Dismal in DC: the Whitecaps lose uglyAugust 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2011 | 12 Comments
After the emotional high of last week with a big win and a new coach announced, the Whitecaps came out as flat as a pancake against D.C. United in Washington. Coach Soehn chose another losing combination, and we can only thank our lucky stars he is on his way back up to head office as of next year. Today’s problem was our starting midfield, as Soehn put Thorrington, Koffie and Vagenas starting in midfield with Salinas outside left. None of these ever looked like getting the ball to strikers Camilo and Hassli in a useful manner, and our only hope to score in this match was for Camilo to go on a dribble and get fouled for a free kick or a penalty. Oddly enough it nearly worked as Camilo was fouled 25 yards out and hit the crossbar with a free kick just before half time. An amazing scramble in front of goal for the rebound did not result in a goal for the Caps.
It strikes me as odd we have Koffie and Vagenas, both defensive midfielders, playing at the same time. Soehn should pick one or the other and let Chiumiento start the match. Vagenas usually passes back to our defense and rarely starts an offensive move, and Koffie likewise is seldom an offensive threat. In my view Vagenas should be benched and we should let Koffie do his excellent holding midfielder work.
Thorrington was similarly useless in any creative offensive play on the right side of midfield. It was not until Chiumiemto came on in the second half that we had any kind of ball movement that was a threat. Due to his play we nearly scored to make it 2-1 but Hassli was too stretched to get a good shot off.
All fans of the Whitecaps who have known and admired keeper Jay Nolly for the last 4 years groaned as he gave up two awful goals, and he will surely step aside for Joe Cannon next match. In football it is difficult to score and it makes it nearly impossible to win if your keeper gives goals away he should really stop. Nolly let one go in through his legs at an impossible angle from Najar for DC’s second goal and then let a soft bouncing shot from King to his left elude him for their fourth. Both goals were crushing to the Whitecap’s spirit. I am afraid it is back to the drawing board for Jay.
Once again Coach Soehn made reckless substitutions too early to try to get the Whitecaps back in the game; as usual, the substitutions were the wrong ones which only served to turn a losing match into an embarassment for the club and its supporters. In the first place, a centre back who can’t play the whole game should not be played at all. We should wait until DeMerit can play a full match before he comes back. Exchanging Chiumiento, a player who does not defend at all, for the most crucial defensive position is laughable. Chiumiento should have come in for Vagenas. Once again, a reckless substitution led to a quick goal for the other team as the Whitecaps were exposed at the back. How many times does this have to happen before Tommy gets the message? This put the game at 3-0.
If we had kept Demerit in the match (or another center back who can play the whole match) we might have stood a chance by being able to sub off defensive midfielders for attacking ones. I have no idea what exchanging Thorrington for Brovsky was supposed to accomplish. Exchanging one potato for another to try to make the recipe more tasty simply does not work.
The other thing our team lacked was size and speed. I am getting tired of watching our team of shrimps get out muscled by bigger and faster athletes. Pontius, De Rosario and Najar made use of their size and speed to make a mockery of our team. I am not sure if Nizar Khalfan is injured, but he was not even on the bench and we could have used his strength and speed. Frankly, they should have let the jet-lagged Jarju come straight home to rest and put Khalfan in the line-up. At least then we would have some speed at our disposal.
This was, without a doubt, the most disappointing performance of the year. The Whitecaps have let ten goals in over the last three matches which, in football, means the team is a laughing stock.
Coach Soehn and the leaders in the team must surely look at themselves in the mirror and say “this is not good enough”. We supporters deserve better from the club and its players.
The play we saw on Saturday was not fitting for the tradition of the Vancouver Whitecaps, which is a proud and winning tradition. Our tradition is not to role over and die.
Time to do better.