[MLS] The first pick in last month’s SuperDraft, Omar Salgado, scored the winning goal in Vancouver's 2-1 defeat of Columbus in its preseason match in Phoenix.
Atiba Harris gave the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead in the 62nd minute. After Eddie Gaven converted a penalty kick for Columbus in the 76th minute, Salgado knocked in a cross from Harris a minute later.
“Today was a great performance by our side, and was a good game involving two good teams," Whitecaps FC coach Teitur Thordarson told whitecapsfc.com. "I'm very happy and impressed with the shape we had in the game today, both defensively and offensively. We battled hard and looked difficult to beat, while we had great rhythm in attack. I'm actually a bit surprised that we are already producing performances like today, so I'm very happy about that.”
The match concluded this phase of Vancouver’s preseason training in Arizona, during which it also played Real Salt Lake and Seattle. The ‘Caps head home Wednesday and will return to Arizona next week for another run of games.
Crew coach Robert Warzycha blamed his team’s lack of sharpness, in part, for conceding two goals and being outplayed for much of the game: “I wasn’t happy with the way we gave up the goals, but everybody tried to play hard. They were a little quicker, to be honest with you.”
The Crew has less than two weeks before it hosts Real Salt Lake Feb. 22 in the first match of a two-game Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal. Its first two keepers, Will Hesmer and Andy Gruenebaum, have been sidelined during preseason because of injuries.Trialist Ray Burse stopped a penalty kick in the first half; he’s been splitting time this month with Caleb Patterson-Sewell, who played the second half.
"We will bring more [keepers] in,” Warzycha said. “We’re not going to sign a guy just to sign him."
Warzycha started two different lineups in each half and also brought on five more subs in the second half.
“We have a game in two weeks so we’re trying to put two or three new players in every time we start a game,” he said. “We were different against Kansas City last week. We play Seattle next [on Thursday] and we’re going to be a little bit different, too. We’re trying to find the [right] combinations.”
Vancouver 2, Columbus 1.
Goals: Harris 62, Salgado (Harris) 77; Gaven (pen.) 76.
Columbus (first half) -- Ray Burse, Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Andy Iro, Shaun Francis, Robbie Rogers, Rich Balchan, Emmanuel Ekpo, Dilly Duka, Emilio Renteria, Jeff Cunningham.
Columbus (second half) -- Caleb Patterson-Sewell, Ben Sippola (Cory Elenio, 73), Kwaku Nyamekye, Alex Fraga, Josh Williams, Eddie Gaven (Santiago Prim, 89), Kevin Burns (Cole Grossman, 71), Dejan Rusmir, Bernardo Anor, Justin Meram, Andy Adlard (Leandre Griffit, 72).
Vancouver -- Jay Nolly, Alain Rochat, Michael Boxall (Bilal Duckett, 63), Greg Janicki (Jay Demerit, 76), Jonathan Leathers (Wes Knight, 59), Nizar Khalfan (Kyle Porter, 46), Gershon Koffie (John Thorrington, 76), Terry Dunfield, Shea Salinas (Philippe Davies, 70), Davide Chiumiento (Atiba Harris, 46), Long Tan (Omar Salgado, 59).