WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio each scored twice to carry D.C. United (1W-2L-3D) to a 4-0 win over the shorthanded ‘Caps (2W-3L-1D) on Saturday at RFK Stadium.
Coincidentally, it was Vancouver’s worst loss since a 4-0 road defeat to D.C. United back in 2011.
Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted, who was voted as the Budweiser Man of the Match for the second week in a row, made nine saves on the night. The Dane’s play was a bright spot for the ‘Caps on an afternoon where there weren’t many.
For the third straight week, Carl Robinson was forced to reshuffle his troops.
Two weeks ago, the ‘Caps beat Houston 1-0 without their starting centre backs. Last week, they lost three players in the first half due to injury and a red card in a 0-0 draw with LA.
And on Saturday, they were missing Designated Players Matias Laba (suspension), Pedro Morales (left hip flexor strain), and Octavio Rivero (right hip flexor strain), in addition to Christian Bolaños (left quad contusion) and Nicolás Mezquida (right knee sprain).
Robinson ended up fielding a starting lineup that featured three Canadians, including 19-year-old Whitecaps FC Residency graduate Marco Bustos. It was Bustos’ first-ever MLS start.
Russell Teibert also made his first appearance of the season, partnering in midfield with newcomer Andrew Jacobson, after recovering from a preseason calf strain. Further up the field, strikers Masato Kudo and Blas Pérez started together for the first time this season.
There wasn’t much in the game in the early going, but D.C. United looked the more likely side to score.
And if it wasn’t for a pair of big-time saves from Ousted, one on Nick DeLeon and one on Espindola, they probably would have earlier than they did.
Eventually, United broke through on a 39th-minute counter.
The play started with a perfect pass from Patrick Nyarko to Chris Rolfe, whose attempt from inside the area was saved by Ousted before Espindola pounced on the rebound.
The ‘Caps had a pair of chances of their own in the first half – Perez narrowly missed the top right corner from 22 yards and Fraser Aird forced Travis Worra into a key save after pushing forward on the overlap – but entered the break down by one.
That quickly turned into two.
Espindola added his second of the game in the 54th minute, finishing from close range on another rebound after Steve Birnbaum headed a corner off the crossbar.
Substitutes Kekuta Manneh and Erik Hurtado injected some life into Vancouver’s attack in the second half – Hurtado hit the crossbar in the 67th minute after some nice work by Manneh down the left. But it just wasn’t Vancouver’s night.
That point was hammered home late in the match, when Saborio and fellow substitute Luciano Acosta combined a pair of pretty goals in the 88th and 91st minutes to provide an exclamation mark on D.C. United’s first win of the season.
Next up for Whitecaps FC is a visit to Real Salt Lake next Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium (7 p.m. PT on TSN1). Meanwhile, WFC2 host MLS hopeful Sacramento Republic tomorrow at 3 p.m PT in their home opener at UBC Thunderbird Stadium.
NEWS AND NOTES
The ‘Caps have loaned centre back Cole Seiler and midfielders Deybi Flores and Ben McKendry to WFC2 for Sunday’s home opener vs. Sacramento Republic at UBC Thunderbird Stadium .
Budweiser Man of the Match: David Ousted
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
39′ – DC – Fabian Espindola
54′ – DC – Fabian Espindola
88′ – DC – Alvaro Saborio (Luciano Acosta)
90′ + 1′ – DC – Alvaro Saborio (Luciano Acosta)
Shots: DC 24 – Vancouver 7
Shots on Goal: DC 13 – Vancouver 1
Saves: DC 1 – Vancouver 9
Fouls: DC 10 – Vancouver 10
Offsides: DC 2 – Vancouver 2
Corners: DC 4 – Vancouver 2
65′ – VAN – Kianz Froese
70′ – DC – Sean Franklin
48.Travis Worra; 5.Sean Franklin, 15.Steve Birnbaum, 32.Bobby Boswell ©, 2.Taylor Kemp; 14.Patrick Nyarko (26.Rob Vincent 86′), 14.Nick DeLeon, 7.Marcelo Sarvas, 13.Lamar Neagle; 10.Fabian Espindola (9.Alvaro Saborio 79′), 18.Chris Rolfe (11.Luciano Acosta 77′)
Substitutes not used
1.Tally Hall, 6.Kofi Opara, 25.Jared Jeffrey, 34.Luke Mishu
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted ©; 8.Fraser Aird, 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 13.Cristian Techera, 17.Andrew Jacobson, 31.Russell Teibert (38.Kianz Froese 61′), 32.Marco Bustos (23.Kekuta Manneh HT); 27.Blas Pérez (19.Erik Hurtado 67′), 9.Masato Kudo
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 3.Sam Adekugbe, 6.Jordan Smith, 44.Pa-Modou Kah