Both the Vancouver Whitecaps and the expansion Montreal Impact came away happy from their second matches at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic.
The Whitecaps earned their second win in as many games as Sebastien Le Toux's goal on a penalty lifted the second-year club to a 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo.
Recently acquired forward Mike Fucito combined with first overall SuperDraft pick Andrew Wenger on a goal as Montreal played to a 1-1 tie with Sporting Kansas City.
The Whitecaps, who beat Montreal 3-0 in the tournament opener on Friday, clinched first place in their group and will play in the final March 3 against the winner of the second group of the eight-team tournament.
Fucito scored in his first action with Montreal since he and midfielder Lamar Neagle were acquired from the Seattle Sounders on Feb. 17 for striker Eddie Johnson, who the Impact had claimed through the MLS allocation process.
Wenger, who leaves camp Monday to return to his history studies at Duke University, won a battle with Kansas City defender Cyprian Hedrick for a high ball on a counterattack and slipped it to Fucito in the area to redirect into the net in the 37th minute.
“It was exciting to break the ice and hopefully they'll keep coming,” the stocky forward said of his goal. “I was able to find space and Andrew made a great pass across. That was all him on the goal.”
The 21-year-old Wenger, who started the game as right midfielder but switched spots with forward Lucas Acosta after 30 minutes, had two more solid chances, including one that forced goalkeeper Jon Kempin to make stretch out a hand to save.
Wenger smiled when asked if he was motivated by remarks made by Vancouver's Darren Mattocks, who said after scoring against the Impact in the tournament opener that Montreal made the wrong choice in the SuperDraft. Mattocks was picked second.
“One of the guys mentioned it to me, trying to get a response out of me,” said Wenger. “I don't know. Good for (Mattocks). He scored a good goal the other night. Best of luck to him.”
Kansas City had most of the pressure in the game and finally equalized in the 70th when Soony Saad played a ball off his chest and slid one past Evan Bush, who replaced starting keeper Greg Sutton at halftime.
Saad was awarded a penalty shot in the 29th minutes after a foul by Hassoun Camara, but Sutton just got a piece of his low drive with a foot to push it off a goalpost.
All the teams used mostly reserve players in their second games and Montreal got a good look at rookie Calum Mallace, who was solid at right back, and 19-year-old under-21 team player Karl Ouimette, who played all 90 minutes at left back.
“To go on the field in a first MLS game was exciting,” said Ouimette, a native of Repentigny, Que. “Especially because I wasn't playing my usual position. Normally I play in the central defence. But once you get on the field, you just try to have a good game, make a good first pass, win your battles and keep working hard.”
Veteran defender Shavar Thomas wore the captain's armband for Montreal, which is trying out a different player each game before coach Jesse Marsch names one to start the season.
Kansas City is second in the group with two points and plays Vancouver on Wednesday. Montreal ends round-robin play the same night against Houston.
There are no games Monday. Toronto FC, which drew 2-2 with Orlando City in its opener, faces Swedish club FC Hacken on Tuesday night.
The Whitecaps are feared on attack, but their defence has yet to allow a goal in Orlando. Le Toux's goal on a 15th minute penalty was all they needed.
Forward Long Tan drew two penalties in the first half, but only one produced a goal.
Only 15 minutes in, Tang was brought down in the penalty area by Warren Creavalle and Le Toux made no mistake on the shot.
Fewer than 15 minutes later, Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric fouled Tan and this time Le Toux let the forward shoot himself. Tan's chance was wasted as he chipped a weak shot straight into Deric's arms.
It was the third penalty Tan drew in two games in the tournament. Le Toux had taken the shot and scored in the win over Montreal.
“He drew all of them,” said Le Toux. “He wanted to take the one the last game but I took it because I take them during the games, but it was normal for me to let him because it's normal that he would score and not be as crazy as he did today.
“He's still young. He tried it and he missed. He should have done it otherwise, but if he scored, nobody would be talking about it. But we still won the game and now it's behind us.”
Coach Martin Rennie said Tan “moves his feet quickly and sometimes that results in a penalty.”
But as for the feeble shot, Rennie smiled and said “I don't think he'll do that again. It's disappointing, but I think he'll get over it.”
Houston's best chance of the half came in the 24th minute off a brain cramp of goalie Brad Knighton, who picked up a ball played back to him by a teammate. That gave the Dynamo a free kick from just inside the 18-yard area.
But Josue Soto's shot hit the wall and newcomer Greg Klasura alertly stepped up to block the rebound.
Both teams started mostly backups, but the Dynamo brought many of their first team plays on in the second half. It produced a good chance when Brian Ching's header sailed just over the bar in the 80th minute. Otherwise, the Vancouver defence held.
“We defended well over the weekend,” said coach Martin Rennie. “It was a tough game at the end when we were tired and they made a lot of changes.
“But we stayed organized and worked hard. It was a good performance.”
Whitecaps academy player Caleb Clarke replaced Le Toux in the second half, but played fewer than 10 minutes before he went off with a right shoulder injury.
“His shoulder popped out, but it's back in now and he should be fine,” said Rennie.
Of note was a solid game by midfielder Michael Nanchoff, who missed most of last season with a groin injuryReport Typo/Error
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