The Vancouver Whitecaps took on the New England Revolution on Wednesday, winning 2-0 to kick off their 2nd match of the Rose City Invitational. Here is a look at how the game shaped up down in Portland.
Its only been 5 games, but so far, the Whitecaps continue to look a lot better this preseason than they did in their last one.
Be it their 2 victories, already 2 more than they had all of last years preseason, or the improved offensive tally, of which they added 2 more to on Wednesday, this team looks a lot better out of the gates than they did last year.
While both they and their midweek opponents, the New England Revolution, fielded rotational squads, the Whitecaps did well to generate some chances, with their play improving as the game went on. With a lot of their expected regular starters coming in and making an offensive impact, they seem well prepared to kick off the season 10 days from now, when theyll take on Kansas City at BC Place.
In this one, two of Vancouvers most expensive players, Lucas Cavallini and Ali Adnan, made the difference on the night, as they each found the net to help Vancouver overcome their Eastern foes by a score of 2 to nil.
On an evening where they were playing in front of an unusually empty Providence Park, they found a way to overcome a slow start to the match to lead to a respectable finish, with both teams trading chances en route to the eventual Vancouver victory.
The 1st half started out quietly for Vancouver, who very much looked like a team that had made several changes to their starting 11 after playing Portland on Sunday. There were some flashes of strong play, but they were contrasted with equally as long lulls in the action, making for an overall pretty uneventful half.
That doesnt mean the game was completely devoid of action early on, however, as both teams found some life as the half wore on. Cristian Gutierrez, who was filling in for Ali Adnan at left back, found himself in a good shooting position going forward, but he would send his 32nd-minute strike over the bar.
Vancouver would continue to play the role of the aggressor, and it would pay off in the 34th minute, as Cristian Dajome appeared to win a penalty. Hauled down in the box, after he had done well to open up space through his fellow attackers, it seemed that the Whitecaps had found the breakthrough they had been searching for all half.
But unluckily for Vancouver, their good friend VAR would pay them a visit, denying them of the spot-kick. Despite it only being a preseason tournament, the technology was implemented for this competition to give teams a taste of what MLS has to offer, which unfortunately for Vancouver, denied them of a penalty.
Unperturbed by what was a harsh but correct decision, Dajome continued to push forward, and he found a chance soon after, as he did well to open up space for a half-chance, but his shot was too tame to test Brad Knighton in the New England goal.
Ultimately that would be all that the half had to offer, as both teams headed into the break still deadlocked at 0. Vancouver had found more chances, but no side had done enough to create a clear advantage, with the game doing its best to live up to a midweek preseason friendly.
Motivated by the break, New England would find some fire to start the 2nd half, as theyd push forward aggressively. After a failed wide set-piece, they curled a low ball into the middle, where they found an unmarked Justin Rennicks, who did well to hit the target, but his shot was not strong enough to beat Bryan Meredith in the Caps goal.
Yet despite that opening wave of pressure, it would be Vancouver that would find the games opening goal, coming in the 66th minute, after they did well to ride out that Revolution wave. A bit of fancy footwork at the edge of the box from Fredy Montero would open up some space for a back-post cross, which fell well for Lucas Cavallini, who did well to bring down the ball, slamming the ball into the low corner with plenty of conviction.
And that would open up the flood gates for them, as they would find their second soon after, this time through second-half substitute, Ali Adnan. With Vancouver winning a free-kick in a great central position, it allowed the Iraqi international to step up to take it, and he made no mistake with his set-piece, curling it over the wall and off the post to double the scoring for the Caps.
With that goal in the bag, that would be all this game had to offer for both sides, as the Whitecaps weathered a late New England flurry to preserve their clean sheet. After falling in the first game, they did well to hold off the Revolution long enough to find a goal, and then once they had that, they did well to coast to the finish line.
All-in-all, it was a solid performance from Vancouver, who despite the mixed lineup, had flashes in both halves. They looked better at the end, with the second-half substitutes making a big difference in the game offensively, but there were a lot of positive performances to pick through, which heading into the last game, should make for some interesting lineup decisions.
Now with 2 wins, 2 losses and a draw to take from 5 preseason matches, the Caps have had a solid start to preseason, which is hoped leads them to a strong start to the 2020 campaign. After a discombobulated 2019 preseason slate, things are looking up in Whitecaps land, which considering the rough couple of campaigns that theyve had, should lead some optimism.
Its still to be seen how this puzzle all clicks together, and no doubt there are still some missing puzzle pieces, but year-over-year, the progress has been noticeable, which at the very least, should lead to improved results.
In the Mixer:
The Whitecaps will finish off their tournament on Saturday, with an early clash against Minnesota, before returning home to Vancouver to prepare for their home opener. With positive results like this one in their back pocket, its hoped that they can continue their good vibes into the last game of preseason, before getting set to come out of the gates strong for the 2020 season.
There are still many question marks around this team, no doubt, but the progress has been good to see, and it should lead to a much stronger start this time around. Some of the new signings have been exciting, while some of the returning faces look rejuvenated and ready to work, which all together could lead to some more exciting football.
Which after last season, a season that was often equal parts frustrating to watch as it was to process, to see the improved mood has been good.
Now its time to see if it translates into better performances, starting with opening kick on February 29th. After a long offseason, its almost time to get things going for real, which is plenty of reason to be excited heading into the end of this month.
Cover Photo: Vancouver Whitecaps/Sheldon Rogers
- 16 Aesthetically Pleasing Puzzles and Games to Play at Home - The New York Times - March 30th, 2020
- THE TICKER: What now for the Tokyo Games? Says IOC chief Bach, This is like a huge jigsaw puzzle - The Sports Examiner - March 30th, 2020
- Chess: an expert took an hour to solve this simple puzzle can you do better? - Financial Times - March 30th, 2020
- 10 Online Games You'll Get Totally Lost in (in a Good Way) - POPSUGAR - March 29th, 2020
- With games on hold, PawSox adjusting to a strange new normal in final season before move to Worcester - thegardnernews.com - March 29th, 2020
- The Best Cheap PC Games You Can Buy On Steam Right Now - GameSpot - March 29th, 2020
- PuzzleScript: The free puzzle-building tool that lets you make games in minutes - BingePost - March 28th, 2020
- Here's what people are doing to pass the time during coronavirus isolation - ABC News - March 28th, 2020
- Solve Mesmerizing Puzzles In VR With FORM - GameTyrant - March 28th, 2020
- If you're in the mood for a mobile puzzle game, Monument Valley 2 is free - Destructoid - March 28th, 2020
- Who Should Be Inducted Into The 2020 Video Game Hall Of Fame? - 98.5 The Sports Hub - March 27th, 2020
- COVID-19: Top 5 infotainment iOS apps to keep your kids happy and learn skills during the lockdown - Deccan Herald - March 27th, 2020
- Banana Panda games and puzzles are fun, educational toys for toddlers that encourage cognitive development my 19-month-old loves them - INSIDER - March 26th, 2020
- The Room VR: A Dark Matter is the best VR escape room game - CNET - March 26th, 2020
- Blockade Games Adds Puzzle and Game Development Services to Its Offerings - SludgeFeed - March 26th, 2020
- The 26 best Nintendo Switch games to play through the quarantine - For The Win - March 26th, 2020
- New Nintendo Direct Mini Highlights a Wide Variety of Games Coming to Nintendo Switch This Year - Yahoo Finance - March 26th, 2020
- Rachel Lowe to develop new puzzles, board games and card games for Beano - Toy News - March 26th, 2020
- Galway have all the pieces to solve All-Ireland puzzle - Farrell - Independent.ie - March 26th, 2020
- 20 best games to play if you are self-isolating during the coronavirus outbreak | London Evening Standard - Evening Standard - March 26th, 2020
- Newsdio: Oleg Nesterenko's blog - Beidi Guo, developer of LUNA The Shadow Dust, on how story and environmental narrative increase repeatability in... - March 26th, 2020
- Spyder is a game about a spider that's a spy. And it's on Apple Arcade now. - iMore - March 26th, 2020
- Deciding to Postpone the Olympics Was Tough. Actually Moving Them May Be Tougher. - The New York Times - March 26th, 2020
- The 21 best PC games on Xbox Game Pass for PC right now (March 2020) - For The Win - March 26th, 2020
- The Bucs keep the band together on defense - Tampa Bay Times - March 25th, 2020
- We got 5 game devs to explain why Animal Crossing is so damn good - The Next Web - March 25th, 2020
- Bit of Land in the Seine - The New York Times - March 25th, 2020
- How to solve the Button Puzzle in the Quarantine Zone in Half-Life: Alyx - Gamepur - March 25th, 2020
- Heal is a story-driven puzzle game for iOS and Android that aims to cover heavy topics such as dementia - Pocket Gamer - March 25th, 2020
- What's Still on Ravens To-Do List Now that the defensive line has been addressed, the - BaltimoreRavens.com - March 25th, 2020
- Did you solve it? Meet the puzzle king - The Guardian - March 24th, 2020
- Creative Video Games to Play While Quarantined - Hyperallergic - March 24th, 2020
- People are curbing their stay-at-home anxiety the analog way: With puzzles - CNN - March 24th, 2020
- Puzzles and Kids Toys Flying Off Shelves Amid Coronavirus Pandemic - TMZ - March 24th, 2020
- Doom Eternal: Tips and tricks to survive the whole game - VentureBeat - March 24th, 2020
- Its a Perfect Time to Play Video Games. And You Shouldnt Feel Bad About It. - The New York Times - March 23rd, 2020
- Can you solve it? Meet the puzzle king - The Guardian - March 23rd, 2020
- Release Radar: Our pick of the week's best TV, movies, and games (March 23 - 29) - GamesRadar+ - March 23rd, 2020
- The Revolution In Educational Gaming Will Not Be Recognizable - Forbes - March 23rd, 2020
- Games of the week Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Murder By Numbers, Crossy Road Castle and Butter Royale - Inverness Courier - March 23rd, 2020
- Philly-based puzzle company offers a visually stunning antidote to the coronavirus craziness - The Philadelphia Citizen - March 23rd, 2020
- PC's Leslie Huffman named LKC player of the year | News, Sports, Jobs - Marietta Times - March 23rd, 2020
- Title win the last piece of the puzzle for stoked Cats - The West Australian - March 22nd, 2020
- Tired of the coronavirus lockdown? Here are five games to pass the time - Deccan Herald - March 21st, 2020
- Commanding the Situation - The New York Times - March 21st, 2020
- One Of The Best Switch Games Is Discounted On The Eshop - GameSpot - March 21st, 2020
- UK turns to board games, puzzles, and crafting as suppliers and toy shops prepare families for school closures - Toy News - March 21st, 2020
- From Proust to puzzles: The coronavirus is shifting the focus of France's star rabbi - JTA News - March 21st, 2020
- Stuck at home? 10 activities for families to try to keep busy while out of school - Austin Daily Herald - Austin Herald - March 21st, 2020
- UNTITLED GOOSE GAME SNEAKS AWAY WITH THE WIN FOR GAME OF THE YEAR AT THE 20th ANNUAL GAME DEVELOPERS CHOICE AWARDS - Associated Press - March 20th, 2020
- Your turn to find some fun with the family - The Spokesman-Review - March 20th, 2020
- How you can help local businesses while still practicing social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak - OregonLive - March 20th, 2020
- Lilith Games Brings the Puzzle-Filled Fun of Mr. Pumpkin 2 to Mobile This April - GamingLyfe Network - March 19th, 2020
- This 1000-Piece Puzzle Will Help You Rediscover Classic Childhood Toys and Games - HouseBeautiful.com - March 19th, 2020
- Thinking Inside the Box by Adrienne Raphel review adventures with crosswords - The Guardian - March 19th, 2020
- UNTITLED GOOSE GAME SNEAKS AWAY WITH THE WIN FOR GAME OF THE YEAR AT THE 20th ANNUAL GAME DEVELOPERS CHOICE AWARDS - GlobeNewswire - March 19th, 2020
- The Best Free Games to Try Out From the Steam Game Festival - Lifehacker - March 19th, 2020
- Dr Kawashima's Brain Training for Nintendo Switch review: entertaining and useful - but doesn't live up to the original game - Hartlepool Mail - March 19th, 2020
- 'When the Past Was Around' Tells a Heartbreaking Story Through Puzzles - Indie Games Plus - March 19th, 2020
- Being on lockdown isnt all fun and games but families need fun and these games help - fox4kc.com - March 19th, 2020
- Bored at home? Tabletop games help ease the self-isolation blahs - Madison.com - March 19th, 2020
- The 19 best video games to play during coronavirus isolation - PennLive - March 18th, 2020
- The Biggest Puzzle This Escape Room Company Must Solve? How to Grow the Right Way - Inc. - March 18th, 2020
- Chess: controversial world Candidates starts in Ekaterinburg but will it finish? - Financial Times - March 18th, 2020
- The 9 best two-player board games - Vox.com - March 18th, 2020
- Coronavirus: i paper will include a four-page games and crosswords pull-out, plus how to get it delivered - inews - March 18th, 2020
- Being on lockdown isn't all fun and games. But families need fun - and these games help - KTVZ - March 18th, 2020
- 6 Fun Indoor Activities to Beat the Extreme Cold in Ontario - Net Newsledger - March 18th, 2020
- How rookies Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren became the top 'D' pair for NY Rangers - The Journal News | LoHud.com - March 18th, 2020
- Futsal Super League: The exciting second round returns with three Matchday 6 games - Kawowo Sports - March 18th, 2020
- Atlanta institution offers 'variety' of indoor activities - FOX 5 Atlanta - March 18th, 2020
- Supercell soft-launches match-and-solve puzzle game with meta similar to that of Wildscapes - Game World Observer - March 17th, 2020
- 24 Jigsaws and Puzzle Games For Kids to Work on While Home From School - POPSUGAR - March 17th, 2020
- Bust stuck-at-home boredom with these Target game and puzzle deals - Real Homes - March 17th, 2020
- Heres Looking at You, Grid: A History of Crosswords and Their Fans - The New York Times - March 17th, 2020
- Five new Steam games you probably missed (March 16, 2020) - PC Gamer - March 17th, 2020
- Fun and educational games, activities to save your sanity during coronavirus school break - cleveland.com - March 17th, 2020
- The creator of Dicey Dungeons and VVVVVV is giving thousands of copies of his games away for free - PC Gamer - March 17th, 2020
- The Gamification Of Cybersecurity Training - Forbes - March 17th, 2020
- Games Inbox: Are you impressed by the Xbox Series X? - Metro.co.uk - March 17th, 2020