Empire crumbles as Whitecaps bombSeptember 25, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2011 | 3 Comments
We had all hoped the Vancouver Whitecaps would help Empire Field go out in a blaze of glory but it was not to be. We were beaten 3-1 by the Seattle Sounders.
The Whitecaps were soundly beaten by a team of superior quality. Seattle Sounders came to town and did everything better than we did. Their fans were better organized and cheered louder. Their players finished their chances. Their coach coached better than our coach. Their organization is better than ours on every level.
The Vancouver Whitecaps are in their first season in Major League Soccer. Tonight we were students and the Seattle Sounders were the teachers in terms of how to be the best MLS franchise in the league. We have a lot of work to do here in Vancouver to catch up.
The result could have been very different had we finished our chances. Mustapha Jarju alone had four clear chances to score and fluffed them all. It is getting pretty clear that a star from the Belgian second division does not cut it in MLS. Thus far the Jarju experience has been a complete bust. Tonight was his breakout night; he was given the start, but his game was just not good enough. It is hard to know who to blame other than the man himself, but our scouts had better look for other work, because someone’s head should roll for this one. This guy is nowhere near the quality a designated player in the MLS should be. The contrast between the Sounder’s designated player Alvaro Fernandez and our Jarju could not be clearer. Fernandez was superb tonight and Jarju did not even belong on the same pitch.
Micheal Boxall proved he was a defender by missing a clear chance to score when he shot straight at Keller with the whole goal in front of him and barely a defender in sight. Had he scored, the result just might have been different.
The Whitecaps scored early through a brilliant run (it was a bit offside, but not by much!) and cross from Chiumiento, who gave Camilo a well deserved goal. I am fast coming to the opinion that Camilo is our best player. He scores goals, draws fouls in dangerous spots and can provide goals for others as well.
Gershon Koffie learned a hard lesson in football as he gave the ball away in midfield which led to a Seattle counter attack, which in turn led to a desperate lunge and handball by Jay DeMerit in the box. It was a penalty Sounders player Evans dispatched coolly. It was 1-1. In terms of the Whitecaps fans that was it for our evening: It was all downhill from there. The Sounders scored two more in the second half, and hit two or three posts and a crossbar. When Jarju was mercifully taken off his replacement Shea Salinas injected some energy into the team, and in my view he earned his starting spot back.
The Whitecaps completely capitulated as soon as Eric Hassli was inexplicably taken off for Long Tan with ten minutes left. It was another of Tommy Soehn’s mysterious substitutions which had no effect other than to take away any possible chance of salvaging a tie.
All credit to Jay DeMerit who clearly is back at full health and made his mind up to lead the team and win the game tonight. He was superb, and no one can doubt his commitment. Unfortunately he had a key role in all three Seattle goals. He blocked the ball with his hands leading to a penalty kick. He coughed the ball up for Seattle’s second goal as he cleared the ball directly into the danger zone and straight to Seattle’s dangerous striker Freddie Monteiro, who scored Seattle’s second goal. Seattle’s third goal was lucky as a deflection off of DeMerit’s foot flew over Cannon who helplessly watched the ball loop over his head into the goal. Poor Jay deserved better as he put all that he had into the game.
Seattle’s first two goals came directly from mistakes made by two of our best players. Seattle was able to win the game off of capitalizing on the Whitecaps mistakes alone.
Sadly, this game reflected that the Vancouver Whitecaps are the poorest team by far in Cascadia. Seattle is sitting second best in the MLS, our fellow newcomers the Portland Timbers are competing for a playoff spot, and we sit dead last in the entire MLS with little real hope of catching anyone else.
It is just not good enough.