Whitecaps outclassed by Dallas FCApril 25, 2011 at 2:37 am | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2011 | Leave a comment
Partizan though I am, I have to admit we were outclassed today in football terms. The Vancouver Whitecaps struggled to play at Dallas’ level and we are starting to look more and more like an expansion franchise. Dallas FC had some serious quality footballers on their team, and the only player on the Whitecaps who could approach that kind of quality was Alain Rochat, who is emerging as the Whitecaps best player.
For the first time at home this season our front line was not a threat. Hassli had his first bad match, and was effectively neutralized by Dallas’ big #14 George John, who added insult to injury by scoring a goal as well. Camilo missed a sitter in the first half, scuffing his shot wide when he should have scored, and then promptly disappeared for the rest of the match. Salgado was put on too late again. It is time to give Salgado a start; bringing him on too late for him to have an impact is not going to do the lad any good.
Dallas players Fereirra, Jackson, and Chavez are clearly superb footballers (notwithstanding Fereirra’s clumsy penalty miss). While I hate to speak in such broad generalizations, there was a great deal of Central and South American flair in Dallas’s squad: the Whitecaps could use some! Dallas has four Columbians, three Mexicans, three Brazilians and one fabulous Honduran, Marvin Chavez, in their squad. Players from that part of the world have not only great footballing skill, but great football minds as well. While you could not fault the Whitecaps for their effort today, we are still not playing smart enough to cope with this kind of football.
The fact is Dallas played better football than us for most of the match after they weathered our early onslaught. We were improved with Dunfield in centre midfield, but we still miss Gershon Koffie. Since Koffie left our results have gone South; we have given up 5 goals and scored only two in three games since he left for Africa. The good news is Ghana seems to be out of the African Under 20 tournament so I hope we will have him back very soon (sorry, Ghana!). Jeb Brovsky played better, in fact he played a great ball for Chiumiento to cross for our only goal, but he is lacking a bit in terms of vision and creativity, which Koffie brings to the pitch.
Today the Whitecaps made rookie errors, with Khalfan, Boxall and Nolly each giving the ball away needlessly and putting our team under pressure at the wrong times.
We need to make our approach play more sophisticated in the middle third of the field and get our wide men putting in crosses. Chiumineto disappeared and sulked for the rest of the match after getting his assist in Rochat’s goal in the 25th minute. He needs to keep his head in the game for the full 90. Rochat’s header was a beauty, and only a player of his class could finish like that. If only we had three Rochats, one for defence, one in midfield and one at striker!
Whitecaps coach Teitur Thordarson would have to say this was not his best game either, as his substitutions proved both mis-timed and ineffective. He will need to do better when we meet sophisticated sides like Dallas. Dallas came out in the second half and looked much better. We got worse, giving up a goal in the 53rd minute, as the entire Whitecaps team stood still and ball-watched as Dallas executed a perfect near post flick-on header for their tying goal from John. After putting on Khalfan in left midfield in a bid to win the game the Whitecaps left themselves vulnerable defensively on that side, and sure enough Avila, who came on for Ferreira (Ferreira fractured his ankle in two places) potted a superb winner from our our left side through the legs of Wagner into the far corner out of Nolly’s reach in the 83rd minute.
I am afraid it is back to the drawing board. The Whitecaps need to buy a few more players with experience and skill, especially in the midfield. The fact is we were outclassed today. The thud you heard was us dropping to 8th place in the Western conference with only San Jose propping us up.
While we played some hugely entertaining matches in our first three home games, and we have shown we can play some very good football, of late the Whitecaps have come up against a harsh reality, and us fans with them: we are an expansion team.