Whitecaps youth give away game against Seattle

May 20, 2012 at 11:31 am | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Whitecaps Season 2012 | Leave a comment

That old saying that youth is wasted on the young is haunting the Whitecaps in the wake of Saturdays 2-2 draw with arch rival Seattle Sounders. Youngsters Omar Salgado and Darren Mattocks squandered no less than five gilt edged chances in front of Seattle’s goal during the match. If these two fellows had taken just one of their early chances, the match would have been over by halftime.

It was a fantastic match to watch as both teams passed the ball on the ground and played attractive, attacking football. There’re was a large and boisterous Seattle crowd that sang and chanted all match with great visual displays. The Southsiders held their own this time and did a fine job in responding. The sun shone through the open roof at BC Place on a superb Cascadia derby. It has to be said that BC Place looked the best it has since we moved there.

The Whitecaps more than held their own against the Sounders, who struggled defensively all afternoon. The bright side of Darren Mattock’s performance was that he was able to get open and free in front of goal; the only problem was that his finishing was awful. To add insult to injury, Seattle scored their first goal to tie the match at 1-1 right after one of Mattocks four awful misses. I shouldn’t lump Salgado in with Mattocks, because he actually played very well, and played the sublime Alain Rochat in for the Whitecaps first goal in the 12th minute.

Rochat was allowed by Seattle’s defenders to run straight at goal without opposition. It was an astonishingly poor display of defending, and just showed how Seattle were ripe for the picking if we only took advantage of the many chances we had.

Eddie Johnson equalised just after half time with a well executed header from a perfect cross by Morales. In the second half, Seattle were pouring crosses in from the right side of the pitch virtually unopposed by the Whitecaps.

Camilo and Hassli came on subs late in the game and gave the Whitecaps a real push. Camilo added to this year’s goal tally with a superb curling free kick from the left side. The ball eluded everyone; after one bounce and close misses by Koffie and DeMerit, it found its way directly into the back of the net. With only eight minutes to go plus injury time, we looked set to win it and send home Seattle’s fans with tears in their eyes.

“Nobody’s allowed to touch it!” Photo by Monique L.

Montero’s equalizer came in the 90th minute and spoiled the party for the Whitecaps, who looked set to gain on their Cascadia rivals in the Western Conference standings. It was not to be and the Whitecaps continue to sit five points behind the Sounders.

Seattle’s two goals showed the football class that the Sounders have with Morales, Johnson and Montero creating Seattle’s two goals with some well executed attacking moves. Joe Cannon stood still and watched Montero’s curling shot go in the net. While some might say it was an unstoppable finish, we’ll never know because Cannon never tried to stop it. Joe let the team down on that play. I know goalkeepers are eccentric, but why make a series of fantastic saves in the game only to watch the ball go in the net in the 90th minute?

We were left contemplating what could have been. Our defensive midfield pairing of Koffie and Davidson were especially wonderful to watch, as they played the ball round to the feet of their teammates in every position. The Whitecaps played so well, yet failed to execute on key plays that would have won the match. That, unfortunately, is the difference between squads in the middle of the pack and those on the top of the league. We can console ourselves with the fact that this years squad is capable of playing with the top teams in the league. If we can hold on to our promising youthful players this club has a bright future.

These Cascadia derbies are looking like they are going to be great fun. Our lot is on its way down to Seattle in August. We will look forward to that day.

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