Home Best of the Rest Whitecaps’ keeper Knighton beaten by his former club in penalties

Whitecaps’ keeper Knighton beaten by his former club in penalties

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A day after a lot of expected first teamers played against Toronto FC in the final of the Walt Disney World Classic, the Vancouver Whitecaps used just 12 players Sunday when they faced the NASL’s Carolina RailHawks in a preseason friendly.

The RailHawks won the game on penalties after the Whitecaps’ Davide Chiumiento scored a last-gasp equalizer. It was 2-2 after 90 minutes, but the RailHawks were perfect in the penalty shootout, while the Whitecaps were just two for four.

In a game which was homecoming of sorts for a Whitecaps team that has taken so much from the previous season’s NASL’s RailHawks, Vancouver coach Martin Rennie started just two former Carolina players on Sunday. Rennie, who was hired away from Carolina, gave ex-RailHawk Matt Watson the start in midfield and put keeper Brad Knighton, who was on the NASL Best XI in 2011, the start between the sticks.

Rennie handed starts to Canadian youngsters Russell Teibert and Bryce Alderson, and used only one player off the bench — that being Omar Salgado — throughout the entire 90 minutes. Obviously, Rennie was already looking to conserve his roster as much as possible, with First Kick against the Montreal Impact coming up in just six days.

Nick Zimmerman, one of the few standouts from the RailHawks in 2011 who actually is still with the club in 2012, delivered the corner in the sixth minute that was eventually headed in by Amir Lowery, who was cut by the Montreal Impact earlier this year.

But Whitecap Long Tan punctuated what has been an outstanding preseason campaign with the tying goal just after halftime, after he headed home a cross from Chiumiento.

But Brian Shriver gave the RailHawks the lead with a little less than 20 minutes left in regulation. Shriver was acquired by the RailHawks from the Fort Lauderdale Strikers during the offseason, and will be expected to replace a few of the goals that were provided by two of Carolina’s biggest offseason losses, NASL MVP Etienne Barbara and his strike partner Pablo Campos.

Chiumiento drew the Whitecaps level, but Knighton couldn’t stop any of the penalty attempts in his old stomping ground, and was one of two Whitecaps to miss an attempt. Rennie gave the keeper a chance to go to the spot, and Knighton couldn’t convert, so a Cinderella homecoming for the ex-RailHawk wasn’t in the cards. Tan missed the other, as RailHawks won the shootout, 4-2.

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