Whitecaps tie one on again versus Red Bulls

May 30, 2011 at 4:03 am | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2011 | 3 Comments

Today was one of those glorious days for a football fan: first of all we got to watch the Champions league final; then we got to watch our own Vancouver Whitecaps play on a beautiful sunny day at Empire field.  While we are nowhere near the quality of Barcelona Football Club, we can all now be proud we have a serious football team to support in Vancouver, along with a stadium filled with passionate fans.

Starting eleven

Barcelona FC showed the world how the game of football is meant to be played when it easily beat Manchester United 3-1 earlier today: Pinpoint passing, fantastic individual skills, wonderful movement, and tactical sophistication to spare.  While it was great to watch the Champs League final on the tele, there is nothing like going to the park and supporting the local team.  Long live the Vancouver Whitecaps!

Today 21,000 fans showed up to watch the Whitecaps draw 1-1 with Red Bull New York. While we do get a point from the match, a tie at home is more like a loss because visiting teams consider a tie to be a good result, rather like a win. While the Red Bulls will leave town with smiles on their faces, us fans trudged out of the stadium disappointed again, and our players looked down in the mouth at the end of the match.

The Red Bulls were without Thierry Henry and Marquez, but still are a solid side without them. We competed very well with them, and were it not for Greg Sutton making a great skate save on Eric Hassli’s effort in the second half, a win was ours.

Are you sure that goal was offside????

We thought we had an early goal, but the linesman had other ideas.  I’m not sure if Rochat receiving the through ball was offside or whether Camilo, who put the ball in the net, was offside and I don’t think I will ever know because it was not in the hi-light package! Perhaps the linesmen paid some hush money…(here is a picture which proves the goal was onside: sidehttp://twitpic.com/54hwnv). I hate linesmen: more often than not their job is to deprive us football fans of joy. Mind you, they do come in handy when the calls go our way.

"Remember: we're playing for a draw."

Eric Hassli scored our goal from a penalty shot in the first half which was earned by some fantastic interplay between Camilo and Chiumiento.  The two dwarfs completely outsmarted the Red Bulls defence, sending Camilo through free on goal. Camilo made a cut inside the box and was brought down.  Hassli immediately walked to the ball and picked it up to claim the penalty.  It is nice to see that kind of confidence from the big man, and that same confidence saw him put the penalty away without any bother at all.  Eric clearly plays for the fans, and we are getting to love him more and more as time goes on.  He put in a fantastic match today.  He ran his heart out, won a thousand headers, and was always involved.  After a bit of a slump, Eric is back.

Hassli: always involved

Poor Alain Rochat had a bit of a poor first half today and I think it is fair to say he was not quite himself.  Although he fed the ball to Chiumiento for the play that led to the first goal, He also lost his footing on the goal we gave up.  He fell over, and his mark was able to cross the ball to that little bald man Luke Rogers who deflected the ball into the goal past a leaping Jay Nolly.   Rochat played much better in the second half, when he finally got his head in the game.

Shea Salinas also played poorly today, though it wasn’t for lack of effort. Shea got a lot of the ball but was seemingly unable to provide it to his teammates.  He worked hard, but his inner compass needs adjusting a bit, because his passing was very inaccurate.  Time to spend a bit of extra time with the ball after practice, Shea!  Salinas was pulled off with 30 minutes or so to go and Teibert was given a chance to shine, but also came up a bit dull.

Teitur's subs had no impact today

Our substitutions all failed to really bring anything to the match, and taking Chiumiento off for Khalfan looked a bit odd.  Clearly Khalfan was brought on for his speed, but to no real avail.  Salgado came in late again for Camilo, too late to really have an effect on the match.  Frankly, we were hoping Dunfield would come off, but perhaps Teitur Thordarson thought it was too risky to take Mr. Reliable out of centre midfield, even though Terry did not have his best match today.  In think Terry is exhausted and it is really catching up with him.

It was a bit hard to leave Empire Field again without a win, but the fact is we could well have won that match: it was within our reach.  The Whitecaps are having trouble coming up with that last good pass in the final third of the field which is where goals come from.   This was especially the case in the second half of today’s game, when the Whitecaps were unable to put too much pressure on the Red Bull’s defence other than Hassli’s effort. The defences on Major League Soccer teams are well organized, and it takes something a bit special to create goals.  While Camilo and Chiumiento created something special on the first goal, we need one or two more players who can make that final pass that breaks a defence down, so that goals can be created.

It is time for the Whitecaps to use some of that sponsorship money for another designated player.  A good playmaking midfielder would do nicely, please!

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3 Comments »

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  1. I have to take my hat meet the Portland organization what a class act. Its obvious that despite the whitecaps desire to relive the past our present is in poor shape. I hope white caps management and coaching staff is embarrased when they look at the two truly pofessional outfits south on i5. I am a whitecaps season ticket holder but i sincerely hope to see attendance drop off dramatically soon to wake whitecaps owners up the only way they understand…money..otherwise we will get the toronto maple leafs fir the next twenty years.

  2. It was not offside!!

    I watched the game on my PC last night and definitely there was no offside. To be fair with the linesman though, it was very very close and the angle was not the best. He actually penalized Rochat, not Camilo; it was a late flag (he started raising the flag as Rochat was about to cross the ball to Camilo). It took me multiple times to confirm it was technically not offside watching the play at very low speeds, but when you watch the play at full speed you can’t blame the linesman for making the mistake.

    Here is a screenshot of the play:
    http://twitpic.com/54hwnv

    By the way, Camilo was also onside:
    http://twitpic.com/54hzg5

    In any case, had they allowed the goal I’m not sure the end result would have been any different. IMHO we need a new coach and get rid of Dunfield 😉

    Getting tired of so many draws @ home!!

    E

  3. The coach has been fired!


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