Damir Kreilach’s first-half goal was the difference on Sunday afternoon as Vancouver Whitecaps FC lost 1-0 to Real Salt Lake in their 2019 MLS regular season finale at BC Place
The defeat snaps a three-match undefeated streak for the ‘Caps, who now enter the offseason with both player recruitment and an extensive global search to hire a sporting director having already gone underway.
Real Salt Lake move up to third place in the Western Conference and will host Portland Timbers in Round 1 of the MLS Cup Playoffs. Visit mlssoccer.com for the complete playoff bracket and schedule.
RSL keeper Nick Rimando, playing the final regular season match of his career after announcing that he will be retiring following the year, had five saves on the afternoon for his 10th clean sheet of the season.
Head coach Marc Dos Santos elected to go with six Canadian players on his starting XI for the second consecutive match, and second time since the ‘Caps joined MLS in 2011. It was a fitting end to the year that saw Canadians combine for more appearances (129), starts (111), and minutes played (9,727) than any previous WFC MLS season. Homegrown player Georges Mukumbilwa, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo before moving to Canada at age 13, also came on late to make his MLS debut.
After controlling much of the early going, the ‘Caps fell behind in the 28th minute. Real Salt Lake had the ball swinging from side to side, then winger Corey Baird sent in a cross that striker Damir Kreilach nodded into the Vancouver net for the 1-0 lead and eventual winner.
The ‘Caps looked to set to equalize in the 55th minute but Rimando got his fingertips on Michaell Chirinos’ attempt, which banged off the far post.
Fredy Montero and Yordy Reyna came off the Vancouver bench to provide a late spark but the RSL defence would come up with the timely stops. Montero, who finishes the regular season with eight goals, was presented the Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot Award following the match.
28’ – RSL – Damir Kreilach (Corey Baird, Kyle Beckerman)
Possession: VAN 44.4% – RSL 55.6%
Shots: VAN 16 – RSL 16
Shots on Goal: VAN 5 – RSL 4
Saves: VAN 3 – RSL 5
Fouls: VAN 7 – RSL 11
Offsides: VAN 1 – RSL 0
Corners: VAN 5 – RSL 4
90’ – VAN – Érik Godoy
90’+2’ – VAN – Michaell Chirinos
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
16.Maxime Crépeau; 22.Érik Godoy, 2.Doneil Henry ©, 13.Derek Cornelius, 53.Ali Adnan; 4.Inbeom Hwang, 15.Andy Rose, 31.Russell Teibert; 50.Theo Bair (29.Yordy Reyna 60’), 87.Tosaint Ricketts (12.Fredy Montero 61’), 33.Michaell Chirinos (56.Georges Mukumbilwa 81’)
Substitutes not used
18.Zac MacMath, 6.Jon Erice, 23.Scott Sutter, 94.Victor “PC” Giro
Real Salt Lake
18.Nick Rimando; 22.Aaron Herrera, 15.Justen Glad, 14.Nedum Onuoha, 3.Donny Toia; 25.Everton Luiz, 5.Kyle Beckerman ©; 7.Jefferson Savarino (12.Brooks Lennon 84’), 11.Albert Rusnak (6.Kelyn Rowe 84’), 17.Corey Baird (30.Marcelo Silva 89’); 8.Damir Kreilach
Substitutes not used
51.Andrew Putna, 10.Joao Plata, 23.Sebastian Saucedo, 50.Sam Johnson