By John Blakely
I’ve never been to Vancouver, but I hear it’s absolutely gorgeous. I was supposed to go with my friend Jon Lynch for the 2010 Olympics, but we made those plans in college and somehow life got in the way. Back in 2010 Vancouver didn’t even have a MLS squad. This is the Whitecaps inaugural season, and thus their first visit Crew Stadium.
This is also the first home game of the year that wasn’t marred with atrocious weather. The combination of pleasant spring air and the Black and Gold’s league high 5 game unbeaten steak, resulted in a packed house and a hostile environment for the rookie Canadians. Columbus used this momentum to control the game from the first minute. Despite having possession for most of the first half, Columbus found themselves tied Nil-Nil going into the final 45′.
That’s when a player from south of the border, Emilio Renteria, decided to do what he does best… Score goals against teams from north of the border. Renteria put his only goal of the season in the back of the net last game, as the Crew drew with Toronto FC in the first leg of the Trillium Cup. He enjoyed scoring against a Canadian team so much, that he decided to do it again (twice) this game.
At the 50′ minute mark he perfectly place a PK passed Whitecap goal keeper Jay Nolly and again found daylight in the 59′ minute when he took a Rusmir cross and hammered it home with his off foot. That was all the offense the Crew would need, as they have not given up more than 1 goal in any game sans their opening loss to DC United.
The Crew did relent and allow a single goal to Omar Salgado, who was the number 1 overall pick in this years MLS draft. Salgado was making his first start at the age of 17 and gives the people of British Columbia something to look forward to. He showed flashed of brilliance in an unpolished performance and as he continues to progress so will the Whitecaps.
The Crew’s next contest is May 7th as the Eastern Conference’s third seed hosts the Western Conference’s third seed, the Seattle Sounders FC, in a battle royal for third seed supremacy. The Crew would be wise to remember what happened the last time these two met in the MLS regular season, when Seattle embarrassed Columbus 4-0 in their worst loss of the year.
It would have been very fortunate for the Crew had Richard Dean Anderson, the thespian most noted for his portrayal of MacGyver, been in the stands. As Mac would have surely fixed the corner flag that kept coming out of the ground with some combination of duct tape and a rigged lever that he created using his Swiss Army knife.
Crew welcome Whitecaps
Renteria not so nice
Scores Two in the Win