Whitecaps grind out bore draw in Chicago

July 30, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Posted in Whitecaps season 2014 | 3 Comments

One thing that I have noticed in Major League Soccer is that televised games on the road are a lot more boring than when you attend live matches. While the English Premiership looks great on television, MLS is often dull. I suppose it is part poorer production values and part poorer football.

Today’s game was a case in point. Although I am sure the weather in Chicago is stultifyingly hot and humid, todays Whitecaps-Fire contest caused me to grind my teeth with a kind of bored frustration. There was no flow to the play and precious little skill on display to keep me interested. In fact, there was nothing really to write about in this match, which ended in a 0-0 draw.

I suppose I should be fair and say that even games in top European leagues can turn into essentially physical contests where each team cancels out the other team’s creativity. Even top teams run out of ideas and scoreless draws result.

Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson started the same team that tallied 30 goal attempts last Sunday at BC Place against Dallas. This time around the Whitecaps were toothless up front, however, creating only two shots on goal. Darren Mattocks and Eric Hurtado ran around like chickens with their heads cut off. Consequently the great passing talents of Pedro Morales were squandered by the inability of either striker to make any intelligent or well timed runs. The Whitecaps struggled to move the ball quickly on what was a slow, dry pitch.

Mattocks and Hurtado both seem to want the perfect ball in front of them so they can get a breakaway on goal. They have to start using their brains to break down well organized defences. Football is a game of guile and intelligence, and neither player seems to have much of either. Teibert, Manneh and Salgado were brought in as subsitutes but none of them really added a new dimension or really looked like scoring or creating a goal.

I can only reiterate my sorrow at the loss of Camilo, who had footballing guile and intelligence in spades. Can you imagine the damage Morales and Camilo would do together? I have no doubt the Whitecaps would be fighting at the top of the Western Conference if we had kept the Wee Brazilian. Camilo’s loss will haunt the Vancouver Whitecaps for a long time, I fear.

The tie gave the Whitecaps a road point, which is almost always a good thing, but the number of points the Whitecaps have thrown away has put them in a nasty dogfight with Real Salt Lake, Colorado, Dallas and Portland for a playoff spot. The LA Galaxy are the hottest team in MLS, and I don’t see the Whitecaps beating either them or Seattle on points by season’s end.

The results cry out for some new talent. We need a few experienced men who know how to think intelligently in football terms rather than just being able to run quickly. Lets hope the team makes some moves soon to help in what will be a titanic struggle for a playoff spot.

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3 Comments »

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  1. Well said. All we hear about Mattocks and Hurtado is their speed. Unless it comes with some technical skill and soccer intelligence they will continue to be ineffective against professional defending. .

  2. My concern with this squad is three things:
    1. We need another centre back, I think Leveron can do the job, but I get a little worried about Mitchell and a bit of his rogue antics out there. He’s still just a bit rough around the edges and needs some grooming from the experienced CB we bring in. Heck, while we have the guy, why not use AOB?? After Mitchell’s blunder on the weekend, that should have been his chance to get back in.
    2. Pedro Morales is the best thing to happen to this club. He bring class, skill, leadership and everything you want in a footballer. We need to provide him with something to work with in the form of a striker. I am ok to have patience with the young boys, but it’s evident they are not ready. Getting an experience target man for the 4-2-3-1 system they want to play is a must. I would hate for Pedro to run screaming from town when he grows crazy with the lack of support.
    3. Lastly, we have so much salary sitting on the bench for what? Why have AOB, Reo-Coker, even Alderson making a pretty penny for nothing?? We could move all these players on quite easily, I am sure and get pieces in we are wanting to use. By my calculation we are paying these three $750,000? That’s a big chunk against the cap that could be better utilized.

  3. Salgado..no soccer skill
    Hurtado ….speed no soccer skill with his feet
    Mattocks…speed can never score off a pass
    Manneh …he could be another camilo but he lacks confidence and is too easily pushed off the ball (camilo was a solid bugger who only ever was knocked down when he wanted to)

    None if these 4 will ever replace him…Caps need help.


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