Whitecaps, Chivas USA can't find back of net
Vancouver striker Hassli makes impact, receives yellow card in return to lineup
Jay Nolly's long wait for his first shutout in Major League Soccer is over.
The Vancouver goalkeeper made three saves Saturday in backstopping the Whitecaps to a 0-0 draw with Chivas USA.
"We'd been dying to get a clean sheet to show that we've been working hard defensively," said Nolly. "We've let some goals in that we know we shouldn't have let in. But we put it together today. Unfortunately, the [scoring] break wasn't there."
The scoreless result came after Vancouver had allowed 10 goals in its previous five games. The Whitecaps (1-2-3) remain unbeaten in four home games, while Chivas (0-2-3) has yet to record a win.
Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy picked up his second shutout of the season as he preserved the draw by robbing Camilo in the 89th minute before rookie Omar Salgado headed the ensuing corner kick over the crossbar.
"When we possessed the ball, we were pretty dangerous and we dictated the game," Kennedy said. "Playing away, we got a shutout. We got a point. That's very important. It's something that we can definitely build on. We need to find a way to be more attacking-minded and get some goals. But in the big picture, I think we can come out of it with our heads held high."
The shorthanded Whitecaps were minus 19-year-old midfielder Gershon Koffie, who is away with Ghana's under-20 team, and missed his second consecutive game.
Vancouver also was without midfielder Terry Dunfield (groin) and defenders Jay DeMerit (groin) and Greg Janicki.
For Chivas, forward Tristan Bowen (sprained left ankle) and midfielder Blair Gavin (hamstring) didn't suit up.
Defender Michael Lahoud was shaken up in a collision with a teammate late in the first half and was replaced at the start of the second.
Last season, Nolly recorded 18 shutouts in Vancouver's in USSF-Division 2 play.
But the 29-year-old Orlando, Fla., native has been victimized by defensive breakdowns early on this season, allowing nine goals in his previous four games.
Nolly was disappointed his club didn't pull out the win, but said the draw was a positive result after the team struggled defensively in a 3-1 loss at Houston last Saturday.
"We're six games in. We finally got that [shutout]," Nolly said. "We can start breaking down barriers right now. We're going to look to keep making this a tough place to play."
Nolly's toughest save came in the 55th minute when he stopped Marcos Mondaini's close range header.
Whitecaps striker Eric Hassli and midfielder Knight were largely responsible for their club's offence. Hassli started his first game alongside Camilo after serving a one-game suspension.
He generated several scoring chances for himself and others Saturday, but ran into more disciplinary trouble as he received a yellow card in the second half before subbing out with a bruised knee in the 80th minute.
In the ninth minute, Knight put a shot off the post and then, in the 21st minute, his one-timer of a Hassli pass was blocked by Chivas defender Simon Elliott.
In the 35th minute, Hassli dribbled through defenders into the 18-yard box, but fired a low shot off the post.
Knight received another chance courtesy of Hassli in the 48th, but he headed the former FC Zurich star's cross wide of goal.
Nolly was the key to the point earned, because the Whitecaps struggled to control the run of play in the second half, Knight said.
"It's great for his confidence," he said. "He's been playing well all season, but he hasn't been getting the numbers yet."
Whitecaps coach Teitur Thordarson tried some fresh legs in the final 10 minutes, replacing Hassli with Long Tan and Knight with Salgado, the first overall choice in the 2010 draft, who made his home debut.
The moves almost worked as the Whitecaps threatened at the end. Kennedy said he had difficulty maintaining his position on Camilo's shot and Salgado did him a favour by heading the ball from the near post instead of sending it back into the middle.
"I just tried to make sure I was set [on Camilo's shot]," Kennedy said. "Luckily, since I was set, I was able to get a hand on it. I was pretty happy Salgado was [heading], because if he played it back across, I would have been in trouble."