The Whitecaps earned their first point under new head coach Tom Soehn despite Erich Hassli's fourth sending off of the season.The Tom Soehn era in Vancouver began with a strong performance on the road, as the Whitecaps earned a respectable 1-1 draw against Chivas USA in Southern California. Nick LaBrocca and Camilo traded strikes early in the second half and the Whitecaps held on for a precious point despite Eric Hassli's 65th minute red card.
The Whitecaps were looking dangerous and eager to impress their new manager. They produced the first serious chance of the match, with Eric Hassli drilling not too far wide after receiving some space on the edge of the area.
The game settled down for much of the half, but Hassli was dangerous throughout the first half, and in the 39th minute, he banged another hard shot off the cross bar. The play had come as a result of a Chivas USA giveaway, one of a number in the first half from a shaky-looking defense.
Just minutes before half-time, the Whitecaps' Gershon Koffie advanced just past the halfway line on a storming counter and spotted Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy just off his line. Koffie's long range attempt was marginally off line, meaning the half would end deadlocked at zero.
For all the fairly tame goings on in the first half, the second half started out anything but tame. Second after kickoff, Nick LaBrocca had the ball in the net, having picked up the ball at the halfway line before storming forward and putting a daisy-cutter past Joe Cannon at the near post.
Not to be outdone, the visitors responded just a minute later. A neat passing play saw Davide Chiumiento receive the ball just inside the penalty area after a smart backheel from Eric Hassli. Although Chiumiento's shot was blocked, Camilo pounced on the rebound, curling a first timer into the top corner, giving Kennedy no chance to save.
The Camilo-Hassli partnership continued to work wonders as Vancouver searched for a second, but the Whitecaps were dealt a serious blow in the 65th minute when one of their strikers was expelled. Hassli came in late on Ben Zemanski and appeared to catch him with the bottom of his cleat, leading Ricardo Salazar to show the Frenchman a straight red card.
Chivas USA stepped up their pressure with a man advantage and Cannon had to be alert to deny Justin Braun in the 84th minute after a smart through ball from Michael Lahoud. LaBrocca, looking for his second, had the rebound on target, but was denied after a clutch goal line clearance by Jay DeMerit. Vancouver was still unable to clear, but Paulo Nagamura caught them a break when he failed to put his follow up on target.
Minutes later, Justin Braun spotted Cannon off his line and tried to bend one in from 30 yards out, but Cannon got back well to tip the effort over. Cannon's late save ensured that despite their man disadvantage, the Whitecaps gained their first point under their new head coach.
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