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AC St. Louis Settles for Disappointing Draw in Vancouver

AC St. Louis met the NASL Conference first-place Vancouver Whitecaps for the third time in 2010 on Thursday evening before a crowd of over 5,100.  On a sunny, very warm evening on a lovely pitch at Swangard Stadium, AC St. Louis took a 1-0  lead in the 72nd minute on a goal by defender Mark Bloom, only to see Vancouver equalize with three minutes left on a Randy Edwini-Bonsu goal to salvage a point for the Whitecaps and rob AC St. Louis’ new coach Dale Schilly of his first professional win.  Vancouver remains ;undefeated at home in 2010, while AC St. Louis heads home with a 2-8-3 record.

The first half was well played by both teams, with lots of energy and back and forth action.   AC St. Louis’ midfielder Luke Kreamalmeyer was threatening down the left flank, but couldn’t convert any of his opportunities.  A 17th minute chance saw Kreamalmeyer get deep inside Vancouver territory, but get boxed in and his tough angle shot was handled by Whitecaps’ keeper Jay Nolly.  AC St. Louis goalkeeper Alec Dufty had an oustanding game, using his size to great advantage throughout.   He punched out a ball after a long Wes Knight throw-in at the 19 minute mark, and ranged far out of goal to nullify a Vancouver chance on a ball in the box.  As the half progressed, Vancouver looked more threatening, but the AC St. Louis defense, and especially captain Jack Traynor, was very strong.  Blake Wagner and Phillipe Davies played especially well for the Whitecaps in the first half.  Both teams, however, were not able to string together threatening passes in the other teams’ third of the field, and the entertaining first half ended scoreless.

Vancouver came out and took the offensive in the first minutes of the second half, as Wagner hit a nice cross and Davies had a nice shot that went high.  AC St. Louis got in gear, though, as Chris Salvaggione won a corner kick, and the team got another corner after that.  At the hour mark, Vancouver Coach Teitur Thordarson brought on some fresh legs in Cornelius Stewart and Justin Moose to perk up his offense, and Alex Titton was brought in for AC St. Louis starting forward Elvir Kafedzic two minutes later.  Vancouver’s offense began perking again, as Dufty made a nice grab of a cross in the box in the 67th minute.   Five minutes later, Nolly earned his pay with a great save off a Jeff Cosgriff shot brought about by some nice work by AC St. Louis midfielder Gauchinho.  Nolly’s save resulted in a AC St. Louis corner.  Luke Kreamalmeyer took the corner, which was flicked by an AC St. Louis player right to the feet of Mark Bloom, who lifted a short shot past Nolly into the back of the Vancouver net.  Beautiful.  Congratulations to Mark on his first professional goal !!!

Unfortunately for AC St. Louis, that wasn’t the end of the story.  Despite some good defending by Traynor, Bloom, Zach Bauer and Tim Velten, Vancouver was relentless in its efforts to score.  Thordarson brought on Ricardo Sanchez and Randy Edwini-Bonsu, and his substitutions paid off.  Moose barely missed a shot, and Sanchez contributed some great left-footed inswinging corner kicks, including one that gave Vancouver’s Greg Janicki a great chance for a point-blank header which he missed.  Finally, in the 87th minute, Edwini-Bonsu was able to beat his defender and get the ball past Dufty for the equalizing goal.  Vancouver had a few more attempts, but the game ended in a draw that was a fair result for both sides.  I have to admit, though, to being very disappointed that AC St. Louis couldn’t hold onto the lead.  The fresh legs brought on by Thordarson were too much for our tired team to cope with, and AC St. Louis heads home with one point instead of three.

It was good to see Elvir Kafedzic get his first start since his knee injury in Portland, although he’s been coming off the bench late in the last few games.  Troy Cole had some nice touches, and Gauchinho made some good runs upfield.  Jeff Cosgriff looks more and more comfortable with each game played, and he was unlucky that Nolly saved his well-placed shot in the second half.  Chris Salvaggione had some quality runs down the right side, and as always Elvir Kafedzic had some nice plays and helped out defensively.  Alex Titton got about thirty minutes on the pitch and looks like he’s starting to regain some of the confidence he showed earlier in the season.  AC St. Louis continues to have trouble finding open shots, but the ball movement was decent and the players’ touches were good.  

But there’s no rest for the weary.  AC St. Louis comes home to face the Montreal Impact Saturday evening at AB Soccer Park.   For ticket information, call 1-888-STL-GOAL.   See you there…..GO AC !!!

AC St. Louis Starting Lineup:  Dufty, Bloom, Traynor, Velten, Bloom, Gauchinho, Cole, Cosgriff, Kreamalmeyer, Salvaggione, Kafedzic


One Response

  1. For fans that missed the live stream of the game, the official Vancouver Whitecaps website does archive games.

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