Matchday 1: new Whitecaps put Toronto FC to the sword

March 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!!!

The Whitecaps new era in MLS begins: Kick-off!

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.

Whitecaps celebrate first goal in MLS

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!

MLS starting eleven 2011


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  1. You got that right!

  2. Looks like the new jersey was a big success!

    • HA HA. The jersey still sucks but what a great performance by the team…

  3. I found an old NASL program recently in some boxes: Whitecaps playing at Montreal Manic I had seen as a young child. Couldnt find the Fran Obrien picture.
    With that in mind, I decided to DL the torrent of the game today.

    Beating KFC was a bonus but its great to see a city that has never stopped breathing soccer in the decades since now playing in the MLS.

    I was in Toronto last summer and my hosts took me to see a Canadian Soccer League game which had various ex-pros. Those teams looked more promising that Toronto. Why can they never get it right?

    That said, the technical level of the league seems a bit… rough.

    Question: why are the behind the net stands soooooo far back?

    Question: is TSN always so… amateurish?
    The camera work was HORRIBLE, the angles laughable… are there no cameras behind the net?
    How can you enjoy a free kick from a sideline camera unless the foul is on the same side?
    I watched with neighbours today and it made it hard to watch.

    Best of Luck for the continuation of soccer, from the old Whitecaps, to the midlife 86ers and Whitecaps that spawned 3 decades to the ‘new’ Whitecaps, your city has been there keeping soccer alive.
    Thats why everyone is happy for you guys. You deserve it.

    Pessac (Bordeaux), FR

    • Simon: Thanks for your very perceptive comments. There is still a lot of catching up to do over hear in North America. We need to learn every aspect of the game more fully, from the technique of our players to the proper way to show it on TV. For the time being we are just so happy to have what we now have after many years in the football wilderness.
      I hope you get out to support Bordeaux, which is one of my favourite French clubs. If you look on my blog in the “games in my travels” section you will see my match report from Bordeaux v Nantes in Nantes back in 2000. Bordeaux won 0-5!!!

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