Sunday, April 10, 2011

Whitecaps Feel The Heat As They Lose To Dynamo 3-1

The Vancouver Whitecaps went on their second road trip of their MLS franchise and once again they came up on the losing end as they lost to the Houston Dynamo 3-1. Three of the four goals were scored  came in the final 10 minutes of  the first half as Houston opened the scoring after which the Caps levelled the score a minute later.  The winning goal was scored just before halftime where an injury to Captain Jay DeMerit contributed significantly to the score.  Late in the second half 1st overall MLS draft pick Omar Salgado made his professional debut.  It was clear by the end of the match that the Whitecaps were suffering from the heat as they unable to handle the high humidity of the Houston night.

Camilo and Chiumiento
For the majority of the first half the Houston Dynamo controlled the majority of possession sometimes the percentage being in the mid-sixties.  The only chance the Caps were able to muster was a one on one battle in which Camilo was taken down by Canadian international Andre Hainault in the box which was waived by the referee.  The Dynamo was able to create a couple of opportunities both by midfielder Danny Cruz, one where he ripped a shot off the crossbar.  The relentless pressure by Houston paid off in the 36th minute when off a corner kick a Dynamo player headed the ball towards net and Cam Weaver fired the ball past Jay Nolly.
The Caps did not take long to respond as a minute later Chiumiento put Camilo through the Houston defenders and the Brazilian was able to equalize for the visitors.  Just before halftime, after DeMerit had clearly reinjured his groin, defender Bobby Boswell connected on a free kick to put Houston ahead once again.  The injury was significant as DeMerit was unable to get into the play and played the Houston attackers into an onside position.

As the second half started Teibert came in on for DeMerit which moved Khalfan to the center and Rochat back to the backline.  The Whitecaps gained some possession back to start the second half but could muster scoring opportunities.  Jay Nolly was able to keep Vancouver in the game with a great save off Will Bruin but in the 76th minute Nolly slide past the ball and Bruin was able to score his first in the MLS.  The Whitecaps only decent chance in the 2nd half was in injury time as they alsmost connected with a header off a free kick but it was called offside. 

In addition to Salgado’s debut, the game also the saw the return from international duty of Canadian international midfielder Russell Teibert who entered the game at the beginning of second half for Jay DeMerit.  Also making debuts for the first this season as a Whitecaps were Jeb Brovsky, who started at CM, and Mouloud Akloul, who came on a sub in the 79th minute.  Akloul came into the midfield spot in the centre and not in his normal role as a central defender.

The Whitecaps are truly a different club on the road than the team that plays at Empire Field in front of a boisterous home crowd. However unlike the Philadelphia Union match, the players seemed to come into the game with no energy at all as they were out chanced by a Dynamo team that had struggled to score in previous weeks.  Camilo was the only that seemed unaffected by the heat as he was the only Cap that was dangerous on the pitch and scored the only Vancouver goal.  The winning goal was another one given up due to an injury to DeMerit who could not get back into the play on a free kick.  The injury will cause Teitur Thoradson to continue to juggle the line-up as the Whitecaps return to Vancouver as they face Chivas USA on April 16.

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