Whitecaps shock Sounders in 4-1 match at CenturyLink Field

A hat trick from Kekuta Manneh was the difference in a massive 4-1 victory for the Whitecaps FC.

SEATTLE – Sounders FC was well aware of Camilo Sanvezzo and the threat he poses to opposing defenses. The Whitecaps FC forward has 18 goals on the season and four goals in seven matches against Seattle. His two goals against the Portland Timbers on Sunday single-handedly earned a draw for Vancouver.

Seattle kept the Brazilian dynamo quiet, but couldn’t contain his young cohort as Kekuta Manneh led the charge for Vancouver with his first career hat trick and Seattle dropped its second straight match, falling 4-1. It slips to 15-10-6 on the season with just three matches remaining in the regular season.

“A disappointing and poor performance for us tonight. It seems like the last two games, when the other team shoots, they score,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid, noting a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. “We’ve got to find a way to stop it.”

In the 12th minute, Manneh raced behind the Seattle defense and put a shot past Michael Gspurning for the 1-0 lead. A clearance by Seattle was headed by Daigo Kobayashi to play Manneh into a one-on-one with Gspurning up the left side, tucking the ball away for his third goal of the season.

Lamar Neagle forced David Ousted into a rangy save in the 29th minute, spinning around Jay DeMerit and firing from 21 yards out. Ousted swatted the high shot away for a corner kick.

Seattle continued to control possession and outshot Vancouver 7-4 in the first half, but the Manneh would add another before halftime.

YP Lee pushed Sanvezzo up the right side and he played a first-time ball to the middle to put Manneh in behind the drawn out defense. Again going one-on-one with Gspurning, Manneh put his shot inside the near post for a 2-0 lead in the 42nd minute.

“Two chances, two goals and we’re down,” Schmid said. “Both of them are avoidable. Both of them are mistakes from the standpoint of a bad decision.”

Sounders FC applied early pressure in the second half, but in the 54th minute Manneh finished off the hat trick with another quick run behind the defense. A Seattle clearance was controlled by Kobayashi and played through to Manneh, who pegged a right-footed shot through the legs of Gspurning for a 3-0 lead and his fifth goal of the season.

The three-goal deficit triggered a formation change for Sounders FC, as Patrick Ianni subbed on for Marc Burch and DeAndre Yedlin moved up the right side of a 3-4-3.

Seattle nearly got on the board in the 67th minute when Mauro Rosales played a corner kick in from the left side. Patrick Ianni made a near post run, but his header hit off the crossbar and Vancouver cleared it.

The first goal finally came for Sounders FC in the 69th minute.

Seattle got into the box with numbers and Osvaldo Alonso’s initial shot was blocked, but the ball spilled right to Rosales in the middle of the box and he pushed a left-footed shot inside the right post for his fourth goal of the season to make it 3-1.

Steve Zakuani then added another attacking player to the field in the 79th minute when he subbed on for Andy Rose, making his first appearance since April 20.

With all of their efforts being put forward, the Sounders were left vulnerable to the counter-attack and when Ianni pressed forward on a ball in the middle third of the field and Nigel Reo-Coker blocked his pass attempt, that left Reo-Coker with nothing but open space between him and the goal. He ran into the box and held off a defender before putting the shot away for his first goal of the season and a 4-1 Vancouver lead in the 82nd minute.

“I feel like the rest of the team—horrible,” Gspurning said. “I’m sorry about my team for the last goal because that was clearly my fault. It just wasn’t fun the last few games.”

Clint Dempsey made his return to the field for Seattle in the second half after missing the last three matches with a hamstring injury, but it wasn’t enough to spur the Seattle offense and the 4-1 score held for Vancouver.

In the match, Seattle had an opportunity to clinch the Cascadia Cup and a spot in the playoffs, but with the loss, delayed both.

After the match, Rosales was apologetic to the 38,833 fans in attendance.

“We couldn’t give to them what they need and what they deserve today, the Cascadia Cup,” he said.

Sounders FC will face the Portland Timbers on Sunday at JELD-WEN Field in the final meeting of the regular season between the two longtime rivals.

Scoring
Sounders FC – Mauro Rosales 69.
Whitecaps FC – Kekuta Manneh (Daigo Kobayashi)12; Kekuta Manneh (Camilo Sanvezzo, YP Lee) 42; Kekuta Manneh (Daigo Kobayashi) 54; Nigel Reo-Coker 82.

Discipline
Sounders FC – None.
Whitecaps FC – Carlyle Mitchell (caution) 51.

Lineups
Sounders FC – Michael Gspurning, DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore, Marc Burch (Patrick Ianni 60), Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose (Steve Zakuani 79), David Estrada (Clint Dempsey 51), Lamar Neagle, Obafemi Martins.
Whitecaps FC – David Ousted, YP Lee, Carlyle Mitchell, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey, Jun Marques Davidson, Daigo Kobayashi (Russell Teibert 75), Nigel Reo-Coker, Matt Watson, Camilo Sanvezzo (Erik Hurtado 86), Kekuta Manneh (Gershon Koffie 72).

Scoring
Sounders FC – Mauro Rosales 69.
Whitecaps FC – Kekuta Manneh (Daigo Kobayashi)12; Kekuta Manneh (Camilo Sanvezzo, YP Lee) 42; Kekuta Manneh (Daigo Kobayashi) 54; Nigel Reo-Coker 82.

Discipline
Sounders FC – None.
Whitecaps FC – Carlyle Mitchell (caution) 51.

Lineups
Sounders FC – Michael Gspurning, DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore, Marc Burch (Patrick Ianni 60), Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose (Steve Zakuani 79), David Estrada (Clint Dempsey 51), Lamar Neagle, Obafemi Martins.
Whitecaps FC – David Ousted, YP Lee, Carlyle Mitchell, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey, Jun Marques Davidson, Daigo Kobayashi (Russell Teibert 75), Nigel Reo-Coker, Matt Watson, Camilo Sanvezzo (Erik Hurtado 86), Kekuta Manneh (Gershon Koffie 72).

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