Mundane realities overtake WhitecapsMarch 31, 2011 at 4:55 am | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2011 | Leave a comment
After the joy of March 19, some of the mundane realities of a running a football club have come home to roost for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
International duties have taken the likes of DeMerit, Boxall, Teibert and Salgado away from the squad. International games are the curse of club teams. Clubs give up their players to their respective countries and they come back jet-lagged, exhausted, and with the inevitable knocks and injuries which come with competitive football.
Apparently our Captain and key defender Jay DeMerit, who has been nursing a groin injury, has inflamed the injury in a game against Paraguay while on duty for the USA. Teibert hobbled of the pitch against TFC on March 19 and yet is in action for the Canada under 20 team. Poor Teitur must be sleeping uneasily. At least Boxall got back in one piece. Lets pray Salgado does the same. Our playmaker Chiumiento has not yet returned to full training because of his hamstring injury.
Poor discipline has cost the Whitecaps as well. Two stupid fouls by Eric Hassli got him sent off against Philadelphia last Saturday. While I have heard a lot of comments about the referee being incompetent with the second yellow, there is no doubt that was a card. If you leave your foot in while a fellow is following through, you can easily break a guy’s leg or ankle. It was a clear case of dangerous play and Hassli deserved to get sent off. Given the experienced pro he is supposed to be it really was poor play on Hassli’s part and could well have cost us the match. Now we won’t have him up front against Kansas…which could cost us the match. Eric, you will have to make it up to the team somehow! Staying in the match and scoring goals would help…
Finally, the inexperience in the squad was exposed on Saturday. Philadelphia’s goal came as a result of some very amateurish defending by Whitecaps old boys Janicki and Khalfan. Janicki failed to clear the ball and headed it straight to the guy we could least afford to get the ball in our box: Sebastian Le Toux. Just prior to this, Khalfan coughed up the ball to Philadelphia deep in our territory, and then let the guy he gave the ball to beat him like he was a weak schoolboy. Khalfan could have just shielded the ball or kicked it out. I am sure Teitur has torn a strip off of him. It is a shame because Nizar played a great game on March 19. Defensive errors are more likely to be punished in the MLS than in division 2 where a lot of our guys played last year.
Thank God the next match is a home match. Lets hope we can lift the team to play above itself, because international duties, injuries and Hassli’s suspension will severely test the depth of the Whitecaps squad come Saturday.
Lets hope we can move from the mundane and get back to the joy of March 19.