Canadian Championship eludes Whitecaps yet againJuly 4, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2011 | 3 Comments
Oh, No! Another disappointment from the Whitecaps of 2011, which is turning into a bit of a sad sack year for the club. The Canadian championship has eluded our grasp yet again.
Saturday’s match was a replay of the rained out game from back in early June when the Whitecaps were leading 0-1 well into the second half with no apparent way back for Toronto Football Club. Todays weather in T.O. could not be more in contrast as the match was played in the bright sunshine.
The Whitecaps had their best line-up of players out on the pitch, with the exception of the hamstrung Chiumiento. Our best was not good enough on the day as we were again out-shined by a team with better quality than our own. As has happened a number of times this year the Whitecaps were not able to defend a lead, as Camilo’s brilliant free kick goal could only sustain the Caps through the first half.
Our championship hopes began to unravel in the second half then we were bitten by yet another bad refereeing decision. The referee missed a hand ball by little Plata just prior to his being fouled by Johnny Leathers in the box. To add insult to injury the referee ordered a re-kick after Cannon brilliantly saved the penalty because he had moved off of his line. The Whitecaps were again robbed as TFC forward Yourassowsky took Rochat’s legs out from under him and proceeded to knock the ball in the net from a Plata cross. That familiar sinking feeling took over and the match was lost 2-1
While both goals were patently unfair, and after watching this happen year after year in the Canadian championship one could be forgiven for becoming a conspiracy theorist, there was a disparity in quality between the teams. TFC threatened the Whitecaps goal and put our defenders and keeper under extreme pressure several times during the match, but the Whitecaps were unable to do the same at the other end, but for one chance Hassli scuffed wide that really should have gone in during the second half. Even though we were the poorer squad, the truth is if Hassli had buried that one we would have won.
Generally speaking, our approach play in the opponent’s half of the pitch is slow and predictable, which allows opponent’s defenders to soak up what little pressure there is from the Whitecaps attack with comparative ease. Our wingers are not getting crosses in. Our midfielders are not making penetrating runs and offer no offensive threat themselves. Neither Dunfield, Koffee (whose shooting is absolutely abysmal), or Brovsky ever looked like either scoring or providing a ball which would set our strikers free.
Frankly, our only hope was for a goal off of a free kick. The only player we have who has the ability to draw free kicks is Camilo. Those people who said they would be fine with letting him go when rumours of his going to Kuwait were circulating had better give their heads a shake. He is one of our best players, who can both score goals on his own and draw penalties and free kicks, which is where a lot of goals come from in football. We need to hold on to this guy.
The question I asked after the match was: where can we find a Plata? The little TFC man ran riot for the whole match with his speed, skill and vision. He was clearly the man of the match. He makes practically every man in our squad look slow and lacking in skill. None of our players have the quality that Plata has. As the season grinds on, it is becoming clear that other teams in the league are improving as the season continues, whereas the Whitecaps seem to be standing still in development.
Poor Tommy Soehn seems to have run out of ideas for trying to squeeze honey out of a lot of lemons in the squad. Time to get the check book out and improve the squad in the coming transfer window.