Now the real fun begins, and the ‘Caps look ready.
Lucas Cavallini scored in a fourth straight preseason match, and Fredy Montero subbed in to score a late winner as Vancouver Whitecaps FC wrapped-up preseason with a 2-1 comeback win over Minnesota United FC on Saturday afternoon at Portland’s Providence Park.
The result against their Western Conference rivals capped three strong overall performances from the ‘Caps at the Timbers preseason tournament.
Vancouver were made to work for the victory, as Minnesota opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Ethan Finlay finished a low cross inside the box. However the Loons did little to trouble Maxime Crépeau in net for the remainder of the match, while the ‘Caps came on strong just after the 10-minute mark.
The action started with Cavallini and Ali Adnan both forcing goalkeeper Tyler Miller into saves.
On 34 minutes the ‘Caps again came close to equalizing as Yordy Reyna forced Miller into yet another big stop. Four minutes late a tremendous build-up ended with Russell Teibert firing a long shot over the net. Reyna and Teibert would come close once more inside of the box before the first half concluded.
Marc Dos Santos’ side continued to play well to start the second half, with a Cristian Dájome cross and Jasser Khmiri shot in the box testing the Minnesota backline.
The ‘Caps finally looked to catch a break on a penalty kick call for a handball in the 56th minute, only for it to be taken away by a highly unusual sequences of events.
After a shot from Teibert struck the arm of defender Chase Gasper in the box, the referee blew the play dead before Dájome could put the ball into the open net. Before the penalty kick could be taken, a video review was called, with the referee overturning the call to keep the match at 1-0 for Minnesota.
However less than 10 minutes later another penalty kick was called as Cavallini skipped past Michael Boxall before getting chopped down in the box by the former Whitecaps FC centre back. The Canadian striker calmly finished down the middle to level the contest at 1-1.
With just over 10 minutes to go Inbeom Hwang tested Miller with a long shot, forcing one more huge save from the keeper.
Vancouver would not be denied though. The ‘Caps found their winner in the 90th minute with one more beautiful set-up – a common theme throughout preseason. Adnan got to the endline and hit a cross to the backpost, which was expertly struck by Montero for the 2-1 win.
The ‘Caps now set their sights on their Saturday, February 29 MLS season opener.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Saturday that the club has acquired a 2020 international roster spot from Portland Timbers in exchange for $165,000 in General Allocation Money.
“We had an opportunity to acquire an international spot and timing was right. This trade gives us additional roster flexibility for the year,” said Whitecaps FC sporting director Axel Schuster.
With the trade, Whitecaps FC now hold 11 international spots through 2020. The ‘Caps have nine international players on their roster.