Davidson error costs Whitecaps three points against Philadelphia

July 31, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2013 | 4 Comments
Sebby Le Toux: returned to beat us

Sebby Le Toux: returned to beat us

Sorry I am a bit late with my report but my modem died on me!  

There has been a great deal made of “fortress BC Place” this season, but the run of games without a defeat there is over after the Philadelphia Union got the break they needed to beat the Whitecaps 1-0 last Saturday.  

Jun Marques Davidson has been a pretty cool cucumber in his time here.  Davidson is the Whitecaps first defender, protecting the back four with his keen ability to stop or delay opponent’s attacks.  He wins the ball and then quickly turns it over to other players who launch attacks for the Whitecaps.  

Davidson was tackled (kicked, actually) by the Union’s Keon Daniel, proceeded to lose his temper, and head-butted Daniel right in front of card-happy referee Baldomero “Superstar” Toledo.  It was a critical error that lost us three points on the night. 

Why do I say three points?  Because the Union played a typically lazy, unambitious game that we tend to see from Eastern Conference opponents playing on the road.  One would expect a team that is one man up with more than eighty minutes left in the match to run their opponents ragged, but the Whitecaps out worked and out played the Union. The lion’s share of quality chances in this match fell to the Vancouver Whitecaps. It was only through a lack of luck (and, it has to be said, finesse) that we did not win this match. Kenny Miller had no less than three chances in the first half alone before he fell injured early in the second half, and Russell Teibert, YP Lee, Camilo and Kekuta Manneh all had quality chances to score but failed to do so.  The only conclusion which seems logical to me is that we would have won this match handily had we been playing with eleven men.

It looks good; but it was well wide...

It looks good; but it was well wide…

To add to the bad luck, centre back Brad Rusin was injured and had to leave the pitch late in the match. It was a terrible loss for the team because Rusin had defended very well indeed with his partner Johnny Leveron. We looked solid for a scoreless draw with perhaps a chance to win it had Rusin stayed on the pitch. Rusin’s substitute was Carlyle Mitchell, who came in cold just as the Whitecaps were tiring and under heavy pressure. Mitchell was on the pitch for barely three minutes before the Whitecaps conceded the losing goal. Mitchell left his feet trying to intercept a pass, coughed up the ball, and lay prone on the ground as the Union waltzed straight past him down the middle of the park to score. The first principle of defending is not to leave your feet unless you absolutely have to. Mitchell broke this rule and took himself out of the play. It was atrocious defending, and only brought home the damage that our injury crisis in the centre back position has caused us this season. How many points have we lost this season due to the absence of Jay DeMerit and Andy O’Brien? I count at least six, which, in the competitive Western conference of the MLS, could mean the difference between a playoff spot and going out early.

Brad Knighton had a few shaky moments on the night which suggest he is not coping well with the pressure on him. He nearly gave up the ball a couple of times when playing it with his feet. He was brave coming out for crosses however, and did make some good saves. Only Coach Rennie knows who will start in Portland this weekend between Knighton and David Ousted, but changing the goalkeeper is a major change to a team and would be a big risk. I think Knighton’s performance was neutral, and he did not make any major mistakes which would mean he should lose his spot. He probably deserves the start in Portland. On the other hand, Rennie might give Ousted the chance to be a hero and prove himself in a match which will be very difficult with two suspended starting midfielders (Koffee and Davidson) and yet another centre back doubtful due to injury (Rusin).

Even the great YP Lee squandered his chance

Even the great YP Lee squandered his chance

One of the most inspiring aspects of the night was how the fans responded to get behind the team after Philadelphia scored their goal. While the game was a loss, it proved how strong our team is, because there was no real difference between the teams after we went a man down, and the Whitecaps fought like lions for the whole match. Even better, they tried to win the game in spite of being down a man. We have to give credit to Martin Rennie for that, and be thankful for the players for giving so much. In the end, however, it was Davidson’s indiscretion and Rusin’s injury which proved to be the Whitecaps undoing.

Manneh hit the post...

Manneh hit the post…

The loss put the Whitecaps back in fifth place, with the sixth placed Dallas even on points. Errors like those made by Davidson and Mitchell in this match could mean the difference between making the playoffs or not over this season. Rennie had better instil some discipline in the squad going forward so no similar mistakes are made in future matches. The upcoming match in Portland will be very important, because it will be a three game losing skid should the Whitecaps lose. With a depleted line up due to suspensions, and players carrying injuries, it will be very difficult to get a positive result.

Under these circumstances perhaps rolling the dice with David Ousted might be a worthwhile gamble…

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4 Comments »

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  1. Davidson has started his last game as a whitecap.

    • for as we all know, losing your temper once means that you are completely useless in every conceivable way.

      • Actually this was just the last straw in a series of uselessness from him all season. I have lost count of the “davidson was the goat on that goal” comments from the commentators over the past year…if you have talent then a temper can be forgiven..in his case ..he sits

      • name seven.


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