Whitecaps vs Austin FC: What we learned from their 3-0 loss


The worst start in team history continued for Vancouver, who lost to Austin FC for the first time.

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The Vancouver Whitecaps are hoping April showers will bring flowers in May.

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Austin FC drowned the Whitecaps in a deluge of goals on Saturday night at Q2 Stadium, winning 3-0 and keeping Vancouver winless on the road this season. Dark storm clouds continue to hang over the Caps after their worst start ever — this now includes their current three-game skid — as the sun warms Austin, who has won three straight for the first time in its history.

To get back to the team they were last year, head coach Vanni Sartini said, they needed to play solid defensively and simply offensively and then enjoy their home games; four consecutive home dates in May — three championship games and one Canadian championship game.

Austin’s game was supposed to serve as the ignition, the spark that ignited the fuse of a rocket going up the standings by taking advantage of their dates at BC Place.

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But that rocket failed on the launch pad on Saturday, as the Whitecaps (1-6-1) are now eight points behind Real Salt Lake (4-2-2), who sit seventh and last place in the playoffs.


Sunday May 8

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FC

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To continue like this, hoping for luck to turn their way, would be madness, Sartini said. Now there is to be a major overhaul, and everything is on the table.

“We now have three games in a row for the league and the Canadian cap. And we have to start winning games,” Sartini said. “We have to change everything in terms of the quality of work. We have to get out of our comfort zone. We have to reassess everything; depth chart, even the way of playing this year it doesn’t work. We try to be aggressive, but it’s too easy to beat our pressure… Trying to do the same thing when things aren’t going well and expecting a different result… that would be naive.

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Austin (5-1-2) is now unbeaten at home and first in the West, and has two goals from Max Urruti and one from Sebastian Driussi.

Here’s what we learned…

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An overgrown midfield has been a constant theme in the Whitecaps’ defeats this season, and Saturday was no different.

It was a run for Austin in the first half, taking a 2-0 lead and holding 73% of the ball.

The central spine of Russell Teibert, Pedro Vite and Michael Baldisimo was bypassed and crossed, and the press was inconsistent in its effectiveness.

“We are not aggressive enough to win duels. We’re actually good, good enough at times to create a power play, press with the right moment, then we lose the 1v1,” Sartini said, pointing to the defensive effort on Austin’s second goal, where Daniel Pereira carried the ball undisturbed. a little over half and in the last third.

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“It was a huge problem. It’s hard to win games if you don’t win these duels, even when you press well.

That’s exactly why the Caps were going to shell out almost $3 million for No. 6 Andres Cubas, a midfielder who wins and moves the ball, but that help doesn’t come for a while. The transfer is expected to be announced next week, but despite having a US visa – not believed to be a work permit – doing the paperwork is going to be a process.


Vancouver fans breathed a sigh of relief when Chris Wondolowski hung up his boots with San Jose, having scored 14 goals against the Caps in his career – the most of any player in MLS.

But they may have forgotten about Max Urruti, who has now scored against Vancouver for three consecutive seasons, on three separate teams, and now has nine in his career against the Caps – second only to Wondo.

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The 31-year-old Argentina striker doubled his total for the season with Saturday’s double, opening the scoring after 11 minutes, when he split Jake Nerwinski and Ranko Veselinovic to take a through ball from Driussi and power it past Thomas Hashal.

Fifteen minutes later he was back, taking two touches on a pass into the box on a turn and a shot to beat Hasal into the far corner.

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Austin FC midfielder Alex Ring, left, passes the ball past Vancouver Whitecaps FC striker Russell Teibert (31) during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Austin, TX.
Austin FC midfielder Alex Ring, left, passes the ball past Vancouver Whitecaps FC striker Russell Teibert (31) during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Austin, TX. Photo by Eric Gay /PA


4: Shots on goal for Austin. They scored on three of them. Los Verde already led the league with one goal per 0.52 shots on goal, an average that will only increase.

11: Vancouver’s total number of shots, one more than Austin’s total.

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67.4: Possession of the game for Austin. It’s not the performance benchmark, but it’s a good indicator. Last-place San Jose, for example, entered the weekend leading the league with 63.0 percent possession but are winless this season. But Austin dominated the game, giving Vancouver no chance for a builder’s play and spending most of the game in the Caps’ half.

100: Number of MLS appearances for Tosaint Ricketts, who came on in the 79th minute.

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