Vancouver Whitecaps’ Jon Erice (6) is tackled by Minnesota United’s Rasmus Schuller (20) during first half MLS soccer action in Vancouver on Saturday, March 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ben Nelms

New-look Whitecaps fall 3-2 to Minnesota in MLS season opener

Late charge comes up just short for Vancouver side

VANCOUVER — The new-look Vancouver Whitecaps fought hard but came up just short in their 2019 MLS season opener, dropping a 3-2 decision to Minnesota United on Saturday at B.C. Place.

Erik Godoy and Doneil Henry scored for the Whitecaps.

Darwin Quintero, Francisco Calvo and Romario Ibarra replied for Minnesota.

It was Marc Dos Santos’s first match as Vancouver’s head coach.

He has been tasked with bringing together a roster that includes new 14 off-season signings, including goaltender Maxime Crepeau.

Dos Santos, a native of Montreal, spent last season working as an assistant coach with LAFC.

On Saturday, Whitecaps defender Godoy ignited the sold-out crowd of 27,837 at B.C. Place early, using his right foot to tip a free kick by Jordy Reyna past Minnesota keeper Vito Mannone in the sixth minute. It was Vancouver’s only shot on target in the first half.

In the 32nd minute, Minnesota’s captain Calvo threatened when he hit the bar behind Crepeau with a left-footed shot. Quintero levelled the score in the 37th minute, connecting on a penalty kick after Jakob Nerwinzki fouled Calvo in the box. Quintero easily deposited his shot high to the corner of the net, over the outstretched Crepeau.

RELATED: Rainbow grilled cheese, hot-dog burger on the menu at BC Place

In the second half, Minnesota took its first lead in the 66th minute when when Calvo headed a cross from Quintero past Crepeau, quieting the crowd. Ibarra quickly added an insurance goal in the 70th minute to make it 3-1.

Henry pulled Vancouver back within one in the 81st minute when he converted a corner kick with a perfect header. Victor Giro and Hwang In-Beom drew the assists. Though they pressed as time wound down, the Whitecaps were not able to connect with an equalizing goal.

Vancouver and Minnesota split their two-match season series in 2018, with each club winning at home.

The Whitecaps now hit the road for two games, with matches against Real Salt Lake and the Houston Dynamo. Their next appearance at B.C. Place comes on March 30 against the Seattle Sounders.

NOTES: Ring of Honour member Carl Valentine was on hand to help kick off the season-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Whitecaps’ 1979 Soccer Bowl victory in the North American Soccer League.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Indigenous youth connect with their culture at Gathering Our Voices workshops

Secluded Wellness Centre in Port Alberni hosted traditional wildcraft sessions

Illegal cannabis club in Port Alberni ticketed again

RCMP seize cannabis, issue fine for second time in five months

Motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash west of Whiskey Creek

Witnesses say three vehicles involved in collision; man in 70s confirmed dead

Chef returns to North Island College to inspire young cooks

Tina Tang shares her culinary journey since graduating

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Port Alberni Fire Department engages Indigenous youth in fire awareness

Workshop took place as part of Gathering Our Voices event in Port Alberni

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read