Matchday 1: new Whitecaps put Toronto FC to the swordMarch 20, 2011 at 6:46 am | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver Whitecaps In MLS, Whitecaps Season 2011 | 5 Comments
What an incredible day! I woke up on MLS matchday 1 at 6:30 in the morning and could not get back to sleep for the excitement. Today was the first day of the rest of the Vancouver Whitecaps life…
So many questions swirled around in my head. Would the Whitecaps fail to score? Would we lose a dour match 0-1? Please, God, let us at least score a goal!
We scored four.
It took Toronto four matches before they scored their first goal in their first season in Major League Soccer. We scored four in our first MLS match… against Toronto!!!
Eric Hassli went into the record books as the man to score the first goal of the Vancouver Whitecaps new era. I think we will have to call him “Big Country”, as my friend Pato suggested. This guy is big and mean to boot. He gave TFC’s defence many problems along with the similarly huge Atiba Harris up front. TFC tried to knock Hassli around as much as he was knocking them, but it did not work. Big Country came away from the match with two goals to his name and in doing so proved the Whitecaps right in signing his name as a designated player.
Every man played his part today, and it was a true team effort. When Chiumiento left the pitch with an apparent ankle injury after a fantastic first half, Whitecaps old boy Nizar Khalfan came in and played beautifully. When Russel Tiebert pulled up with a hamstring injury, another Whitecaps old boy Wes Knight did a superb job, setting up Hassli’s second goal after a well timed run (it actually looked well offside to boot…). This suggests to me that our pre-season preparation has been very good, and our player development system works just fine, than you very much! Vancouver’s own Terry Dunfield played the game of his life today; he was superb!
In many ways we were lucky we played Toronto today because they are a very poor team indeed. I felt sorry for TFC’s Dwayne De Rosario who ran about manfully with a team that does not deserve him. The fact we gave up two goals to such a poor team does not speak well of us defensively. Both TFC goals came quickly on the heel of a Whitecaps goal, so we had better learn to concentrate and have better discipline because other better teams will tear us apart if we don’t.
But lets not worry about that today, today is a day to celebrate!!!
For me the whole day was summed up by local boy Terry Dunfield’s reaction to scoring a goal in his hometown for his hometown team. When he returned to the pitch after leaping into the crowd to celebrate, he stood there shaking his head in disbelief with a silly wide grin on his face.
Precisely what I was doing!