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Whitecaps Dispatch: Colorado's Vicente Sanchez Cools Off Streaking 'Caps

On a very warm night in Colorado, the Rapids were able to accomplish a feat that has not occurred since April 12th, and that feat was, defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Whitecaps suffered only their third loss of the season; however, the team saw their impressive eight game unbeaten streak come to an end. The Whitecaps now stand at 5-3-7 and twenty-two points, which is three points behind the second-place Colorado Rapids.

Changes were made by Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson before the start of the match. Kekuta Manneh and Darren Mattocks were replaced on the wings by Sebastian Fernandez and Nicolas Mezquida while Nigel Reo-Coker retuned from visiting his wife, who gave birth to their first child on Wednesday, and took over the right back position. The last change that was made was that Russell Teibert started in favor of Gershon Koffie.

The Whitecaps started the match very conservatively and seemed to concentrate on their defense and limiting any action by the Rapids in the midfield. The teams battled back and forth for the first fifteen minutes of play without any one team gaining the upper-hand on the other. Then, the Rapids slowly started pressing the flow of the game onto Vancouver and eventually finding the back of the net in the twentieth minute. The goal seemed to elevate Colorado and deflate an overwhelmed Vancouver squad.

Vincente Sanchez returns and seals it with a penalty

Play continued deep in the Whitecaps end and in the thirty-sixth minute, Vicente Sanchez scored on a penalty kick to give the Rapids a 2-0 lead on Vancouver. Deep into the first-half, Vancouver keeper David Ousted made a brilliant save off a shot from Sanchez to keep the score at 2-0.

At the start of the second-half, Coach Robinson brought in Koffie and Mattocks in hopes of energizing the squad while also switching to a diamond formation. The moves made by Robinson seemed to have the effect he was searching for in that only three minutes into the second-half, Pedro Morales took a very nice left-footed shot that was knocked away by Rapids keeper Clint Irwin.

Vancouver began to control possession, but, the defense of Colorado was up to the task on this night. The Whitecaps leaned on Morales to carry the play and he was up for a challenge. In the sixty-third minute, he had another great chance that just missed wide to the left.

Vancouver was alive and well during the latter stages of the match and had many chances to score, however, the great play of Irwin in net and the back line of Colorado was too much for the Whitecaps to overcome as they fell to the second place Rapids 2-0.

Vancouver played very well in the second half and the substitutions that were made as well as going to a diamond formation proved to be the key to their second-half push. The club played an aggressive style using the quickness of their wings to their advantage and going away from a defensive style of play, which they had adopted throughout the first-half.

The Whitecaps return home on July 5th for an encounter with Seattle followed by another home match on July 12th with Chivas USA.



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