The Vancouver Whitecaps needed a win on the road.

Wednesday’s game against the Colorado Rapids was the perfect opportunity. They are last place in the West but a severe thunderstorm and hail meant that game had to be postponed.

Saturday night was against Western Conference leading LAFC at BMO Stadium, which is a stadium the Whitecaps have never won in. Well, they finally did. It was just as surprising as the LA Angles scoring 25 runs on the same night.

Vancouver has won away from BC Place for the first time since June 18, 2022. That was a 2-0 win over FC Dallas which saw Lucas Cavallini and Deiber Caicedo find the back of the net. That was 371 days ago.

But for the Whitecaps, they finally got the monkey off their back and what better way to do it than against LAFC

Quick thoughts

Ryan Gauld truly is magic.

The Scotsman had two assists and a goal. He was making some great passes and crosses and always knew where to be on the pitch. It was like every time he had the ball, a scoring chance would be created.

With head coach Vanni Sartini playing a 3-1-4-2 formation, Gauld was in the wingback role. Now, at first glance, , you were probably thinking “Vanni, are you out of your mind!” but Sartini wanted to be aggressive against LAFC. To his credit, it worked.

Gauld looked great in the wingback role. Not only was he creating offensively, he was doing his best running back. As I’ve said before, that is the most underrated aspect of his game.

While Gauld isn’t a big name or as flashy as other MLS players, he is playing like an All-Star for the Whitecaps

Sergio Córdova had two big chances to get his first Whitecaps goal but he ended up getting his first Whitecaps assist on White’s goal. It was another good game for him. That’s a step in the right direction for him. After all, both White’s goal and Gauld’s goal would have not happened without him. Córdova did a good job using his strength to hold onto the ball under pressure from the defender. While John McCarthy stopped his shot, Gauld slotted in the rebound. It’s safe to say Córdova looked liked a pantera against LAFC.

The Whitecaps started to wilt in the late stages of the first half and Denis Bouanga got back into it. There were a lot of nervy defensive moments and LAFC were given a lot of room, especially in the 18-yard-box.

Veselinović did his best Steven Gerrard impression and Mateusz Bogusz found Carlos Vela for the tap in during the second half. But the Serbian defender redeemed himself with some big clearances and blocks that happened not only in the second half but in throughout the game.

Of course, we have to mention Andrés Cubas. He once again, was everywhere. It was like he cloned himself. There was that big tackle in the box in the dying minutes of stoppage time that basically saved the game.

The Whitecaps played an excellent first half and a resilient second half. The attack was quick and fluid and while the defending looked suspect at times, they hung on until the end.

What was said

Sartini was very pleased with the win.

“I think this is one of the best performances of the season,” he said.

He also had high praise for Veselinović.

“I’m very proud of Ranko, he made that mistake in the second half but in the other 25 minutes, he looked like (Virgil) Van Dijk,” said Sartini.

Sartini was asked about Ryan Gauld and he believes their DP is one of the best players in the league.

“I think Ryan in the last five to seven games has been MVP-like,” he said. ” He’s a working class DP…He’s less flashy than other players but he’s important for us.”

Gauld talked about playing in the wingback position.

“I think I wasted the last ten years of my career down the middle,” he jokingly said. “It was a different challenge but I was capable of doing it.”

He also talked about finally winning on the road, especially against an elite team like LAFC.

“It shows that we are capable of beating these teams going forward,” said Gauld.

Sartini once reiterated that this Whitecaps team is a special one.

“I told you guys. This team is special, this team is good, more to come. But we still have work to do.”

Stat of the match

In addition to his offensive contributions, Gauld won three out of four of his tackles according to FotMob.

Paraguyan Kante

Once again, Cubas was everywhere. I swear I saw him outside my window while watching the game.

That’s one way to look at it

The fact that Córdova is getting chances is a good thing. A few weeks ago, he wasn’t. Well in soccer, you have to get chances to score and the more chances you get, it is more likely to score. The goals will come for Córdova if he gets more of the chances like he had against LAFC.

3AM Burgers

Former Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos is an assistant coach for LAFC. He would have lasted longer with the Whitecaps if sporting director and CEO Axel Schuster didn’t order burgers at 3AM from UberEats.

There was a shot of him after the White’s goal. Maybe Dos Santos was having flashbacks to Schuster ordering burgers.

Might as well call him Gauldinho

This video has been everywhere on soccer Twitter and Instagram. Well, that is pretty much how Gauld looked against LAFC.

Kudos to the team staff

The Whitecaps operations team deserves a lot of praise, especially after the postponed Colorado team. A lot of logistics and hard work had to happen to help the team travel to LAFC, rest, train and play their game. Where would the Whitecaps or any other pro sports team be without their operations teams? These men and women put a lot of work to help the players and coaches.

“We aren’t just a team of 25,” said Sartini in his post match presser when talking about the operations staff. “We are a team of 40.”

Up next

The Whitecaps play Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, which is also Canada Day. Kick off is at 5:30 pm Pacific.