Pathetic Vancouver Whitecaps flop into playoffs after Cascadia loss

October 21, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2012 | 8 Comments

Tonight the Vancouver Whitecaps lost yet another Cascadia derby. They lost at home 0-1 to the Portland Timbers, a result which also confirmed the Timbers as the 2012 Cascadia Cup champions. Dallas’ 3-1 loss to Seattle after the Whitecaps game made it impossible for Dallas to catch us for the final playoff spot in the Wester Conference of Major League Soccer.

Am I celebrating? Absolutely not. This has been a poor season for the Vancouver Whitecaps. Making the playoffs with what has to be one of the worst teams to ever make the MLS playoffs is nothing to celebrate about. The team must set its standards higher.

Tonight’s loss to the Timbers was a disgrace to the team, and confirmed that even if we did make the playoffs, we are currently one of the worst teams in Major league Soccer. Our team and our coach let the city of Vancouver down, and very few of those who participated deserve to be wearing a Vancouver Whitecaps shirt.

While I have not yet called for Martin Rennie to be sacked, I felt like it after this game. I feel he has done an absolutely awful job, and, as the season has gone on, he has taken a good team and made it worse, not better.

Rennie put a terrible team out tonight, leaving all of our speed on the bench. The result was a slow, ponderous style of play that only worried the Portland Timbers, who are fourth from bottom in the MLS, on a very few occasions. Watching our back line pump 50 and 60 yard long balls to the tiny Camillo and Kenny Miller, entirely bypassing our midfield, was pathetic. Our approach play and ball movement were so slow and predictable that Portland’s defenders had no trouble soaking up the “pressure” of the Whitecaps attacks.

Our designated players Kenny Miller and Barry Robson were very poor, and barely scraped one chance between them all night. Why the Whitecaps have decided to pay big money to these two slow out of shape old guys who were never that good in the first place is beyond me. Neither one of them deserves to be playing in a Vancouver Whitecaps jersey.

The Scottish trio of Rennie, Robson and Miller is turning out to be a Bermuda Triangle into which our football hopes are vanishing. The lack of quality and leadership from the three of them is a disaster for our team. After tonight’s performance I would have them all fired.

Why Rennie insists on starting clearly substandard footballers in important matches is unbelievable. While I don’t fault their effort, Jordan Harvey and Matt Watson should not be starting any match in the MLS. They do not have the quality to start at this level. Both players are squad players at best who should come in only when the real players are injured or tired. Jun Marques Davidson is clearly a superior footballer to Matt Watson, and Alain Rochat was born to play left full back; he is more of an offensive threat in that position than he is at holding midfielder. Jun Marques Davidson is clearly a superior holding midfielder to Rochat. Playing a top left fullback in a position he is not used to is just plain stupid when you have an excellent holding midfielder sitting on the bench doing nothing.

Leaving both Darren Mattocks and Dane Richards on the bench deprived our team of all of its speed. Given that we do not have midfielders who can create or score goals with any frequency, our biggest offensive asset is the speed of Richards and Mattocks. So why not start them and put pressure on Portland right from the start? By the time these two came on as subs, Portland was already comfortable and confident after repelling the Whitecaps weak offensive efforts.

Martin Rennie is clearly struggling with his coaching duties at this level. The Whitecaps would have been better off paying more money for an experienced and successful MLS coach. Just look at what Sigi Schmid has done with the Seattle Sounders.

My fear is that now the Whitecaps have flopped their way into the playoffs in spite of being so poor, this years season will be viewed by the club as a success. It has not been a success, it has been an abysmal failure. My prediction is that we will be easily bounced out of the playoffs in the one match shoot-out against the Los Angeles Galaxy by a clearly superior team led by David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane (Whitecaps owners, please take note of these names…).

The quality of our team is very poor. Our coach and front office have finished a distant third in the football hotbed of Cascadia. Our crowds are third, our match day atmosphere is third, and our football team is third. We have yet to win a football match against a Cascadia rival in MLS play. This is not good enough.

The lack of pride and quality in the Vancouver Whitecaps organization from all levels of the club is truly disappointing. Someone needs to remind the entire Whitecaps organization that their whole effort should be put into winning football matches. I feel that all levels of our club have become complacent and act as though just being there is enough. It is not. These people need to find some pride in being associated with the Vancouver Whitecaps. If they do not feel that way they should be fired and others hired in their place.

It is just not good enough, and tonight’s performance was a disgrace to the Whitecaps jersey and our city. The city deserves to have a better team.

I hope the owners are listening.



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  1. Yes!

  2. An excellent summation of the 2012 season. I think it would be remiss not to mention that the club is an improvement on 2011 — but admittedly, that would be very faint praise indeed (and deservedly so).

    “Among the top 25 clubs in the world”…indeed!

  3. Why so short sighted and negative? Martin Rennie arrives at the worst team in the MLS in 2011, assembles the strongest team a side from Canada has ever fielded, makes the playoffs in his first season in charge, something that nobody in history has ever done before and still he and his team are berated. Martin’s record in the PDL, Cleveland, Carolina is outstanding, he has broken records in all those places and when he leaves the teams have sunk to the bottom of their league. You should be thankful he is coaching before you suffer the same fate as the other teams. You are lucky to have him. Yet you are calling for his head?!

    I imagine you want to play like Barcelona, complete 50 passes before each goal, win every game 8-0 and anything less is sub standard now you know what it feels like to actually win games (esp. away from home). From your comments above you are obviously tactically superior to Martin and know more about the players than he does so why aren’t you breaking records coaching with your obvious wit and tact? You are writing blogs offering a negative opinion on an outstanding achievement – journalists like you kill teams. If you support and lead people to rally behind the best thing to happen to Canada in the MLS, it might stand a chance. Blogs like the above only entice the negative fans to jump on the bandwagon and forget the good.

    Poor article.

    • I started out reading yourh comment agreeing with you and then slowly but surly you became more stupid. He has set records with teams in the lower divisions so he therefore is immune to critisizin of any kind? What kind of thinking is that? Although this article is a bit to harsh martin rennie has not done that great a job. He has failed to get any scoring out of one of the most talented forwarrd groups in the leaugue. Jordan harvey is the only defensivly irresponsible defender I have ever seen but he keeps getting played. Martin bonjour has far outplayed andy obrian but is relgated to the bench. Journalists who criticize the team bring them down? Erm how exactly? If we put down 350 for season tickets the least that should happen is we should be the second worst team in our division. We should not be getting long stretches without a single shot on goal.

      Poor comment

    • Are you Martin Rennie’s wife? I don’t care what Rennie did in the lower leagues, he is screwing up royally in MLS, which is what we care about. A team he inherited made him look good in the first half of the season, and then has taken the team he chose for the second half of the season down into the gutter. Hardly good coaching and not good enough for our club as far as I am concerned. Lets get a real MLS coach into the job.

    • Dear Mr. Rennie:

      Please understand that change does not equal progress. Certainly, the seven-match winless streak and the brutal performance of your team vs Portland (twice), and fellow Cascadia rivals Seattle ought to have driven home that fact.
      But let’s explore some other facts: Fact, the Whitecaps will finish 2012 with another losing record. Fact, the Whitecaps are paying 1.2 million per season to a man who is on pace for 5 goals this season (adjusted). Fact, Barry Robson would rather stand there dumb(founded) and arms raised than get his ass back to help defend a 4 v 2 counterattack. Fact: the Whitecaps have the second lowest SOG total behind only Chivas. Fact: Vancouver’s only consistent offensive threat is built around speed, Mattocks and Richards, yet neither started vs Portland in the most crucial match of the season. Fact: The Caps have not scored on a corner kick in the past 7 months.
      Oh, and please don’t confuse soccer blogs with PR agencies…they’re not the same thing.

      • One final fact – The whitecaps have scored 13 pts since the July 7th changes by Rennie – exactly equal to TFC. The white caps have been the worst team in the MLS since game 17. Rennies has simaltaneously “led and completely destroyed” a team on its way to the playoffs.

        AM i happy about being in the playoffs – Yes after last years humiliation it was the only way to balance out the two seasons.

        If you asked me which fans feel more enthusiastic about where their team in this year and where its going next year Montreal or Vancouver …Montreal is the easy answer.

        It should be noted that in Rennies recent year at the Railhawks his team collapsed heading into the playoffs – sound familiar?

  4. Sorry but i totally disagree with your assessment. Leaving Mattocks out of that game and the RSL game is the best thing to do for the team going into the playoffs. Why you might ask, he’s such a great player who can jump high and run fast. Well cool fact, soccer gives no extra points to athletic accomplishments. But he scores you might retort. Sure he does sometimes, but he’s more likely to pick up a yellow card or a straight red. MLS suspends players after they have accrued 5,8,11 cards and so on. Mattocks has 7 yellows and 2 reds. Maybe your sense of priority sees it as more important to parade him into a game with little bearing on the season, but for me i’d rather keep him eligible for the playoff game. And yes the Portland game had little had little bearing on the season. Don’t believe me? The lost the game and still made the playoffs.

    The reason that Davidson isn’t playing is simply that he’s not able to create anything. That’s not acceptable for that position. Rochat might not be the ideal player, but at least he has the ability to do something with the ball at his feet other then a Pete Vagenas Special, the 15 foot pass back.

    You’re hyperbole continues throughout the post. “The lack of pride and quality in the Vancouver Whitecaps organization from all levels of the club is truly disappointing.” Do you include the youth sides in your blanket statement about the club? Simple research would have turned up the fact that the U-18 team made the finals of Academy Finals. Pure luck though right? No quality there at all.

    Did this season go as well as it could have? Hell no, few people would argue that, and I certainly wouldn’t be one of them. Miller and Robson have not lived up to expectations. It certainly doesn’t help that many view them as the guys who replaced fan favorites Hassli and Davide. Ignoring how limited the success of our alumni players were, they were extremely popular in the community and being viewed as their replacements is never going to be easy.

    Speaking of DP and how awful ours are compared the the LAG, you might be want to look at the history of DP around the league. You’ve picked out 3 of the most successful DPs ever in terms of on the field performances. Those 3 are also some of the most expensive DPs ever. Should the VWC just throw money at players hoping something will stick? Ask a NYRB fan about Rafa Marquez, LAG about Juan Pablo Angel.

    To say our football team is third in quality to the Timbers and Sounders is perhaps the most laughable of all of your statements. Timbers would trade their season with ours in a minute. The Sounders on the other hand are the class of the league, perhaps not in terms of results, but certainly in terms of overall club performance and health.

    The WC were founded on the idea that the foundation of the team would be build around players brought up through the residency and youth programs. Between youth players taking time to mature, and the need to correct past and current mistakes, I suspect it will take up to 3 years for the WC to truly hit their stride. In the mean time maybe padded pants would be a good idea, a bit of cushioning to protect your ass as you jump on and off the bandwagon.

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