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Whitecaps pump up offensive volume to top Sounders

Brian White Vancouver Whitecaps Brian White - The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — Midfielder Pedro Vite scored late in the first half as the Vancouver Whitecaps extended their home undefeated streak to six Major League Soccer games with a 2-0 win over the Seattle Sounders Saturday night.

Seattle also scored an own goal resulting from a blistering shot by midfielder Ryan Gauld early in the second half.

The Whitecaps are 4-1-2 at home after losing their first match of the season. The Sounders came into the game having won three of their last six games on the road.

Whitecaps goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka made a leaping save in the 65th minute to send a header from Seattle midfielder Albert Rusnak over top of the net, bringing a roar from the crowd of 19,108 at BC Place Stadium.

Vite opened the scoring in the 44th minute. Defender Ali Ahmed looped a shot that landed in front of the goal. Vite fought through Seattle midfielder Alex Roldan to send a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

It was Vite’s third goal across all competitions and second in MLS play this season.

Gauld, who was questionable for the game due to left hamstring tightness, looked to have made it 2-0 in the 58th minute. He took a pass from defender Luis Martins and fired a low, hard shot to the corner of the net. Officials ruled Frei stopped the initial shot but the ball hit the post then hit him before entering the net.

Vancouver began the night on the outside looking in on the playoff standings. The win improved the Whitecaps to 17 points (4-4-5) and leapfrogged them into seventh place in the MLS Western Conference.

The Sounders (7-5-2) are second in the West with 23 points, two point behind the Los Angeles FC, which edged the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 on Saturday night.

The Whitecaps came close to opening the scoring in the 27th minute. Midfielder Sebastian Berhalter threaded a pass to Gauld who sent a shot just wide of the net. Earlier in the half, Berhalter launched a shot from the top of the box that squirted by the corner of the net before defender Javain Brown could get a foot on it.

NOTES: It was the 149th meeting between Vancouver and Seattle. The Sounders lead the series 72-52-25. … Seattle striker Fredy Montero had two stints with the Whitecaps, first in 2017 then in 2019-20. … Vancouver’s Ranko Veselinović missed the game due to personal reasons. … The Whitecaps returned home after losing road games to Portland and Dallas by a combined 5-2 score. …. Vancouver has not won a MLS game on the road this season (0-3-3). … The Whitecaps play three of their next four MLS games at home.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 20, 2023.