Vancouver Whitecaps fan Vanni Sartini had high hopes that their exciting encounter against D.C. United would finally showcase their transformation from good team to very good squad; but with only two points earned and an uncertain result (2-2 draw), his emotions remain mixed after yet another disappointing outing against an opponent that showed they haven’t quite reached their desired levels yet.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. D.C. United Clash
Sartini commented on their performance by noting, “Today has been good, although not great.
The Major League Soccer clash between the Whitecaps, with an 11-10-10 record, and D.C. United, standing at 9-10-13, witnessed defensive lapses and close opportunities that offset each other, intensifying the battle for a playoff spot.
Striker Brian White commented on the goals conceded, saying, “When you look at the goals we conceded in a sense they’re self-inflicted goals.”
Vancouver currently sits sixth in the Western Conference standings and could clinch their playoff berth if they win and both Minnesota United FC and LA Galaxy fail to.
Whitecaps appeared poised for victory when Brian White was fouled inside the penalty area in the 57th minute and awarded with a video review-awarded penalty kick.
Pursuing Excellence in MLS Playoff Race
However, D.C. United managed to find an element of luck when Mateusz Klich attempted a speculative shot, which took a deflection off defender Tristan Blackmon and eluded the diving Yohei Takaoka.
“We created chances. We had a million chances in front of the goal. Unfortunately, we’ve been a little soft again. We basically gave away a goal like it was a gift. And the second goal also,” lamented Sartini.
Sartini emphasized the need for resilience, stating, “I use the same term that they used in Salt Lake — we’ve been soft. And guys, if you’re soft like this, it’s hard to win playoff games, and this today was a playoff game.”
Addressing Vancouver’s Playoff Hurdles
The partnership of White and Gauld made an impact early in the match, with Richie Laryea’s blocked cross finding Gauld, who chipped the ball to the far post for White to score his 14th league goal of the season in the second minute.
Without placing undue stress upon them, these are the players we rely on most for victory.”
D.C. United leveled the score in the opening half thanks to an unexpected defensive miscue from Vancouver in the 11th minute, as Takaoka’s weak pass intended for Blackmon was intercepted by Ted Ku-DiPietro who fed an open Christian Benteke who cooly slotted it home himself.
White acknowledged the team’s need for improvement by noting: “Our defense hasn’t done its job of clearing what needs to be cleared or alerting when required, costing us points across the board. As this season progresses and playoffs near, it is something that must be addressed as quickly as possible.”