodie 47′), 18.David Horst (16.AJ Cochran 60′), 4.Jermaine Taylor (46.Oumar Ballo* 60′), 7.DaMarcus Beasley (26.Corey Ashe 30′); 33.Leonel Miranda (37.George Malki* 43′), 13.Ricardo Clark (28.Memo Rodriguez 60′), 21.Zach Steinberger (Nathan Sturgis 30′; 35.Taylor Hunter* 78′), 11.Brad Davis (15.Alex Lopez 60′), 36.Rob Lovejoy* (17.Chandler Hoffman 47′); 14.Jason Johnson (12.Will Bruin 31′)