Game Recap Vancouver Whitecaps and Sporting Kansas City

Sporting KC went on the road and broke their win less streak with a draw in Vancouver.

Sporting Kansas City and the Vancouver Whitecaps fought to a 1-1 draw last night at BC place in Vancouver.  The tie ended a three game losing streak and earned SKC a much-needed away point.

When Diego Rubio was brought into Kansas City Peter Vermes talked about his youth and his ability to learn from more seasoned members of the line up, specifically Dom Dwyer.  It is starting to look like this line of thinking is paying off.  Last night Diego Rubio gave us flashes of what we may see in the future. There were three key moments in the game.  Diego Rubio was involved in each of those moments.

Apr 27, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Sporting KC forward Diego Rubio (9) celebrates his goal against Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted (1) (not pictured) during the first half at BC Place. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The starting line up was a hodge podge of back ups and young players looking to make an impact.  We hinted earlier in the week that the lineup may look funny with the team playing three games in ten days.  Graham Zusi, Brad Davis, and Dom Dwyer all started on the bench.

As the game started the inexperience of the starting line up showed.  Generally speaking their was a lack of urgency from the midfield of SKC and that lack of urgency led to a number of set pieces for Vancouver. One such set piece led to the first goal of the game.

Saad Abdul Salaam lost his mark on a corner kick and Christian Bolanos made him pay with a beautiful volley over the head of back up keeper Alec Kahn.

The goal seemed to galvanize the boys in blue. After the Whitecaps went one up, Sporting started to pour on the pressure of their own. Sporting still looked weak on connective play up the middle but good winger play out wide started to open up gaps in the middle. One such gap opened up Lawrence Olum for a good look on goal.

Olum miss hit the ball but Diego Rubio, as good strikers often do, found himself in the perfect position and was able to handle Olum’s pass/shot and convert to level the game.  This would be the first major moment involving Diego Rubio. Whitecaps fans argued Rubio was offside but as you can see here he clearly was not.

Rubio was not done yet.  His aggression and smart play was evident as he worked to get into dangerous positions throughout the first half. It was clearly part of Sporting Kansas City’s strategy  to get under the skin of central defender Kendall Waston. That came to a boiling point when Waston was called for a yellow for unsporting behavior just before half. This would be the second major moment created by Diego Rubio that impacted the game.

The second half started and Rubio’s quickness and touch paid off immediately. Rubio beat both the keeper and Waston to a dangerous ball close to the Whitecaps’ box.  The defender made a reckless and late challenge earning him a second yellow. Waston was sent off. This was the third and final moment created by Rubio that impacted the game. There was no argument with the call and as you can tell the play was both dangerous and a clear denial of a goal scoring opportunity. I believe it should have been a straight red for Watson.

Peter Vermes was not content with one point and immediately started to sub in the regular starters. Dwyer came in for Rubio, followed by Brad Davis for Conner Hallisey, who still looked a bit timid out on the flank. Graham Zusi came on towards the end of the game for a tireless Jimmy Medranda who came close to scoring his first goal of the season in the first half only to be cruelly denied by outstanding keeper David Ousted. Despite the late push Sporting Kansas City was unable to break through and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

Vermes lamented after the game that Sporting wasted a few chances but also reiterated one point on the road against a stellar Whitecaps team was an acceptable result. What say you? One point good enough or should the starting lineup for SKC be able to score at least once against a ten man Vancouver team? Hopefully the players will all be well rested for their clash on Sunday at home against perennial powerhouses L.A. Galaxy.