Professional Soccer

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 vs. Seattle Sounders FC 1


VANCOUVER, BC – Those Whitecaps FC centre backs sure love their back heels.

Just four days after Pa-Modou Kah stole the show in Seattle, Tim Parker scored a back-heel volley on a 62nd-minute corner Wednesday night at BC Place.

Unfortunately for the 19,683 fans in attendance, however, this time Seattle Sounders FC (CCL: 0W-0L-1D) came back to earn a 1-1 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC (CCL: 0W-0L-1D) in the club’s first-ever CONCACAF Champions League match.

Carl Robinson fielded a young lineup composed of 11 different players after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Seattle, which wasn’t a big surprise considering Vancouver’s busy schedule this month. Seattle took a similar approach, resting the likes of Clint Dempsey and Chad Marshall.

Vancouver’s starting lineup had an average age of just over 23 years old, but there was some experience in the team. Notably, Canadian midfielder Russell Teibert and captain Pedro Morales both returned to the starting lineup for the first time since early June.

Aside from a few half-chances from Seattle in the early stages, there wasn’t much between the two teams in the first half. Both sides struggled to generate much in the final third – or any sort of sustained pressure.

The visiting Sounders looked the more likely side to score, however, and they came close in the 35th minute when Andy Rose headed a pinpoint Aaron Kovar cross just over the goal. But it was the only real opportunity from either team in the opening 45 minutes.

It took them a little while, but Vancouver started to come on a bit around the hour-mark. In the 61st minute, Morales sent a perfect ball over the top to Erik Hurtado, who chested it down before seeing his left-footed attempt stopped by a sprawling Troy Perkins.

Moments later, the ‘Caps took the lead off a Morales corner.

The Chilean found Parker at the near post and the rookie flicked it in with a back-heel volley to give Whitecaps FC the advantage. The goal, Parker’s first as a professional and for the club, marked the third straight match Vancouver have scored on a set piece.

Unfortunately for the home faithful, the lead didn’t last long. Seattle got on the board in the 72nd minute through Lamar Neagle, who banged in a Rose cross at the near post to level the score.

And despite a late spark from substitutes Robert Earnshaw, Marco Bustos and Sam Adekugbe,¬†that’s how this Group F opener would end.

Whitecaps FC continue CCL group play on September 16, when they host Honduran side CD Olimpia at BC Place. Meanwhile, the Western Conference-leading ‘Caps return to MLS action this Saturday against Real Salt Lake – kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT and tickets are still available.