Defend and counter attack the Whitecaps only chanceOctober 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Whitecaps Season 2012 | 1 Comment
More than any other game this season, this thursday’s knockout match against the Los Angeles Galaxy is the biggest test of Martin Rennie’s tactical skill as a coach. To say we are the underdog is an understatement. Our only chance is a disciplined smash and grab approach. The Whitecaps have to pull off a perfect football heist, like a villain in those old Pink Panther movies, and get a 0-1 away win.
While the Galaxy’s defensive record is quite abysmal (they actually let in 6 more goals than we did this year) their offence is powerful and multifaceted (they scored 59 where we scored 35). The Galaxy can sting you through Beckham, Donovan, Keane and a few others, too. Their weakness is the goaltending of Josh Saunders, our old foe from the Swangard days.
Rennie will undoubtedly start Darren Mattocks, our one real hope to score a goal. Using the speed of Mattocks in a lightning counter attack is our best chance to score the one goal we will need to win.
Barry Robson, who will start, will be in charge of organizing a ten man defence which will attempt to frustrate the LA Galaxy through tenacious tackling, harrying, fouling in midfield and endless running. If we score first, we just might steal it. The Whitecaps cannot afford to give up an early goal or the contest will be over.
This is the way a poor team beats a better one, and yes, it has been done before. Look how Chelsea beat Barcelona and Bayern Munich to win the Champions league last year.
Can we pull it off? Yes, but I give us only a five percent chance of beating the Galaxy. The seven-to-one odds that have been quoted for a Whitecaps win are a bit generous in my view.
Hope springs eternal in the human heart. I truly hope we can pull off a great upset.
I wish the lads all the best, and lets hope for a win which, if the team pulls it off, will be one of the greatest moments in Vancouver Whitecaps history.