Lake Vista, FL – Vancouver Whitecaps stay in the sunshine state could be cut short after another crushing defeat this time to Seattle Sounders in the MLS is Back Tournament.
The reigning MLS champions Sounders hit the Caps for 3 with goals from Nicolas Loderio, Jordan Morris and Raul Ruidiaz as Seattle booked their place in the knockout round.
The Whitecaps who are now winless in two tournament outings and missing a good chunk of their team fielded the same lineup as their last game against San Jose, switching to a 4-4-2 formation from the 4-3-3 against the Earthquakes.
Caps depleted squad took another hit as they lost their first team goalkeeper Crepeau through injury during the game. Back up keeper Meredith left the squad earlier last week due to family reasons, so it was down to 21 year old third-choice keeper Hasal to fill the boots for his MLS debut.
Seattle opened the scoring in the 16th minute through Lodeiro from the penalty spot after Whitecaps defender Jasser Khmiri handled the ball in the box.
Morris then made it 2-0 on the 34th minute after the Whitecaps lost possession in midfield. Some nice link up play from Lodeiro found Morris who slotted the ball home.
The dominant display by Seattle on their Cascadian rivals was complete in the 51st minute when Raul Ruidias added to the Sounders lead after capitalizing on some terrible Whitecaps defending from a corner.
The Whitecaps are still mathematically alive in the tournament thanks to a San Jose Earthquakes win in the other group fixture, but their hopes are now very slim.
Whitecaps head coach Dos Santos said, “We have eight players that are not here that are important players, we're doing what we can to maximize what we have and it's not easy.”
He continued and said ‘We're doing everything we can. Regardless, we came to this tournament. Regardless of guys out. We are here to fight. Even in the last 10-15 minutes, we kept going, we kept pressuring, we didn't put our heads down.”
Vancouver now look to Thursday’s final Group B game with Chicago where they will need a 3-0 to advance, while Seattle must wait for that game to finish to determine their place and opponent for the knockout round.
By Mark Ollerton - Freelance Writer