PORTLAND, OREGON – Vancouver Whitecaps FC claimed their second straight win at the Rose City Invitational on Wednesday, defeating San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 on the strength of a first-half Kenny Miller marker and a late Darren Mattocks penalty.
Making his first start of the preseason, Miller put the ‘Caps ahead in the 26th minute and Mattocks added an insurance marker – his second goal in as many matches – to carry the ‘Caps to victory.
Recently acquired goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi looked sharp when called upon, making a pair of saves to earn a clean sheet in his first appearance with Whitecaps FC.
After opening the Rose City Invitational with a 5-1 win over Portmore United on Sunday, Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made a full squad change for Wednesday's tilt with San Jose. Eleven new players – most of the youthful variety – drew into the starting lineup.
In addition to Miller, who wore the captain's armband and played in an attacking midfielder position behind lone central forward Omar Salgado, one of those players was Christian Dean . Just as he has all preseason, the 20-year-old impressed again on Wednesday – both on and off the ball.
Robinson opted to use Dean at left back, which moved Sam Adekugbe up to the left wing. And it was the Homegrown defender who created the first goal of the match in the 26th minute.
Adekugbe, who made his way over to the right side of the park, ran onto a perfectly-weighted ball by Salgado and laid it into the box for Miller, who hit it first time into the back of the net.
Aside from the Scotsman's tally, there wasn't much room for either side in the opening 25 minutes. One player who looked lively for the ‘Caps was Salgado, who was very active in the lone central forward position.
At the other end of the park, the Quakes had a pair of great first-half opportunities. But a sliding Carlyle Mitchell clearance off the goal line in the 12th minute and a sprawling save by Tornaghi on an Adam Jahn break just moments after Miller's marker kept them off the scoresheet.
Vancouver made one change at the half, as Residency midfielder Marco Bustos replaced Miller in the attacking midfielder position. Robinson's side got off to an encouraging start after the break and Salgado was once again involved.
First, Dean whipped in a low cross to Salgado in the 52nd minute, but the 6-foot-4 striker's first-time effort just missed wide of the near post.
A few minutes later, Salgado let loose another left-footed effort from inside the box but this time substitute goalkeeper David Bingham made a sprawling fingertip save to keep the game within reach.
Vancouver received a boost around the hour-mark, when speedsters Erik Hurtado, Kekuta Manneh, and Darren Mattocks entered the match. The trio created a number of opportunities and finally, after a late Quakes charge, they found the back of the net.
After midfielder Bryce Alderson was hauled down in the box, Mattocks stepped up to the penalty spot and sealed the deal with a cool finish to give Vancouver a 2-0 victory.