Vancouver Whitecaps lose stadium opener to Portland 1-0

The Whitecaps (4-16-10) and their fans were both looking for a win in their new home at BC Place on Sunday but instead were sent home with their third straight loss to the Portland Timbers.

Timbers forward Kenny Cooper scored the first goal in the newly renovated BC Place after a bad turnover by Whitecaps Alain Rochat 25 minutes into the match.

Rochat, who has a broken nose and played with a facial mask to prevent further injury, commented: "I should have just kicked the ball away. It’s a terrible mistake but it happens, and now it’s behind me”

The caps did have opportunities in the remaining 65 minutes, and probably the best of them took place when Shea Salinas took a pass from Peter Vagenas just outside the box missing the left post by mere inches.

Whitecaps leading scorer Eric Hassli, who hasn’t scored in seven games, was showing his frustration, beating on the turf after missing a header attempt after being found wide open in front of the Timbers. Hassli also received his eighth yellow card of the season and will now miss Thursday’s home game against Real Salt Lake.

Caps interim coach Tom Soehn, who will be replaced next season by Carolina Rail Hawks Martin Rennie, said:

“I didn’t think we had the best energy in the first half and it’s hard to explain, You look at this venue and the excitement. You don’t get too many opportunities to open up a stadium of this quality, especially against a rival. So you walk away frustrated and disappointed.”

Portland’s win over the Caps ties them with New York for the last playoff spot in the MLS, but New York would have that spot now based on goal difference.

The Whitecaps have three games left in their season and the new stadium. With a record of 4-16-10, the Caps are in the company of New England and Chivas USA as the only clubs in the MLS with sub 500 records at home.

The Whitecaps' next game is Thursday night at the renovated BC Place.

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