Hassli And Camilo light up Fire

August 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2011 | Leave a comment

Today our two stars Eric Hassli and Camilo Sanvezzo shone in our third win of the season. Though they seem to have an issue with passing the ball to one another, our two strikers appear to be friends who both have those two qualities a striker needs: selfishness and self-confidence. It looked like they were about to come to blows after Camillo drew yet another penalty, (how many penalties has this guy drawn this season?), but Hassli got to the ball first to claim the penalty kick when Camillo was still trying to get up after being fouled.

Hassli and Camilo: "so this is what its like to be tall!"

Poor Camillo must be sick of drawing penalties and not being able to take them. Camillo went into the dressing room at half time cursing and looking very frustrated indeed. He should soon get the chance to take the next penalty however, because Hassli missed the penalty and the Chicago’s otherwise hapless keeper Sean Johnson made a save for once.

At the time Hassli missed the penalty the Whitecaps were already up 2-1 through a Hassli rocket in the first minute and then by a lucky Gershon Koffie strike which really should have been saved by Johnson. Call them both”fieldturf goals” because both goals came about as a result of funny bounces on the fieldturf which bewitched Fire defender Cuesta on the first goal and keeper Johnson on the second.  It was Fieldturf 2 Chicago Fire 1 at the half.  Whatever favors the Whitecaps got from the playing surface, it has to be said the Whitecaps dispatched their chances on the day with a ruthless efficiency that has been previously absent.  The Whitecaps forced and took advantage of Chicago’s mistakes, which is how good teams win games.

The Whitecaps took advantage of a very poor Chicago side on the day who simply did not look as though they were committed to the game. Most of the second half was like a practice match because it was a forgone conclusion the Whitecaps were going to win, and Chicago looked like they only wanted to hear the final whistle so they could get to the airport to leave town.

"Watch the weird bounce off of this fake grass!"

The Whitecaps were lucky the Fire didn’t try harder because they gave up two very poor goals, which could well have been enough to lose the match in any regular game.  Whitecaps defenders Rochat and Harvey, (who looked a bit clumsy and shaky in this match), lost one-on-one battles with Fire strikers Oduro and Barouch respectively who easily brushed our defenders aside to score their goals. If Jay DeMerit had been present, I dare say neither goal would have been scored;  Jay is not so easily outmuscled off the ball.

The Whitecaps have not looked so strong and confident since day one on March 19 against Toronto Football Club, whom they beat by the identical score.   It made me wonder why we have such a bad record, but once I got a hold of my senses I reminded myself the Fire are one of the poorest teams in the very competitive Major League Soccer.

It was great to see Gershon Koffie get a reward for his hard work this season, and I believe he will score more goals now he has a taste for them.  That was his first goal since last season’s quarterfinal home leg against the Portland Timbers.  Koffie’s stature is growing every game in the Whitecaps line-up.  It will be great watching this guy turn into an excellent footballer (if we can hold on to him!)

Thorrington: 'bout time he got a game!

It was refreshing to see the long suffering John Thorrington finally get a game for the first time since the third home match against New England.  Thor got in a half a game in which he looked competent, competitive and confident.  He came off of the pitch without report of injury, so lets keep our fingers crossed for him. It will be great to have him at our disposal for the rest of the season, knock on wood.

All in all it was a great day, and we long suffering supporters got a nice tall glass of water in what has been a very arid season indeed.   Lets hope this gives our lads some momentum as the season hits its later chapters.

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