Soehn Whitecaps a complete shambles in Salt Lake

June 6, 2011 at 9:02 am | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2011 | 13 Comments

The Whitecaps performance in Salt Lake demonstrated why the team has made the wrong decision in firing Teitur Thordarson.  The team is now a complete shambles and plays like a shadow of the team which played under Teitur.

The team selections made by Soehn have only proven my point: what was needed was improvements to the squad, not the coach. While Cannon has been fine in goal for the last two matches, Nolly’s goalkeeping was not our problem this year, so this change has made absolutely no difference to the team.  None of the player changes Soehn has made have improved the team; quite the contrary, the team has gone backwards.  To be fair, Dunfield and Khalfan are off on international duty, and Hassli was suspended, which deprived Soehn of three of the best players in the squad.

Why we got rid of a proper football man who has played and coached at a high level in Europe for decades for a man who is a virtual rookie as a coach is beyond explanation and belief. Soehn’s tactical naivete was exposed last night; we were 1-0 down but still in the game with nearly 20 minutes of time left, when Soehn pulled off central defender Akloul and put on Nanchoff, a midfielder.  This left us exposed at the back and we conceded a goal four minutes later which put the match out of reach.  Soehn chose to play Akloul for Janicki, as he did against Chivas.  Akloul looked like a clown on the first goal, first of all being late coming out with the other defenders, thereby putting the scorer Alexandre onside, and then leaving a free route for Alexandre to score. While Akloul is the better passer of the ball, there is no question Janicki is the better defender, which is what we needed against one of the best teams in Major League Soccer.  Another critical tactical error by our new coach.

We fired Teitur Thordarson for this?  These were a clear tactical errors; Soehn has fallen flat on his face.

Soehn started Peter Vagenas, then took him off at half time.  This is the equivalent of telling a midfield player he is complete crap and was a failure in the game.   If he is so bad, why start him in the first place? Who did Vagenas make room for?  Morfaw, another mediocre squad player who is prone to coughing up the ball in the wrong place at the wrong time.

While the team did manufacture some good chances, and Duckett should have scored late in the game, the team looked and played like a team that has lost its leader.  You can’t blame the players for being down when it is so clear they have lost a good coach and gained one in which they have no love or confidence.  That was the worst effort all year.

It seems clear to me that Teitur still had the love of the players and had not lost the dressing room.  Players who did not like a coach will often play better for a new man who is brought in. This has not happened under Soehn.  So far under Soehn we have tied Chivas, a team which frankly does not seem to care, and been soundly outclassed by a team with a superior squad to our own.

Paul Barber take note: it’s the squad, stupid!

If Teitur had been given some better players, the team would begin winning.  The fellow who chose a poor squad now gets to have a go at coaching them.  The club might as well ask Soehn to raise the dead as well.  The fact is Teitur was getting the best out of the squad he was given, and Soehn clearly won’t be able to get more out of them that Teitur did. This is clear from the poor squad choices and poor tactical decisions made by Soehn.  Teitur has demonstrated in previous sesaons that he is capable of getting the best out of a squad, as he did on 2009 when he took an inferior team all the way to the Division 2 final.

I cannot see this season getting any better.  Since the front office does not know what it is doing, and the coach they have put in charge seems to be cut from the same cloth, we had better get ready for a string of bad results. 

It would have been better to build the squad under a man who knows the game.



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  1. Akloul also saved a goal that Janicki wouldn’t have, but you’re right, his play on RSL’s first goal was atrocious.

    And Soehn’s other notable selection, Duckett for Knight, was ridiculously exposed on the second goal.

    • Duckett looks a fine athlete, but he looked slow on that play probably because he did not anticipate being responsible for covering that run. Neither Demerit nor Ducket looked comfortable with playing three at the back. Better to have left a defender in, and replaced a defensive midfielder(Koffee) with either another striker or a midfielder who can score. That woud have been the better gamble at that point in the game.

  2. Bang on, the problem was not the coach, it was unbelievable to hear that news, what were they thinking? You fire him 11 games in and have to pay him anyways?? Everybody knew we’d have problems to some degree this year, let’s ride it out, and start again in the offseason. We weren’t expected to make the playoffs, would have been nice, but not expected. Anybody seen Tony Waiters lately ??! Come on Bobby, let’s do it.

    • They don’t make men like Tony Waiters anymore, unfortunately! Remember Waiters, who was a fine coach, had a dynamite squad to work with as well, including the likes of Alan Ball. Would I love to see him back? Yes!!!

      Thanks for your great comments Mike, I agree with you.

  3. “Akloul looked like a clown on the first goal, first of all being late coming out with the other defenders, thereby putting the scorer Alexandre onside” except that Alexandre was miles offside. Look at the replay and you will see it clearly.

    • Look at the Whitecaps line and you will see Akloul was late coming out, making the decision tough to make for the linesman.

      • clearly offside! considering that assistant referees always flag an offside if the attacker even looks like he wants to be offside, in this play it wasnt even close.

  4. The game was a big disappointment to me. The team looked dispirited and gave one the impression that they had not played together before. The lack of effort was alarming. We have not done well so far but I have not seen that lack of effort before during this season. With Teitur we always had a good go and we didn’t give up. Poor decisions on and off the field…I have enjoyed my season ticket thus far but the club is beginning to test my patience. I miss Teitur and Mike, who were obviously good football people. Tom Soehn? Not so much…



  5. A little quick to judge are we. We just played our 4th game in 11 days against the top team in the league. When Teitur was in charge and we played Houston as our 4th game in 12 days why weren’t you calling for Teitur’s head? If you were fair you would give Sohen more than 2 practices. Have you forgotten that last year Teitur’s team only scored 32 goals in 30 games? Teitur seemed to have no idea how to coach a team how to score. Have you noticed how few goals we have scored off of free kicks this year – I can’t think of a single one since the Toronto game. That is purely down to poor coaching

    • “It shouldn’t take much turn this season around.” – Tommy Soen.

      These players won’t play for him. That is clear.

  6. At first I thought that Duckett had made some remarkable defensive recoveries….Then I realized that he only had to make them because he was out of position in the first place. Morfaw just makes my heart sink.

  7. The reality tietur ran out of ideas and time, so like any sport (and what will happen to the canucks coach in two games) he was fired. By placing soerhn in charge the statement is clear..”tom you built this team, now start winning with them …or…” I wont dig up the numbers again but put simply thw whitecaps mst achieve 7 wins, 30 pts this year as a min or tom goes. Tom now can do that with the squad he has or makes changes to its all under his control.

  8. seeing as last year the most talented striker was a right winger (stewert) who didn’t even make the team this year I think 32 goals in 30 game isnt so bad

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