Two senseless Carolina fouls in the opening 10 minutes Friday led to two free kicks for Vancouver, which led to two goals, which led to the RailHawks running their USL winless streak to seven matches Friday night at WakeMed Soccer Park.
I’ve got a few thoughts/tidbits to share before calling it a night (morning). My game report’s here.
Santiago Fuslier’s 18th-minute goal was an exceptional finish (if I could find a video, I’d link to it). Just a few minutes earlier, he crushed a similar shot several feet high of the frame. This time, when the ball bounced out to him, he calmly lofted the ball over the cluster of players in the area and the ball dipped right under the crossbar.
Connally Edozien was at WakeMed Soccer Park for the game. He was traded to Miami earlier in the day, but he will not join the Blues until Sunday. Ronald Cerritos, who was signed Thursday and arrived in Cary Friday morning, was also there for the game. It seems he will travel to Puerto Rico for Sunday’s match against the Islanders.
Carolina coach Scott Schweitzer’s initial comments on the game: “We gifted them three goals in the first half. In the first half, we still played some of our best soccer attacking. The three early mistakes, it’s hard to come back from that against a veteran championship team like Vancouver.”
Schweitzer on his decision to wait until 10 minutes into the second half to make an offense-for-defense substitution: “We needed to see what they were going to throw at us. We knew they were going to make a change. We had to let them see the same thing they saw in the first half for a bit. It gives us a little bit of time on the sidelines to check the flow of the game.”
My take: I thought it was more prudent to make the change at halftime. The Whitecaps were up two goals on the road and down a man. They weren’t coming out to attacking in the second half. All the RailHawks got was 10 wasted minutes when they needed to be attacking. In the 56th minute, forward Dan Antoniuk entered for defender Chad Dombrowski.
Midfielder Matt Watson on why the RailHawks continue to play so poorly in the opening stages of their games: “I think it’s concentration. We’ve been struggling a lot this season with our marking in the box and stuff like that. It’s simple stuff. We know we can play. We’re a very good team. But little moments of lack of concentration have been killing us. If you’re not marked up in the box, it just takes one kick of the ball and it’s a goal.”
Goalkeeper Chris McClellan on what they need to do turn things around: “It’d be nice to get that first goal and then put a team with the second goal is what we desire. We get that and all of a sudden you start playing with some confidence.”
Midfielder Joey Worthen, who’s missed much of the year with a hamstring injury, on his return to the lineup: “Today, to be able to play 30, 35 minutes on it hard helps my confidence for the weekend. I try to take away the good from it. It’s been nice to just watch. Sitting out you can watch and learn a lot. But it’s hard watching and not being able to help the team out.”
Schweitzer on his team’s trip to Puerto Rico on Sunday to take on the Islanders, against whom the RailHawks are 0-2 this year and been outscored 5-0: “We haven’t done well down there. But there’s always room to change things.”