Former Seattle Sounder FC player Fredy Montero’s two second half goals gave the Vancouver Whitecaps a much needed 2-1 win over Cascadia Rivals Seattle Sounders in front of a capacity of a crowd of 22, 120 fans Friday night at BC Place in Vancouver British Columbia.
The win by Whitecaps (2-3-1) snapped a two-game losing streak in all competitions and the victory was just the second in MLS play. For Brian Schmetzer and his visiting Sounders (1-2-3), the loss put an exclamation mark on the Sounders lack of centration and inability to play team defense inside their defensive half of the field. While both of Montero’s goals were exquisite, the inability for Sounders to put pressure on the man with the ball and cover opposing players making runs in the goal box showed the Sounder are in full communication breakdown.
After a rocky defensive start in which they gave up two goals in each of the season’s first two games which were on the road, a 2-1 loss at Houston and a 2-2 draw at Montreal , the Sounders looked to have shored up their lapses in concentration and defensive communication woes in the 3-1 win home opener against the New York Red Bulls. A 0-0 shutout home draw game Atlanta had the Sounders feeling that much more confident about their defense.
That defensive confidence was shaken when San Jose Earthquake forward Chris Wondolowski scored a 90th-minute goal to give the Earthquake 1-1 draw. After the game and during practice the following week, Schmetzer was adamant that his team’s defensive play would improve.
While the Sounders backline has been hit with injuries to Brad Evans, Chad Marshall, Oneill Fisher, and Roman Torres, Schmetzer a believer in team defense and total concentration at all times is no doubt having some sleepless nights trying to a find a way for the message to stick with his players. “
“Well we had worked on it earlier in the week. Blocking crosses in and staying with Wondolowski, Montero, all of the good forwards in the league. That’s standard training for us, but we’ll certainly ramp that up ”, Schmetzer said in his post game interview after the loss to the Whitecaps.
Sounders FC will finish their current three-game road trip next Saturday against the LA Galaxy in Southern Californa. After the Galaxy game, the Sounders will return home for two matches.