April 13th, 2024

Whitecaps concede late goals in 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake

By Jim Morris, The Canadian Press on March 23, 2024.

Vancouver Whitecaps' Damir Kreilach (19) scores against Real Salt Lake during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Vancouver, Saturday, March 23, 2024 THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

VANCOUVER – Midfielder Fidel Barajas assisted on a pair of second-half goals as Real Salt Lake rallied for a 2-1 Major League Soccer victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday night.

Striker Anderson Julio tied the match in the 70th minute then defender Alexandros Katranis gave Salt Lake the lead six minutes later.

Midfielder Damir Kreilach scored a first-half goal against his old teammates for the Whitecaps. The loss, before a crowd of 22,178 at BC Place Stadium, prevented Vancouver from setting a club record for points in the first four games of an MLS season.

The Whitecaps (2-1-1) drop to fourth place in the Western Conference with seven points. Vancouver had eight points after four games in both the 2014 and 2012 seasons with 2-0-2 records.

Real Salt Lake (2-2-1) climbed into fifth place in the Western Conference.

Kreilach scored in the 33rd minute after striker Brian White threaded a pass through a couple of Salt Lake defenders. He beat goalkeeper Zac MacMath with a left-footed shot from the centre of the box.

It was Kreilach’s first MLS goal as a Whitecap since the former Salt Lake captain joined Vancouver at the end of December after playing six seasons in Utah.

Kreilach also became the seventh Whitecap player to score this season.

White left the game in 56th minute with a concussion substitute.

Juilo made it 1-1 when he took a pass from Barajas, fought off a Vancouver defender, and beat goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka with a low, hard shot.

Salt Lake went ahead when Katranis scored on a left-footed shot from the side of the box that floated over Takaoka’s fingers.

The Whitecaps had a couple good looks midway through the opening half. First, midfielder Ryan Raposo’s right-footed shot from the left side of the box went wide of the net, then a Ryan Gauld header also sailed wide.

Gauld had another header in extra time that MacMath stopped.

Takaoka had to look sharp in the 55th minute to make a diving, one-handed save off a shot from Barajas. Just a few minutes later Barajas hit the crossbar with another shot.


Guald, the Whitecaps captain, made his 100th appearance for Vancouver across all competitions “¦ Vancouver head coach Vanni Sartini served the final game of a suspension for his on-field actions and post-game comments following the Whitecaps playoff loss to Los Angeles FC in November. “¦ The Whitecaps exceeded 20,000 fans for a fourth consecutive home match at BC Place dating back to last season. “¦ The two goals the Whitecaps allowed during their first three games are the least since 2014.


The Whitecaps play their next three MLS games at home, against Portland next Saturday, Toronto on April 6, and the L.A. Galaxy on April 13.

Real Salt Lake faces St. Louis City at home next Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2024.

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