Whitecaps see home undefeated streak end in 2-0 loss to Los Angeles FC

With star striker Kei Kamara sidelined by an injury, Whitecaps gave up two second-half goals

With star striker Kei Kamara sidelined by an injury, the Vancouver Whitecaps needed someone to step forward Friday night against Los Angeles Football Club.

It didn’t happen.

The Whitecaps gave up two second-half goals and lost 2-0 loss to LAFC. Not only did the loss snap Vancouver’s 11-game Major League Soccer home unbeaten streak, it also was the first time in over a year the Whitecaps lost back-to-back games.

“It’s not one player that you can say didn’t step up, it’s a team,” said veteran midfielder Russell Teibert. “I don’t think the whole team played well today.

“When you have a team that doesn’t play well you’re not going to win games. They scored more goals than us, they had more quality than us, they had more possession than us. They were better than us.”

Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi scored for the expansion LAFC (3-2-0). Costa Rican forward Marco Urena assisted on both goals as Los Angeles ended a two-game losing streak.

Kamara injured his groin in training Thursday. Head coach Carl Robinson said the 33-year-old from Sierra Leone underwent an MRI Friday but will probably be lost for “a period of time, unfortunately.”

Kamara was one of the Whitecaps biggest off-season acquisitions when he was obtained in a trade from New England. In 12 MLS seasons, he’s scored 101 goals, including three this year as a Whitecap.

Without Kamara in the lineup, the Whitecaps had few scoring chances and lacked finish on the ones they managed.

“I could say it (losing Kamara) didn’t affect it,” said Robinson. “Clearly I would be lying. I think we huffed and puffed up front.”

LAFC coach Bob Bradley said Vancouver is a different team without Kamara.

“When you play Vancouver, you have to make a special emphasis in terms of set pieces,” he said. “When Kamara doesn’t play, that brings them down from that end.

“He’s a real threat.”

With Anthony Blondell still recovering from a concussion, Robinson used Erik Hurtado at striker.

“At times during the season we are going to have to ask players to step up,” said Robinson. “Today we did but we were beaten by a better team. We have to accept that.”

There were boos from the crowd of 22,120 at BC Place Stadium when the final whistle blew. It was unclear if the fans were frustrated with the Whitecaps’ performance or the game’s officiating.

The Whitecaps (3-3-1) were beaten 2-1 on the road by Real Salt Lake last Saturday in another game where they couldn’t finish.

“It’s not ideal but we are going to go through periods this year where you don’t create a number of chances,” said Robinson. “We’ve had them in two consecutive games.

“We just have to go back to the drawing board, whether it’s a tweak in formation or a tweak in personnel.”

Vela put LAFC ahead 1-0 in the 59th minute. Left alone in the box, the shifty forward was fed the ball by Urena and launched a rainbow shot that arched into the top right-hand corner of the net. That broke a LAFC scoreless streak of 202 minutes.

Rossi took advantage of some poor Whitecaps clearing attempts to score in the 70th minute. Vela and Rossi have four goals each on the season.

Bradley liked the way his team rebounded from a 5-0 loss to Atlanta last week.

“We had a strong response,” he said. “We talked about getting better week to week.

“This is a difficult team to play against. Our competitiveness, our concentration, those things were very good today.”

The game marked the return to Vancouver for former Whitecaps’ defender Jordan Harvey, who signed with LAFC as a free agent. Prior to the game, Harvey was honoured for his 179 appearances with the Whitecaps. He leads the franchise in minutes played and games started

Harvey received a standing ovation from the crowd near the end of the game.

“It took me by surprise,” he said. “That meant a lot to me. I’m very grateful to have spent the years here and for the memories that I have.”

NOTES: There was a minute of silence before the game to honour the victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. … Vancouver midfielder Felipe played in his 200th MLS game.… The Whitecaps’ last home loss was a 2-1 defeat by Portland on July 23. …The last time the Whitecaps lost two games in a row was last March 11 against San Jose and March 18 against Toronto.

Jim Morris, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

TNRD recycling workshop answers a lot of questions

Residents learned about changes to recycling, a planned new Eco-depot in the area, and more

Winning Aboriginal Enterprises team from 1990 gets back together on the ice

Team members reconvened to play again, and make a touching presentation to Leslie Edmonds

2018 in review part one: Economic impact of 2017 wildfires more than $30 million in region

Plus success for a local model, a poster controversy, a new doctor, and much more.

Cache Creek mayor Santo Talarico stresses need for collaboration

‘If the area is a success, Cache Creek will be a success’

Clinton mayor Susan Swan says lack of housing is a major issue

Funding for a new public works building is another priority

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

A vehicle incident has closed Highway 1 in both directions

Most Read