The Revolution performed as if they were the home team against the Vancouver Whitecaps Sunday night, attacking to the end of a 0-0 tie. But the combination of BC Place’s thick artificial turf, the Whitecaps’ packed-in defending, and Revolution misfiring resulted in their first road scoreless draw since 2019.
Gustavo Bou and Carles Gil just missed with chances to clinch a victory, firing away as the Revolution (6-5-6, 24 points) made a last-minute sprint in extending their unbeaten streak to nine games. The Revolution, who play host to FC Cincinnati on July 3, also upped their away unbeaten mark to four games (2-0-2) and have compiled a 4-0-5 record overall since April 23.
In the first half, Gil had two near-misses, a free kick going just high (25th) and a point blank attempt blocked by Carlos Godinho (33d minute). The free kick was set up as Cristian Dajome was cautioned by referee Filip Dujic after fouling Wilfrid Kaptoum just outside the penalty area, Gil’s curling the attempt over the crossbar. Then, Dylan Borrero’s cross was headed down by Arnor Traustason to Bou, whose one-timer rolled directly to Gil near the penalty spot. But Gil hesitated, then shot directly at Godinho.
The Revolution began the second half on the attack, Borrero hitting the bar (53d), then having a shot saved (54th) by former Revolution goalkeeper Cody Cropper.
Both teams had chances as the field opened up late. Bou fired high (77th), then Jon Bell cleared a Russell Teibert blocked shot (80th) after Brian White broke away. Djordje Petrovic saved on White (84th) and Lucas Cavallini (85th).
In the end, the Revolution dominated possession, as Bou took four shots and Gil one from the 87th minute on. Two Bou attempts were blocked, one went high, and another was saved, Gil missing on a rebound. Dujic concluded the match with the Revolution in possession and on the offensive in the third minute of added time.
Vancouver (6-8-3, 21 points) improved its home undefeated streak to five games (3-0-2).
“We dropped 2 points, if you want to talk that way,” Revolution sporting director/head coach Bruce Arena said. “It’s a point on the road. It’s not the worst.
“We had a real good chance with Carles in the first half, he didn’t get it off his feet quick enough. In the second half we had some really good chances. We didn’t hit the target, we had some decent opportunities, we just didn’t hit the target. You’re not going to score goals if you don’t hit the target.”
Observations from Sunday’s game:
▪ The turf held up passes and seemed to slow up players’ runs. Vancouver’s Deiber Caicedo departed in the 17th minute, going down in a non-contact situation with what appeared to be a right leg injury. “Terrible field,” Arena said. “It’s warm out. It was about 82 degrees and they really don’t water the field, even though they say they do. They put a sprinkle over it and it’s gone in 10 seconds, so the field was very sticky. But having said that, both teams play on the field, so that’s that.”
▪ Arena’s emphasis on offense both home and away has contributed to the Revolution leading the league in road goals with 14 (1.75 goals per game). The Revolution have played to seven 0-0 ties since Arena’s arrival in 2019, but it is difficult to blame them for the lack of scoring. Usually, home teams go on the offensive and visiting teams set up to defend and counterattack. But the Revolution often force teams to switch roles. And that is what happened with Vancouver, which appeared to be satisfied holding off the Revolution and earning a tie.
▪ Jon Bell has filled in effectively next to Andrew Farrell in central defense in the last four games. Bell set the tone in the first minute, halting Godinho in the penalty area, as the Revolution completed their third shutout of the season.
“Honestly, I felt like we might be disappointed in our result,” Bell said. “I think this team that we played against packed it in a lot, but I feel like we had a lot of chances to get a goal and, obviously, we fell short. In our standpoint, traveling across the nation, 0-0, and not letting a goal in, we’ll be happy with that result.”
▪ The Revolution’s first visit to Vancouver in 2011 resulted in a 1-1 tie thanks to Ilija Stolica’s 93d-minute goal. Stolica deserves gratitude for helping influence Petrovic to join the Revolution, having coached him on Serbia’s national team. Petrovic smothered a Dajome shot (35th) and stopped late shots by Cavallini, Ryan Gauld, and White.
“Played very well, he might’ve been the player of the match,” Arena said of Petrovic. “He made a couple big saves in the second half. He’s going to be a very good goalkeeper.”
▪ Bou provided the deciding goal on a 69th-minute free kick in a 2-1 victory over Minnesota United last week. Against Vancouver, Bou did not hesitate to shoot, and also made astute runs that nearly made the difference. On Borrero’s shot off the bar early in the second half, Bou made a back post run and would have had an open goal had the ball rebounded back into play.