Sounders fall to Whitecaps behind Miller, Mattocks and Knighton

USA TODAY Sports

The two-nil win by the Whitecaps was powered by signature goals from Kenny Miller and Darren Mattocks. Vancouver's keeper stood on his head in the first half to prevent Seattle's best chances.

Sigi Schmid's lineup construction put forward a specific gameplan. The plan worked for significant segments of the match, but extraordinary play by Brad Knighton kept Seattle Sounders FC off the board. Vancouver took advantage of stellar ball placement by Kenny Miller and the raw athleticism of Darren Mattocks to slot two goals past Gspurning. It puts Vancouver into the Cascadia Cup race and continue their place ahead of the Sounders.

Miller's goal in the 4th minute defined very little of the match. He got free on a strong pass by Corey Hertzog that went through the line beating just Hurtado to be in on goal. The shot was well placed and nearly impossible to save. Mattocks' insurance goal was an example of strength, speed and a keeper in no man's land. The 75 minutes between those two goals had the Sounders "ahead" in the game.

They would not convert. Chances were frequent in the late first half, most notably when Knighton double saved Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins. In total the Sounders placed seven shots on target. Some balls were skied, but it was Knighton that shut down the Seattle attack in the first half.

Half the second would show Sounders FC with dominant possession but with a less effective attack.

Each of the three attackers for Seattle would have moments in the match where they looked as good as they've looked. Each would also look as poor as they have. EJ, Oba and Lamar skied shots, shorted passes, had issues of selfishness and overly generous. Neagle looked uncomfortable on the wing, but with a few converted shots by either himself or the other attackers the blame would not lie with him.

The midfield owned Vancouver. More chances were created, greater possession would be had, There was no failure of tactics. The failure was in execution. Hurtado was at fault in the first goal. Traore and Gspurning for the first. A "just" match would probably be two-two, but the Whitecaps converted their chances, while Knighton prevented a Seattle win.

July's toughest match goes down as a Sounders loss and Vancouver solidifies their 2013 MLS and Cascadia Cup season.

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