Octavio Rivero has caused problems for defenders from Toronto, Chicago, and now we can add Orlando to the list. Early in the match, he used his speed to outpace Seb Hines, but the City man gave him a nudge, which proved enough to send Rivero tumbling. No penalty was given, but then neither was Rivero booked for simulation, as he found himself last week against the Fire.
Sam Adekugbe's performance against Chicago was enough to keep Jordan Harvey out of the starting line up for the second week in a row, and he started off well, easily dealing with a dangerous run from Kevin Molino.
Gershon Koffie returned to the Caps starting eleven, and he made his presence known from the first whistle, as Kaká surely would attest. Try as we may, we just can't picture Russell Teibert, the man affectionately known as the Canadian Soccer Jesus, doing the same to the 2007 Ballon d'Or winner.
Of his opponent, Koffie said that "Kaka is a fantastic player and you have to get under his skin to get anything going, or you're not going to play."
When the ball dropped to Kaká at the edge of the box, it was Koffie who deflected it out for a corner. It didn't take long to realise that Koffie had been told to stick with the Brazilian, no matter what. When Kaká ran, Koffie ran with him. When Kaká needed a drink, Koffie was there to squeeze the bottle.
And though Koffie earned a yellow card in the 22nd minute, this was exactly why he was brought in. He was there to disrupt Kaká from doing what Kaká does best. And it worked. Kaká had a good game for a mere mortal, but not by his own lofty standards. When the match ended, Kaká wanted a piece of Koffie. And what better compliment could there be?
Rivero continued to harass the goalkeepers, and inspired Kekuta Manneh to do the same. Offensively, the Young Designated Player has been a breath of fresh air, bringing in a new life and setting an example for the rest of Vancouver's attackers to follow.
The home side had the early lead in possession, and they never gave it up, but possession isn't the be all and end all of football. It only works when you use it. If it wasn't the towering Kendall Waston getting on the other end of Orlando's attack, it was another one of Vancouver's brave defenders, cutting them down with lethal efficiency.
Given Vancouver's speed, and sporting an average age of around 24-years old, the Whitecaps were at their most dangerous when the Lions had the ball. You have to love a high octane transition game. When the Lions lost the ball, Vancouver's counterattack was so quick that they created scoring chance before Orlando's defence could adjust.
Rivero came agonisingly close in the 30th minute when Pedro Morales sent in a perfectly timed ball, but Donovan Ricketts was able to get enough of the ball it to deflect it out for a corner. All Riveo could do was stand there and bite his shirt in frustration. A few minutes later, he hit the crossbar.
Molino was able to get Adekugbe's name in the book when the English-born Canadian committed himself, but wasn't able to win the ball. Theirs was a battle that would continue to boil throughout the night.
Just to be clear, Nicolás Mezquida is 5'8", and Aurélien Collin is 6'2". When they both go up, you would naturally expect Collin to win most of the time. But tonight Mezquida proved that even if you can't necessarily win the ball, you can still make sure that the other guy doesn't. And a little guy can in fact beat a big guy if you time it right.
The parallels between this Orlando City squad and last year's Whitecaps are increasingly becoming apparent. The Lions are getting some great goalkeeping from Donovan Ricketts, they're solid at the back, and there can be no complaints about their build up play in the middle of the park. Time after time, it's the final third that lets them down. Vancouver has pinned their hopes on Octavio Rivero being their solution, and so far, so good. But Orlando has no such player in their squad. They draw a lot of games, but if they really want to do some damage, they're going to need to find someone who can finish.
As they went into the dressing room tied at nil apiece, Whitecaps manager Carl Robinson was keenly aware that "we picked up three yellow cards and we've got to manage it now."
Reflecting on the match up to that point, he thought that Orlando " really didn't create many chances. We're architects of our own downfall sometime by giving the ball away in sloppy areas. If we tidy that up, hopefully we'll get a few more chances."
And looking ahead to the second half, he said that "if we stay in a disciplined shape in our defending then we will catch them on the counterattack, as we have counterattacking players."
The second half started as the first half had ended, with Orlando having the bulk of the possession, and Vancouver earning the better chances. But the visitors got some early luck.
After being tripped up in his run by Kevin Molino, Kekuta Manneh made a studs up, two footed lunge on Aurélien Collin. He was very fortunate to escape with only a yellow card, though he didn't actually get Collin, which may have played a hand in the referee's decision to only issue the yellow.
In any event, he was set to come off, as seconds later, Robinson made the double substitution when he brought on Erik Hurtado for Manneh, and Kianz Froese for Mezquida.
Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted didn't really have to deal with an Orlando shot until the 71st minute, and even that one was high. The Lions play some pretty football, but someone has to score, and with Koffie surgically attached to at the hip, it wasn't going to be Kaká.
But then tragedy struck. Donovan Ricketts scissored Sam Adekugbe when both players went for the ball. Adekugbe had every right to go for it. It was in play. He even got there first. But Ricketts came in hard. Still, it would have been a harsh decision to award a penalty for that. They both went in, and unfortunately, someone got hurt.
Coming off the worse for wear, we're not too sure how bad the injury to Adekugbe is, but we wouldn't be surprised if he had fractured at least one rib during the exchange. He had to be taken off the pitch on a stretcher, with Jordan Harvey coming into the game at left back.
As an athlete and more importantly as a man, we all hope that Sam will make a speedy recovery. When he was stretchered off the field, he was given a standing ovation by a section of the Orlando City supporters. And Sam, if you're reading this, get well soon mate.
Kendall Waston had an amazing chance to take the lead in the 86th, but Collin was there to stop the Whitecaps from recording a famous victory. At least for the time being.
At the other end, Waston tried to perform a hockey-style body check on Kaká, but the Brazilian was still able to get his shot away. Fortunately for the visitors, it went wide.
With less than three minutes to go, Rivero won a free kick from Darwin Ceren. Knowing that he didn't have support, and that Ceren was closing in, he just stopped, held up the ball, and waited for Ceren to foul him. The theory being that a free kick is better than attacking a defence with superior numbers.
David Ousted got a big hand on a Cyle Larin ball in stoppage time to preserve the deadlock. With the clean sheet, David Ousted's 19th in the Major League, he has now recorded more clean sheets per 90 minutes than any other goalkeeper in the history of the league (among those with more than 1,000 minutes played).
Pedro Morales was brought down by Ceren deep into stoppage time, meaning that the Caps would get a free kick. El Capitán calmly took the kick, picking out Octavio Rivero, who threw himself at the ball, and after three matches, Octavio Rivero has three goals.
It may not have been the last touch of the game, but it was the most important touch of the game. The Whitecaps recorded back to back road wins, and silenced the 31,072, well... 31,050-ish.
After their visit to the Magic Kingdom, the Caps return home for a Cascadia Cup clash with the Portland Timbers on March 28th.
Although they might not be happy with the result, we would like to thank Nick Leyva of the Mane Land for capturing the night. For an alternative perspective on the match, be sure to check out Michael Citro's report here.
And while we're quite happy to collect all three points, there were issues besides the injury to Sam Adekugbe. During the match, we saw reports of violence in the stands. We spoke with Iain Allen, one of the Caps on Tour, about this.
And he told us that before the match, they tailgated with the Ruckus, who "were great hosts." They had burgers and beer, took photos, and we very happy. "There were guys in kilts, cowboy hats, tutus, purple wigs, unicorn and lion outfits. It was a cool BBQ."
But two men, who were "clearly intoxicated," took things one step too far. While other supporters had been content to boo the Caps on Tour, this wasn't enough for this pair, and one man in particular.
He physically accosted one of the visitors, grabbing a young man from behind, and naturally, his father came to his defence. It took several minutes for everything to be sorted out.
The instigator was escorted away from the travelling supporters, but he would return twice more before he was finally ejected from the stadium.
We would like to issue our thanks to the members of the Ruckus who came to the defence of the Caps on Tour and remained with them throughout this ordeal.
Hopefully the next time the Caps visit Orlando, the club will ensure their safety by providing stewards from start to finish.