Poor Substitutions Sink Whitecaps

October 18, 2010 at 4:27 am | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2010 | 3 Comments

The Vancouver Whitecaps last season at Swangard Stadium came to an end in a semi-final defeat to the Puerto Rico Islanders.  We lost 0-2 in the two leg semi to the Islanders, who got their revenge for the 2008 championship loss to the Whitecaps.

The Puerto Rico Islanders have had a bit of a leaky season in defence, but you would not have known it  tonight as they were very well organized at the back.

The Whitecaps were the better team and were playing extremely well until the last third of the game when two crucial substitutions were made: Chiumiento came in for Mobulu, and Edwini-Bonsu came in for Porter.  Neither substitution worked, and the team lost all shape and balance from that point on.   I have to say, neither Mobulu nor Porter were injured and both were playing well.  It was a mistake to take them off.

Edwini-Bonsu was matched with a giant defender almost twice his size and did not create one chance for himself.  He lost the ball several times where he shouldn’t and seemed to have the wrong boots on, slipping several times at key moments.  Chiumineto was totally ineffectual, and the team really lost shape on the left side, and neglected to use the width of the field.  The Whitecaps were trying to play the ball down the middle, and the packed PRI defence had no real difficulty in dealing with the Whitecaps, who ran out of ideas.

I can understand why Thordarson brought Chiumiento and Edwini-Bonsu on:  he was hoping to break through the Islanders defence with Edwini-Bonsu’s speed and with Chiumiento’s dribbling skills.  Both plans failed miserably as the subs just failed to perform.  It was farcical towards the end of the match when we were pumping high balls into the box towards these two short guys while they were completely dominated by huge PRI defenders.

Tonight’s loss demonstrated what the Whitecaps have been missing all year: a good target man up front.  While Mobulu looks to have potential, what we needed this year was a man with ex-Whitecap Jason Jordan’s abilities: a striker who could keep the ball and finish with deadly accuracy.   Last year we could not defend, this year we could not score.

The ironic thing tonight was the Whitecaps were sunk by Whitecaps old boy Nick Addlery, whom I used to complain about constantly when he was here.

Puerto Rico played the perfect away game, defending well and waiting patiently for the chance they needed.  Whereas I hate to see the Whitecaps lose, I admire the way the Islanders have played football for a number of years now and I hope they beat Carolina in the final.

The Puerto Rico Islanders deserve to win.

I took a lot of photos tonight of all of the people I have enjoyed supporting the 86ers and Whitecaps with.  While we are on to bigger and better things, I will miss Swanny, and all of the great people in the Southside.  Thanks to all of you! I will post some photos in the coming days and include my reflections on Swangard Stadium.

On to MLS in 2011!

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3 Comments »

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  1. While I agree with your assessment of what was wrong after the substitutions, I don’t agree that Mobulu was doing well. He wasn’t bad, but he also wasn’t effective.

    Despite the loss, I had a fantastic time today. Congratulations to the boys on a good season.

  2. I also agree with your assessment of what was wrong after the substitutions, I don’t agree Porter wasn’t injured. He either pulled a leg muscle or was simply cramping.

    Though if we’ve solved the fact that, “Last year we could not defend…”, gives hope the club will find a forward. It’s just one player! Is there another Fredy Montero out there? There’s gotta’ be. The ‘Caps have 5 months to find him.

  3. Unlike last year when i had a bad taste in my mouth, last night was “ok”. The refs were ok, there was no nastiness, and in 2008 Nick Addlery was one of the few Whitecaps that showed up to the kid summer training camps, great guy, great ambassador for the sport and if there had to be someone to be a hero against us im glad it was him (even his post game comments showed he is a class act). Next year will be exciting.


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