Skip to main content


White lifts Whitecaps to comeback victory over St. Louis City


VANCOUVER — A wave of relief washed over Brian White on Saturday night.

After going two months without scoring, the Vancouver Whitecaps striker finally put a ball into the back of the net.

Then he did it again. And again.

White scored three goals as the Whitecaps stormed their way back for a 4-3 win over visiting St. Louis City on Saturday.

“The first goal went in and I think the game came a bit easier for us," White said. "I felt a little bit more comfortable. It did feel like a little bit of a stress reliever. And fortunately we were able to push on and win the game.”

Fafa Piccault also scored for the 'Caps (8-7-5) in the 90th minute as Vancouver snapped a two-game losing streak.

St. Louis (3-7-10) was dominant to start the Major League Soccer match, with Njabulo Blom and Eduard Lowen scoring in the first 12 minutes.

But the Whitecaps responded with four goals and two saves from goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka before Nokkvi Thorisson added a stoppage-time tally for the visitors.

Netminder Ben Lundt stopped four on-target shots for St. Louis, who saw their winless skid stretch to nine games (0-6-3).

Vancouver got off to a disastrous start thanks to some scattered defence and an early penalty.

The Whitecaps failed to clear a ball in the seventh minute and it popped out to Blom at the top of the penalty area. The South African midfielder got off a right-footed shot that sailed past Takaoka's hands and into the back of the net to put St. Louis up 1-0.

Just five minutes later, City struck again after Vancouver's Javain Brown was called for a hand ball. Lowen stepped up to take the ensuing penalty kick and sent a low shot into the corner.

It was a familiar scene, said Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini, comparing Saturday's start to how Vancouver dropped a 2-0 decision to the Timbers in Portland last week.

“We were clearly the better team from minute one and we just complicated our life like we did in Portland, too," he said. "The big difference is we stayed calm and we kept playing our game, and knowing that we would create chances and knowing that we would defend very well for the rest of the 80 minutes.”

White got the home side on the board in the 37th minute, taking a ball at the top of the box, settling it, then firing a shot that hit the leg of St. Louis defender Jake Nerwinski before bouncing into the net.

White's sixth goal of the season cut Vancouver's deficit to 2-1.

The American striker added to his tally in the 54th minute. Chasing down a loose ball, White held off St. Louis defender Tomas Tatland and got a back-heel shot off, sending an arching ball up and over Lundt's head and in to knot the score at 2-2.

He wasn't done, either.

Whitecaps defender Bjorn Utvik helped set in motion Vancouver's third goal of the game when he sent a long pass to Ryan Raposo in the 61st minute. Raposo sailed a cross into White, who headed the ball down past Lundt for his third goal of the game, putting the 'Caps up 3-2.

The goal marked White's second career hat trick. He also scored all three goals when the Whitecaps blanked the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 on Oct. 2, 2021.

Goals haven't come easily this season, however.

Heading into Saturday's game, White hadn't scored since the 'Caps took a 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls on April 27.

Busting out of a slump takes persistence, the attacker said.

“You really only have one option and it’s just to keep going," he said. "It’s doing everything you can on the training pitch, getting extra reps in front of the goal after training, it’s studying film, it’s doing the mental side of the game. A lot goes into fighting through those tough times.”


Saturday marked just the fourth time the Whitecaps have comeback from a multi-goal deficit to win an MLS game. The last instance happened in Portland against the Timbers on Oct. 20, 2021. … Both Vancouver and St. Louis were without a number of players. The Whitecaps were missing forward Damir Kreilach (calf) and defender Sam Adekugbe (calf) due to injuries, while wingback Ali Ahmed (Canada) and defensive midfielder Andres Cubas (Paraguay) are both with their national teams at Copa America. Vancouver's Alessandro Schopf also missed the game due to suspension after receiving a red card last week. St. Louis was missing midfielder Rasmus Alm (knee), centre back Roakim Nilsson (hamstring), wingback Tomas Ostrak (ankle), wingback Celio Pompeu (lower leg) and forward Joao Klauss (knee), while defender Kyle Hiebert was away with the Canadian national team. … An announced crowd of 24,662 took in the game at BC Place.


The Whitecaps visit Minnesota United on Wednesday. St. Louis hosts the San Jose Earthquakes the same night.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2024.