Whitecaps Depth Impressive

April 22, 2010 at 4:45 am | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps | 1 Comment

I watched a bit of the 0-0 Miami game which was streaming on the Whitecaps site.  It was a bit like watching a home video, and I half expected that guy from AFV to show up at some point.  At certain times the camera operator seemed to be struggling with the equipment. Oh, well, beggars can’t be choosers.  There looked to be very few people at the match even thought the stadium looked OK and had a nice looking grass pitch.

I saw the first half and it seemed as thought the entire half was spent in the Whitecaps end.   I did not watch the bit where the Caps got a penalty, because I got fed up with the buffering and poor production value.

Why Marlon James took the penalty while we have Martin Nash at the ready I do not know.  Nash does not miss from the spot, and when I saw the hi-lite James made the crucial error of taking a short run up to the ball.  Penalty takers who do this almost always miss. In any event, we lost two points because of it.

Mind you, Jay Nolly made some fantastic saves and Miami hit the bar once and the post as well.  We will take the point, considering it is on the road.  Miami looked like a useful squad and I will look forward to the return tie.

What is encouraging in the Caps squad is there is real competition for almost all of the spots.  We have four strikers, two of whom are arguably among the best in the league.  The only dead certs to start are Jay Nolly in goal and Martin Nash in centre mid. When Johnny Steele recovers, even Marty will have to fight to keep his place!  Once we get Akloul going in centre defence, we may just have a team that can win the league this year, and perhaps the championship. Khalfan and Knight look to duke it out in the right side of midfield.  Competition for places keeps a squad lean, fighting fit, and keen to perform on match days.  Players can get bitter about not playing, but the USSF div 2 has such a compressed schedule and a tiring travel regime that almost all will get their chance to play. Managing player jealousy and anger in the squad will be Teitur’s challenge this year.

What is perhaps most positive after last years defensive debacles is we have not concede a goal in two games.

Roll on St Louis!  Lets hope this new team at least gives us a game on Saturday.

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  1. The feed was horrible, always re-buffering. And it seems odd to have so few people at a game in a city I would think would be soccer mad.

    My friend Lucas and I have been going on about penalty taking for a year now. Nash should take them every time, regardless of who was fouled. It’s real weakness of ours. It would be interesting to look at our penalty stats from last year. (Zidane took short run-ups, but he’s Zidane, so…)

    I would disagree with Nash as an automatic inclusion in the midfield. Last year we saw a few lacklustre performances from him, and he can’t think he’s untouchable. In the match against Minnesota he was excellent at times but we definitely did not win the midfield battle. We constantly moved the ball out wide to our strength, speed on the wings. Neither Nash nor Bellisumo are very fast, and both ended up chasing the ball a lot. Chin brought such speed to the midfield that he could win balls or force turnovers that Nash could then take advantage of. Nash’s lack of speed also meant that we never had a central midfielder sprinting to join our counterattacks; we were limited to sprints up the wings and crosses into the strikers. Without us having an option to pass into the midfield, and Minnesota not having to watch for a trailing midfielder, their defenders and keeper had no trouble dealing with our speedy attack.


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