Vancouver Whitecaps sink in Seattle, losing 2-0 to Sounders in cross-border MLS contest
After holding their own through a scoreless first half, the Vancouver Whitecaps offered little resistance over the final 45 minutes, suffering a 2-0 loss in Major League Soccer action Saturday afternoon (August 18) before 55,000 fans at Century Link Field in the Emerald City.
The undermanned 'Caps—without captain Jay DeMerit, Barry Robson and Martin Bonjour—gave up goals to Seattle's Fredy Montero (64th minute) and Eddie Johnson (87th) without mounting so much as a shot on goal of their own over the course of the match.
The result was a costly one for the Whitecaps, who entered the game tied for third in the Western Conference with Seattle and Los Angeles—all with 37 points in the standings. The 'Caps (10-9-7) now trail the Sounders (11-6-7) by three points and Seattle holds two games in hand.
L.A. has one more victory than the Whitecaps, who will need to regroup before visiting Portland next Saturday (August 25).
This was a troubling day for the 'Caps who received late word that Barry Robson was suspended for the contest. He was shown a yellow card for kicking a ball at a linesman in the final minutes of Wednesday's 2-0 loss to FC Dallas at B.C. Place.
While the action has no place in soccer and deserved supplemental discipline, the MLS has to examine the process by which players are suspended and teams are notified. The Whitecaps—and the few thousand supporters who made the trip down the I-5—all believed Robson would be available for the game. The game-day suspension announcement hardly seems "big league" for an organization called Major League Soccer.
The Whitecaps have eight games remaining in their MLS regular season. They are eight points ahead of FC Dallas in the race for the final playoff spot in the West. Chivas USA is 11 points back, but holds a staggering five games in hand on Vancouver.
Jeff Paterson is a talk-show host on Vancouver’s all-sports radio Team 1040. Follow him on Twitter at patersonjeff.