A game to forget in Los Angeles

June 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2012 | Leave a comment

It was as if we had gone back to 2011 and the dark days of Tom Soehn’s reign with the club. Last nights 3-0 loss to the LA Galaxy felt like the bad old days as a tired Vancouver Whitecaps took to the field and looked resigned to losing right from the start.

Our usually tight back line was porous last night, as the back three of Joe Cannon, Martin Bonjour and Jay DeMerit all had bad matches. The Whitecaps gave up another goal from a corner kick after 15 minutes of play. Having conceded late on a corner kick against New York last Wednesday, one would expect the Whitecaps would have done some organizational practice for defending corner kicks. Apparently not, as the Cap’s allowed David Beckham to find a man unmarked in the box, and the ensuing scramble ended up with an off-balanced Joe Cannon parrying a ball he should have caught directly to Mike Magee who easily slotted home. This would be all that LA needed on this night.

15 minutes later Robbie Keane, fresh from Ireland’s disastrous Euro 2012 campaign slalomed through three Whitecaps, (Lee, Koffie and Bonjour), as though they were practice cones before slotting home low to Cannon’s left. Just before half our centre defenders were again caught immobile and napping as a Beckham through ball found Keane, who drew a penalty by hitting DeMerit’s arm with a shot. Landon Donovan dispatched the penalty kick with ease. it was 3-0 before halftime.

The difference of quality between the LA squad and the Whitecaps was patently obvious as LA used their three designated players, (Donovan, Keane and Beckham), who all came to play, to full effect. Whitecaps Coach Martin Rennie stuck with his familiar formula, playing one striker (Mattocks) and a five man midfield.

Time to rescue us, Barry!
Photo by Monique L.

With the quality gap so large between LA’s starting line up and ours, it really makes you wonder why two of our top three players in terms of footballing skill spent most of their time on the bench for this match. Hassli and Camillo are wasting away on the bench all too often; given LA’s high skill levels, both should have started this match. I find it hard to believe Rennie cannot find a way to start these two exceptionally talented players; he is playing inferior players instead. I am beginning to wonder whether Rennie has the tactical brain to use his squad in an intelligent way to face different kinds of teams. The team he picked was put out to lose. Rennie had better find a way to use the footballing talent in the squad or we will sink like a stone in the Western Conference during this road trip.

In any event, it is clear the entire squad were tired from having to play three games in 8 days, with travel added on to it. At least they will now have a weeks rest before they begin a brutal month of July against Colorado for 4 away games in 10 days.

Thank God we now have Barry Robson in the squad, because we really do need him!

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