Minnesota is known for its freezing cold winters but the Vancouver Whitecaps brought a blizzard in the summer to them. They handed Minnesota United their fifth straight loss.

Minnesota United was missing Dayne St. Clair and Tani Oluwaseyi as they were gearing up for Canada’s clash against Venezuela on Friday in the Copa America quarterfinals. They were also missing the likes of Will Trapp and Teemu Pukki due to injury. Their goalkeeper Alex Smir, was playing in his first ever MLS match.

The Whitecaps have now won four of their last six games. Is the mojo back? Let’s hope so. This isn’t the time to fight for your right to party. It feels good to win. But the job isn’t done yet.

The Western Conference standings are man, so tight, like a playoff game. The Whitecaps currently sit in fourth place but only four points separate fourth place from tenth.

This was a big win for Vancouver. It was a game that was intense and feisty but they got the job done. So, lights, camera, action, all hail the one, who gets the job done. In this case, all hail the team.

Match musings

  • It was a bad start on Saturday against St. Louis. On Wednesday, it was the opposite. Former Whitecaps defender Michael Boxall made a terrible back pass and Ryan Gauld was there to pounce. He found none other than Brian White alone and he did not miss.
  • For the second straight game, a former Whitecaps helped them out. First, it was Nerwinski on Saturday and Wednesday, it was Boxall. Well done to them! Once a Whitecap, always a Whitecap.
  • Gauld had many great games for the Whitecaps and this was another. Those who listen to the Terminal City FC Podcast know I don’t like short corners. But when it works, why not? The ball from Gauld to Laborda was very satisfying to watch. It was more satisfying than a beer on Canada Day.
  • Laborda has had a rough run of form as of late. This goal could give him confidence going forward. Aside from the goal, it is fair to say he had one of his best games in a while.
  • Yohei Takaoka stopped four Minnesota shots. However, none were bigger than a penalty stop on Joseph Rosales. What was the penalty for? It looked like there was a handball on Ranko Veselinovic or Bjorn Inge Utvik. From the angles given, it was hard to tell. Ok, whatever you say.
  • It was almost a disaster for Takaoka moments before. He was way out of his net trying to play the ball. That’s normal for him since he’s good with his feet. However, he gave the ball away but the shot was blocked by Veselinovic.
  • Just moments after Takaoka’s penalty save. Minnesota United got on the board as Bongokuhle Hlongwane headed in a corner from the right post. Levonte Johnson isn’t a defender but he should’ve done better marking Hlongwane.
  • Thankfully for Vancouver, Minnesota missed 11 out of their 15 shots. A few were very close headers. They almost had it, but they got to be quicker than that!
  • There were times when Minnesota looked dangerous on the transitions and kept the Whitecaps in their own box. It wasn’t the best second half. Vancouver was one step closer to the edge, and was about to break. But they didn’t!
  • This match featured seven yellow cards; four for Minnesota and three for the Whitecaps. Gauld drew two of them. Vancouver committed 13 fouls while Minnesota got 12. Yeah, it was physical.
  • Sebastian Berhalter had a good game and a good last couple of games. His service was great, he was winning tackles and even scoring goals. The third Whitecaps goal was scored by him. What an absolute banger. This was a perfect shot. It was as amazing as Charli XCX’s new album Brat. At least one member of the Berhalter family is doing something right.
  • Since Minnesota United came into the league in 2017, the Whitecaps have not beaten them at Allianz Field…until Wednesday night.

Stat of the match

Ryan Gauld has three assists in the match. How do you like them apples? Gauld got a hat trick of them. It was the first time a Whitecap had three assists in a game in almost five years.

What was said

Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini was happy with the win but wanted his team to keep moving forward.

“We showed we are a winning team…and now we need to keep going,” he told the media after the match.

Sartini stated how big the win was especially in terms of the tight Western Conference.

“A win tonight against a direct competitor…is six points not three…games like this will decide our season,” he said.

I asked him about the goal Berhalter scored and his play of late.

“Earlier in the season, he wasn’t playing the right way, training the right way,” said Sartini. “He was not up to the standard of last year. When he can play like this, as a six or an eight, he’s one of the players who can do it and he can run a marathon.”

Gauld felt like his game wasn’t good enough despite his three assists. He criticized his play on the ball and said he wasn’t happy with his giveaways.

“You could look at the three assists but I feel like I could’ve been better at helping the boys out,” said the Vancouver captain.

White was asked about how his fourth goal in two games brought him confidence.

“Anytime you see the ball go in the back of the net, especially in back-to-back games, it builds confidence,” he said.

Best of Twitter

Best two worlds

Johnson is fun to watch. His speed and agility are why. However, his first touch and ball control make him frustrated. Johnson’s tools make him an excellent full-time MLS player but his lack of technical ability is holding him back. One minute, Johnson is flying and the next he is chasing his first touch.

Best Berhalter family member

Berhalter doesn’t score much but when he does, it is usually a banger. It’s time to get excited when he tries a shot from a distance because there is a good chance it will go in!

Best what is going on

Not even 30 minutes into the game, the Whitecaps were up 2-1, Takaoka gave the ball away but was saved by Veselinovic, saved a penalty and there were multiple cards and fouls. Yeah, my head was screaming: “Write that down, write that down!” when I was taking notes and watching.

Best away day

It was nice seeing members of the Vancouver Albion cheer as the Whitecaps scored. It was even cooler to see the Whitecaps first captain Jay DeMerit cheer with them. What a cool experience for those fans!

Up next

The Whitecaps head to the East Coast to play CF Montreal on Saturday. Kickoff is at 4:30 PM Pacific.