After 45 minutes of excruciatingly dull, uninventive soccer from both the Whitecaps and Sporting Kansas City, you’d have thought that this looks like two teams each playing their third preseason game in less than a week. Passes went awry. There was little sustained possession. The one decent scoring chance, off the foot of Davide Chiumiento, was deflected onto the woodwork.
But the game came to life in the second half — and the Whitecaps got goals from Sebastien Le Toux, Canadian youngster Russell Teibert and defender Carlyle Mitchell, as they went on to swamp SKC 3-0 thanks to a 17-minute spell of inspired play.
Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie left his two top scorers from last season, Camilo and Eric Hassli, off the team list for the day,
Le Toux, who has played regularly up front with Chinese returnee Long Tan since the French striker arrived in the Whitecaps fold, opened the scoring in the 50th minute, deflecting home a cross from Chiumiento.
Tan, who has enjoyed an impressive spell throughout the Disney tournament, causing us all to scratch our heads and wonder where the heck he fits in the Whitecaps’ long list of strikers, set up Teibert, who got the highlight-reel goal of the day with a low drive from outside the box.
Defender Carlyle Mitchell finished the scoring — Vancouver’s third goal in 17 minutes — when he finished an intricate passing sequence. Defender Jordan Harvey’s pass found Mitchell, who had pushed up in the attack, thanks to a clever dummy from Le Toux.The ex-Philadelphia Union teammates combined to create the chance for Mitchell.
The Whitecaps finished the group stage with a perfect record and, most importantly, didn’t surrender a goal. The Whitecaps will play in Saturday’s Disney final before heading to Cary, N.C. where coach Rennie and the legion of ex-Carolina RailHawks will face their old team in a Sunday friendly.
For Canadian fans, other than the Teibert goal, the most notable moment was the appearance of Prince Edward Island’s Mozzi Gyorio in Sporting Kansas City light blue. The former FC Tampa Bay (NASL) standout got into his second game with SKC since joining the club on trial, but, unfortunately, could do little about a game that was already decided before he entered the pitch.