VANCOUVER, B.C - The first Cascadia Cup clash of the season was quite a battle as the visiting Seattle Sounders FC invaded B.C. Place to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps. Both sides were eager to pick up a win and early season bragging results. Vancouver snapped a three-match home losing streak vs Seattle with a 2-1 victory in front of 22,120 supporters.
Fredy Montero scored a second half brace to crush his former team, Seattle Sounders FC. Vancouver improves to 2-3-1 on the campaign, while Seattle drops to a 1-2-3 record.
Following the match, Montero spoke about his brace and earning the result.
"Super happy to score two goals in these kinds of matches," said Montero. "It’s always a dream for a forward. Today’ I'm super happy that the team did a good job. We were looking through the week for this result, and thankfully we got it. It’s a good one for us."
"It was a good game today, really good game," said Coach Carl Robinson. "They’re a top team, they’re the champs, we know that. They started the game as if they were the champs, they've got good players, they’re confident. But we stuck with it. When you’re in games and you’re not having the play, it’s important you have a good mentality and our mindset going into the game was be organized and disciplined, and when you get your chances, take them. And Fredy done that, two goals is great for him. It was a good game.”
Seattle Coach, Brian Schmetzer did not talk to Montero following the match, and he offered up these thoughts on the former Sounders man who stole the show.
"Good. He scored two goals," said Schmetzer. "He scored the game winner. Very good."
The Opening 45
It was quite a lacklustre opening third quarter of the match. Both teams played tentatively and looked to settle into the early stages. Seattle was looking to press Vancouver, while the home side wanted to advance via the flanks for a counter-attack.
While the Caps were sending men into the Sounders FC box, they were struggling to link up and connect Fredy Montero. Seattle did well to disrupt the Vancouver offence, while also controlling the tempo and going forward themselves.
Vancouver's best opportunity to score came in the 33' minute. Christian Bolanos found an unmarked Montero inside the Seattle box. The Sounders all-time leading scorer attempted to chip his shot past Stefen Frei, but unfortunately he missed the target.
The match was scoreless at the half. Seattle held a 58% - 42% possession advantage.
The Second Half
Seattle was showing a lot of urgency following the interval and they pushed forward in the early minutes of the second half, almost nicking a goal. Oniel Fisher broke down the flank and found Clint Dempsey. David Ousted was forced into making a diving save with the palm of his hand to deny Dempsey in the 51' minute.
Playmaker, Nicolas Lodeiro was also stopped by Ousted has he used his fancy footwork to find space in the Vancouver box. The Caps keeper was standing tall in net with Seattle dictating play.
Vancouver needed a small moment of brilliance to capitalize on Seattle and it came in the 65' minute. Cristian Techera sent in a beautiful cross into the Sounders FC box. Montero broke free and connected on an unmarked header to score against his former team. B.C. Place erupted as Whitecaps FC broke through with the ultimate clutch goal.
Fredy Montero wasn't done and he soon added his second of the match in the 80' minute. Christian Bolanos sent in a corner that Kendall Waston got his head around. The ball was heading towards the goal, and Montero once again flicked home an unmarked header.
Seattle was able to get on the score sheet in the 89' minute as Whitecaps nemesis, Will Bruin cut the deficit in half after Nicolas Lodeiro found him in front of goal.
The four minutes of stoppage weren't enough for Sounders FC to find an eventual equalizer. Vancouver took all three points, thanks to a fantastic showing from Fredy Montero.
Man of the Match
Fredy Montero had this match circled on his calendar when the fixtures were posted. Big match players, put in big match performances and Montero certainly delivered and then some. Seattle had no answer for a former teammate that was determined to come back and haunt his former club. Montero was easily the top player on the pitch in a match Vancouver wanted to win from the first whistle.
"Right now we are in the process of building the confidence of the team," said Montero, "We know that we have different qualities, different players, but I know this team has more to give, and it’s going to come along the way."
Vancouver Whitecaps Starting XI: David Ousted; Jordan Harvey, Tim Parker, Kendall Waston(C), Sheanon Williams; Matias Laba, Russell Teibert; Alphonso Davies, 76 (Nicolas Mezqudia), Christian Bolanos, Cristian Techera, 86 (Mauro Rosales); Fredy Montero. 4-2-3-1.
Seattle Sounders Starting XI: Stefan Frei; Joevin Jones, Chad Marshall, Gustav Svensson, Oniel Fisher, 78 (Henry Wingo); Cristian Roldan, Osvaldo Alonso(C); Harry Shipp, 68 (Will Bruin), Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro; Jordan Morris. 4-2-3-1