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Whitecaps Dispatch: Giving the Fans All they Can Handle against Philadelphia

It was another eventful match for the Whitecaps as they once again jumped out to an early lead and then let it slip away before finishing strong and getting a favorable result.

Vancouver’s opponent this past weekend were the scrappy Philadelphia Union who were coming off a victory over Chivas USA the week before. Vancouver traveled to PPL Park in hopes of continuing their six game unbeaten streak, but, also to push their road unbeaten streak to four.

The match began with both sides unable to grab control of the flow and early on, both sides missed opportunities to score as the Whitecaps Erik Hurtado missed a chance and Philadelphia’s Conor Casey also was denied a scoring chance. It was not until the 15th minute that the Whitecaps were able to finally control the tempo of the match and in the 18th minute, Hurtado was able to convert a scoring chance into a 1-0 lead for Vancouver. The goal was the fuel that the Whitecaps were searching for as it ignited the team and the energy of the players were lifted to new heights. Vancouver began controlling the ball and were able to pin the Union deep within Philadelphia territory.

Erik Hurtado would once again find the score sheet as he was able to feed the ball to Nicolas Mezquida who found the back of the net for a 2-0 Whitecaps lead heading into the half.

As the second half began, it looked as though Vancouver was going to add to their lead; however, Conor Casey had other ideas. Casey was able to convert a cross in front of the net and brought Philadelphia within one as the score became 2-1 in favor of the Whitecaps. The Union then made a substitution bringing in former Whitecap, Sebastien Le Toux, who quickly became an offensive threat for Philadelphia. Le Toux’s fresh legs were an added breath of fresh air as he found the back of the net to draw the Union even with Vancouver at 2 goals apiece.

Conor Casey would then add another goal to give Philadelphia the lead. In a span of seven minutes, Vancouver allowed three goals and were clearly outplayed by a Union team that was far hungrier and aggressive. The Whitecaps seemed to be a different club than the energized one that played an exciting first half.

As if a switch was turned on, the third goal seemed to lift the spirits of the players and once again, Vancouver looked to be the more athletic club on the field. Pedro Morales was able to convert a penalty kick for his team leading sixth goal and more importantly, tie the game at three goals apiece.

The Whitecaps would play the rest of the match conservatively, careful with their crosses and clearly protecting the midfield. Both teams would fail to find the back of the net and the match would end in a draw.

The draw was not exactly what Whitecaps fans were hoping for, but, the game showed the determination within the players and when all hope seemed lost, they were able to right the ship and finish strong. It may not seem like it, but, Vancouver accomplished a first in their short history in that they were able to extend their unbeaten streak to seven games and extend their road unbeaten streak to four.

The Whitecaps currently are tied with FC Dallas with twenty-one points heading into the World Cup break. If there was one lesson to take away from this past Saturday is that the Whitecaps will always keep their fans on the edge of their seats and excite them and scare them all within one match.


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