On a beautiful Tuesday afternoon at Swanguard Stadium in Burnaby, BC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC reserves (1W-3L-2D) defeated their Pacific Northwest archrivals, Seattle Sounders FC reserves (7W-1L-0D) by a score of 2-1 to capture their first-ever MLS Reserve League victory.
In a relatively even match throughout the majority of the contest, Whitecaps FC reserves received some timely goals from rookie midfielder Michael Nanchoff and halftime substitute Long Tan to overcome Nate Jaqua’s second-half tally and defeat the MLS Reserve League West Division leaders.
Nanchoff opened the scoring in the 21stminute off a Davide Chiumiento pass into Sounders FC reserves 18-yard box that saw the attacking midfielder take a touch and strike a hard, left-footed attempt off the far post and into the back of the Sounders FC reserves net to give Whitecaps FC reserves a 1-0 lead.
Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Joe Cannon strong between the pipes the entire match, especially in the final ten minutes that saw the veteran leader turn away numerous Sounders FC reserve opportunities to move Whitecaps FC reserves up two places in the West Division standings with the win. Cannon made four saves on the afternoon and used his aggressive personality to vocally direct the ‘Caps in front of an appreciative crowd on hand.
After the restart, Seattle Sounders FC reserves made three changes, which immediately paid dividends. Substituted forward Nate Jaqua tallied for his side after a wonderful build-up play in the midfield that saw second half sub Miguel Montano send fellow midfielder Lamar Neagle in-behind the Whitecaps FC defenders and who then found Jaqua with a square ball through the ‘Caps 18-yard box. Jaqua deposited his attempt over a sprawling Cannon to even the match at 1-1 in the 53rd minute.
But Whitecaps FC quickly replied with their own offensive creativity when midfielder Philippe Davies found forward Nizar Khalfan deep in Seattle’s end of the field. Khalfan carefully examined his options before finding Long Tan with a through ball that he safely tucked past Ford to give the ‘Caps a 2-1 lead in the 57th minute.
In the dying moments, Seattle tried their best to earn a result, swarming Vancouver’s reserves’ 18-yard box and firing a variety of shots at Cannon, including one that struck the post. After the dust settled and Whitecaps FC reserves regained their composure, the referee blew his whistle to secure the ‘Caps their first victory of the season over an undefeated Sounders FC reserves squad that failed in their attempt to capture the division title.
Whitecaps FC reserves will head to Oregon for a match-up versus Portland Timbers reserves on Sunday, August 21. Sounders FC reserves will host its final match on October 10 against San Jose.