When these two teams last met last August, RSL was in the second game of what turned into four losses in five matches, in what was arguably the worst month of the 2015 season. A brace from Cristian Techera, an easy tap in from Pa Modou Kah, and a PK conversion from Octavio Rivero to kick it all off made up what was a 4-0 loss for a different-look RSL.
Coming off of a 6-4 loss in DC just one week earlier, Jeff Cassar made multiple changes to the lineup, which saw younger players get the start such as Sebastian Saucedo, Devon Sandoval, John Stertzer, Phanuel Kavita, Elias Vasquez, Justen Glad, and Jeff Attinella.
Vancouver started the scoring early, when Rivero went to ground in the box and was awarded a controversial penalty call in the sixth minute. He slotted the penalty kick home when Attinella dove the opposite way, giving the Whitecaps an early 1-0 lead.
The PK decision didn’t sit well with the RSL players, and it came to a head in the 29th minute when Cassar was sent off by referee Chris Penso after heated words were exchanged between the two.
Vancouver doubled their lead in the 40th minute when Kekuta Manneh slotted a ball across goal to a completely unmarked Kah. With Vasquez safely out of reach of his mark, Kah was able to tap the ball into a virtually empty net to make it 2-0 for the home side ahead of the halftime break.
Even after a chance to regroup at the half, things just kept getting worse for RSL.
Less than five minutes after the second half’s opening whistle, the Whitecaps tallied another goal courtesy of Techera.
Once again, a Vancouver player was left unmarked on the far side of the goal, and Jordan Harvey was able to cross the ball in from just past the corner of the box to a wide-open Cristian Techera. Another calm and easy tap-in with his left foot left Salt Lake’s defenders scratching their heads, and gave the ‘Caps a commanding 3-0 lead.
Techera would grab himself another to complete his brace in the 68th minute when he collected the ball off a headed clearance from a corner kick. He found himself with time and space outside the 18 yard box and drilled a shot in past a diving Attinella, who was just out of reach of the ball to make it 4-0.
To make matters that much worse, Abdoulie Mansally picked himself up a straight red card in the 88th minute for a dangerous tackle.
That’s where the scoring would end, and RSL would finish the game with only two shots on goal to speak of, and only controlled 42.9 percent of possession throughout the match.
This season, although still early, sees both teams in very different situations. RSL (3-0-2, 11pts) will look to continue their unbeaten start to 2016 on Saturday when the struggling Vancouver Whitecaps (2-3-1, 7pts) visit Rio Tinto Stadium.