SAN JOSE, Calif. — A pair of red cards were the undoing of the Vancouver Whitecaps Wednesday.
The undermanned club dropped a 3-0 decision to the San Jose Earthquakes in California, extending Vancouver's losing streak to three games.
Despite the rough run of play, coach Marc Dos Santos is maintaining faith in his squad.
“A team that is head down, they don’t play with two men down running and trying and pushing. And our guys never stopped," he said after Wednesday's loss. "So me, I’m 100 per cent with the guys and with the effort that they give.”
The Whitecaps (5-11-0) played a promising first half, keeping the pressure up and peppering San Jose 'keeper J.T. Marcinkowski with five on-target shots.
“For me, personally, it felt like a game that we could win," said Vancouver striker Tosaint Ricketts.
A second yellow card to Andy Rose in the 53rd minute was "crippling," Ricketts added.
The veteran midfielder was called for taking down Carlos Fierro in a midfield battle. He'd earlier been called for clipping Cristian Espinoza on a tackle.
Dos Santos said the call was "soft."
“Unfortunately, I think the ref kills the game when he sends off Andy,." the coach said. "And it’s too bad for the game that it was, for the rhythm and intensity that the game had.”
Dos Santos didn't agree with the red card Erik Godoy received in the 75th minute. The 'Caps defender was booked after some shoving in left Quakes midfielder Jackson Yueill on the field. The play went to video review but was upheld.
“If that’s a red card, man, the league’s going to have to give a lot of red cards," Dos Santos said, adding that the Whitecaps will ask Major League Soccer for a review of the decision.
If the review is unsuccessful, both Godoy and Rose will be suspended when the Whitecaps host Real Salt Lake at their temporary home in Portland on Saturday.
After holding San Jose off the board for the first half, the 'Caps conceded a goal in the 50th minute on a long shot from Espinoza.
The goal was only the second of the season for Argentine designated player and his first since July 19.
Andres Rios and Paul Marie also scored for the Quakes (5-6-5), who notched their third win in a row. Tommy Thompson registered a pair of assists.
Vancouver 'keeper Evan Bush had five saves Wednesday in his debut performance for the 'Caps.
The 34-year-old from Concord Township, Ohio, is the fourth goalie to start for the club this season.
Vancouver acquirred Bush from the Montreal Impact on Sept. 28 after Thomas Hasal's season was cut short by a concussion and a stress fracture in his left tibia.
The veteran netminder had been with the Impact since 2011, appearing in 176 regular season games where he made 562 saves and earned 40 clean sheets but had not started an MLS game since Sept. 21, 2019.
Dos Santos liked Bush's play on Wednesday, despite the final result.
“I don’t think he had any fault in the goals," the coach said. "He brings a calming presence. He’s just getting settled with the team and overall, I think it was a positive game for him."
Vancouver was the lone Canadian MLS club to drop a decision on Wednesday. Toronto FC snagged a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution and the Montreal Impact snapped a four-game losing skid with a 2-1 victory over Columbus SC.
The loss drops the 'Caps to the bottom of the Western Conference standings alongside the L.A. Galaxy. The two clubs are tied with 15 points, four points out of playoff position.
The Whitecaps know how dire the situation is and need to keep fighting, Ricketts said.
“It’s going to be a battle from here on out," he said. "Every game is crucial, every point is crucial. It’s going to take a big effort from all of us in the final games.”
NOTES: Midfielders Russell Teibert and Leonard Owusu returned to Vancouver's starting 11 after missing games with injuries. … Whitecaps striker Lucas Cavallini and midfielder Janio Bikel sat out the game due to suspensions. … The Whitecaps were without defender Jasser Khmiri who has been called up to the Tunisian national team.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020.
The Canadian Press