Whitecaps trounce short-handed Red Bulls

KennyMillerVancouverWhitecaps2 (CanadianPress)

By DARCY GREEN

In front of a sellout crowd of 21,000 fans at BC Place, Vancouver Whitecaps FC crushed the visiting New York Red Bulls 4-1 in a thrilling offensive onslaught by the home side.

A brace by striker Kenny Miller and second-half goals by Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales gave Carl Robinson his first win as the Whitecaps coach and kept Vancouver unbeaten in season openers since they joined MLS in 2011.

The New York Red Bulls played the match without some of their best players, as Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave were left home in order to keep them from playing on the artificial surface at BC Place.

The absence of those two stars left the Red Bulls severely short-handed against an inspired Whitecaps side that rode the outstanding play of Miller, Fernandez and Morales to a rout.

Less than a minute into the game, Robinson’s new attacking system was evident as Miller had a wonderful chance to give the Blue and White an early lead, but the retired Scottish international sent the ball sailing over the crossbar.

Just four minutes later, Canadian international and Homegrown player Russell Teibert had another chance with a shot from just outside the 18-yard box, but his curling shot was stopped by a diving Luis Robles.

Darren Mattocks kept the attack flowing with a run through the Red Bulls’ defense on 17 minutes that nearly resulted in the game’s first goal, but his weak shot was stopped by Robles.

In the 34th minute, a handball was called on Red Bulls fullback Richard Eckersley, leading to a penalty kick for the home team. Miller calmly placed the ball into the back of the net, giving the ‘Caps a 1-0 lead.

Six minutes later, Fernandez fired a rocket, displaying the youngster’s technical skill, from 35 yards out, but Robles was able to make the diving save.

At halftime, the home side was up by a goal, but there was a sense that Robinson would not lay off the attack in the final 45 minutes.

On 49 minutes, Fernandez showed just that as the Uruguayan winger fired off another rocket with his right foot that sailed over Robles into the right corner of the net.

In the 63rd minute, Mattocks nearly got his first goal of the season as a pass from Miller found its way to the middle of the 18-yard box, but the Jamaican international, who scored three times in two appearances for his country earlier this week, was unable to finish the opportunity.

A few minutes later, the Whitecaps’ latest Designated Player, Morales, entered the match, showing Robinson was once again not about to lay off the attack.

On 77 minutes, Miller scored his second goal of the match with a beautiful flip over the head of Robles after receiving a pass from Morales, who looked to be in fine form upon entering the match.

Twelve minutes later, Morales found a goal in his debut game as he grabbed a pass from Nigel Reo-Coker and fired it home from the top of the 18-yard box.

Just a minute into extra time, Bradley Wright-Phillips, who came on as a late substitute on 73 minutes, scored to put the Red Bulls on the board, but it would not make a difference as the ‘Caps cruised to the win.

In his post-game comments, Robinson said he was especially pleased with the performance of his newest Designated Player.

“[Morales] will be in the starting XI,” stated Robinson. “You see the quality he has with his passing range.  He had a fantastic finish.  He has the awareness of the other players around him.  When the ball’s coming to him, he has pictures in his mind.  He’s a top player, and that’s why I brought him into the club.”

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33 Responses to Whitecaps trounce short-handed Red Bulls

  1. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    Great summary. Wish I saw it but it wasn’t on any of the 500+ channels we get in CT. Only MLS Direct Kick I guess. I’ll seach for highlights. Anyone know what happened? Disorganized? A certain player(s) playing awful? Any more detail
    is appreciated. Thanks.

    • @Herbert_MLS says:

      Not sure how your money situation is like but MLS Live is definitely worth the $65.

    • RBNY says:

      Bad tactics from the jump off.

      • Neruda says:

        Not sure there is a whole lot Petke can do about it. I think nyrb will drop off from last year. Cahill is gone for the WC this summer and the only hope of having someone make up for that is by signing another good dp.

  2. @Herbert_MLS says:

    Something not mentioned in the article is Petke’s response. I love how real Petke is and rightfully so he took full blame.for the loss. bad substitutions, bad tactics going into the game was the reason Red Bulls were dominated.

    On another note, RBNY centerback situation is looking like a nightmare. Hopefully Sekagaya turns things around for himself and Kimura / Miller start next game…

  3. john says:

    how is it a sell out at 21k? that’s a gigantic stadium

  4. Johnny says:

    Crushed …completely and totally…Come on Petke!1 we can do better … right?

  5. RBNY says:

    Petke needs to stop getting cute with the lineups. Starting Luyindula up top was last year’s mistake, why rehash it when you dont have to? Just play BWP at forward with Cahill. Luyindula belonged in central midfield with Dax, where he excelled, when he got minutes there last season. Let’s stop overthinking things, Mike.

    • Simon_MJ says:

      My exact sentiment. Same lineup I thought we see too.

    • Brain Guy says:

      Exactly. The reprise of last year’s disastrous decision to play Luyindula up top was mystifying. And Convey over Miller? That one also guaranteed that your back four had never played a game with any other member if the back four. Petke clearly overthought this one.

    • Joamiq says:

      I’m not sure Luyindula makes sense at all without Henry. Getting Henry the ball is his primary skill. When Henry doesn’t play Luyindula doesn’t do much.

  6. 2tone says:

    You would think the Whitecaps could pull in more than 21,000. It might be time to start opening up that stadium more.

    • Jordan Smith says:

      Yeah, hopefully the demand reaches a level where they feel it is time to open the upper deck. With the Canucks descending into futility the Vancouver bandwagon crowd may start heading the Whitecaps way. If the Whitecaps get a home playoff match it will happen for sure. BC Place is an awesome venue with 60,000 fans.

      • Metasyntactic variable says:

        Jeff Mallett, one of the Whitecaps owners before the game was asked about opening the upper deck before the game with reduced prices, but he talked about not undervaluing the product.

  7. Tony says:

    The red bulls management should be placed on blast. The 4-1 score line is indicative of their lack of movement in the offseason. Dont be fooled! This team has had as inconsistent an offseason as any other year given that they fielded an entirely new backline. Except for Robles the defense was horrendous and should be benched. Eckersley had his worst game in a red bulls uniform and should not hit the field any time soon. It is clear that eckersley has peddled his past with ManU into a contract. But there is a reason why he is not in England. He does not add to the defense which was already questionable last year and did very little on offense. Armando is another player that is suspect. He may have been barcelona b captain but he definitely showed why he is a division two player with his lack of speed and lack of vision. Yes he can distribute but this is not barcelona b. the red bulls need to defend and this guy may not cut it. Sekaya is another player with the European pedigree which can’t put it together. This guy cost us the playoff match! Yep he may have been good but today he is slow and is injury prone during games. Then there is convey which had an uneventful shift. The midfield tandem of Dax and Alexander were questionable too. Petke’s decisions were also alarming. This team needs to hear it from the media. Petke will not always have the magic of henry olave and cahill as a manger he needs to get of his players. He did not do it tonight!

    • milbo says:

      this site ranked RB’s in the top 6?

    • Jordan Smith says:

      Yes, what will fix the Red Bulls is hearing it from the media.

    • lprevolution says:

      Watched RB in Orlando against OFC and Armando was the best player on the field. Or, at least stood out on multiple positive plays. However, communication seems to be a big problem for him. My guess is that it is purely linguistic. His determination to stop a play is good, and he marks up well. But, when there was a play to be made with his face to the goal he has issues.

      That being said, its easy to find yourself with your face to the goal when there are so many giveaways. To me The Dax/Alexander Combo did not work.

  8. Brain Guy says:

    Eckersley : 2014 :: Carney : 2013

    • AcidBurn says:

      Excellent analogy. Good for at least one brain fart per game leading to an opponent goal or quality chance.

  9. Elber Galarga says:

    Did Salgado play, if so how did he do?

    • Jordan Smith says:

      No, unfortunately Omar didn’t even make the 18.

      He has seemed pretty frustrated in preseason and training despite playing well. He didn’t like getting substituted early in a game in the Rose City tournament, and then threw a little fit at training last week throwing an elbow at Carlyle Mitchell and then brushing off the coaching staff when they didn’t love what he did. It is certainly understandable that he is frustrated after a year and a half with injuries, but it still doesn’t look great. Apparently Robinson had a chat with him, and I’m hoping things can get sorted out because Salgado has looked good when he has played.

      Plus, he’s the only sizeable forward we have, and with RSL and Portland playing high pressure, I think the Caps will need a big body to hold up the ball.

      If this doesn’t get sorted out I can see him being traded, because he’s too good not to playing with some regularity.

  10. Simon_MJ says:

    The sky is falling ! The sky is falling !
    The sky is falling ! The sky is falling !
    The sky is falling ! The sky is falling !
    The sky is falling ! The sky is falling !
    The sky is falling ! The sky is falling !
    The sky is falling ! The sky is falling !

  11. Simon_MJ says:

    99 points are still ours for the taking

    Get it done RBNY

  12. Neruda says:

    Whitecaps look loaded this year and their team depth is impressive. Nyrb can bring over Brits and other euros all they want but mls is becoming dominated by South Americans which is cool to see. Vancouver added a few good ones while RB continue with luyindulas. And union showed that the easy can compete on the road against the western teams. They also added quality signings.

    • Matt Mueller says:

      Garber needs to institute the Pedro Morales Rule and make every team buy a player from La Liga.

  13. david kent says:

    The victory was complete,the caps played for each other and were generous with the ball,playing an attack minded defense has improved all backs especially Jordon, was great to see him tightly checking,and intercepting (first in 2 years)If egos can be managed they are in for a big year,ps they have the best string of young players in mls(Bustos)

  14. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Miller looks like a baby (not an insult), and now Miller understand his team built chemistry with the new signings, and Miller start to get MLS.