Chivas chill runs through Whitecaps

August 18, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Posted in Whitecaps season 2014 | 1 Comment
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Why is the worst team in the Western Conference of Major league Soccer the Vancouver Whitecaps bogey team? If Chivas racked up points against other teams in MLS like they do against the Whitecaps, they would be at the top of the league.

Saturday night’s match in the Stub Hub centre was played before a virtually empty stadium. Only Chivas USA’s most hardcore fans are now showing up, due to the upteenth season of bad football and the imminent disappearance of the club, no doubt. MLS has put the team up for sale so that a new owner can step up. The new owner must have a plan to build a new stadium in Los Angeles to put the club, which will be re-branded. I am hoping, probably in vain, for a re-emergence of the LA Aztecs.

Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson chose to rest the perennially slightly injured Pedro Morales and put Nico Mezquida in for him. Russell Teibert deputized for Gershon Koffie, (who has an ankle problem), and also put the captain’s armband on. The same back line as last match, consisting of Harvey, O’Brien, Leveron and Beitashour put in another solid performance in front of David Ousted for the team’s third clean sheet in a row.

Sadly, the Whitecaps were a disappointment up front. Darren Mattocks had Omar Salgado on his left side and Seba Fernandez on his right, with Mezquida playing behind Mattocks. It was a tree that bore no fruit however, and the match ended in a 0-0 tie. Robinson tried three changes to mix up the team’s offence, bringing Hurtado in for and an injured mattocks at the half, Manneh on for Salgado after 60 minutes, and Morales on for Mezquida on 70 minutes.

Morales looked the most likely to make something happen, and had a couple of shots at goal that went well wide. Though he hit the net with a free kick straight at the Chivas keeper Kennedy, Morales’ shooting has been particularly bad of late. It is too early to say he couldn’t hit the water from the end of the pier, but my God I hope he chooses to pass rather than shoot more often in the future.

Omar Salgado came off in a huff again when he was substituted in the second half. He refused to shake hands with coach Robinson and the rest of the coaching staff. After all the patience the club has shown him over four years, Salgado’s attitude is unforgivable. The young striker has given the Whitecaps exactly one goal in the four years he has been contracted to the club in MLS play. Salgado should have a look at what Darlinton Nagbe, the fellow who was picked behind him in the MLS super draft, has accomplished at the Portland Timbers. Nagbe has 17 goals and 12 assists there. Salgado has had terrible injury troubles, but his form on Saturday night and in the other matches he has played in has been poor. It is not as if he was setting the world on fire out there against Chivas. Far from it, he had two chances and failed to score on both occasions. Salgado needs a big reality check, and I hope Robinson sends him back down to Charleston.

Another young would-be star who failed to perform is Kekuta Manneh. After setting the world on fire during the second half of last season Manneh has failed to show any form or consistency whatsoever in 2014. Manneh also appears to be sulking but in a more quiet way than Salgado. How did we end up with such a bunch of sulky players who think they are better than their performances demonstrate?

What the Whitecaps need is more men, and less sulky boys. The Whitecaps are trying to develop a group of young players in the hope that they will develop together into a competitive team. Coach Robinson seems to be faltering in terms of strategy, and his youngsters are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. They do not seem to be following any kind of plan or strategy. Young players need to play within a strong and well defined structure in order to succeed. Manneh in particular seems to be in his own world, failing to connect in any way with his teammates. Salgado, Manneh, Mattocks and Hurtado seem to be more interested in their own glory than in the team’s success.

I have no idea why Robinson made Russell Teibert captain. Andy O’Brien would have been the better choice. Teibert ran around like a crab having very little positive impact on the match. If Teibert is the captain we are in trouble. I would trade him for Will Johnson in a second, (with lots of cash to boot). The Canadian has failed to find any kind of consistency at all in his four years here, but Robinson singled him out for praise as having an outstanding match. I failed to see what Robinson was talking about. Teibert worked hard in midfield, but where is the creativity or vision? The wee man has not recovered from being bumped off of the right wing by Seb Fernandez this year. His goal and assist production is well off of his 2013 levels.

Are the Whitecaps crap or are their young players just experiencing growing pains? They had better grow up this week or they will be soundly trounced by a strong and mature Los Angeles Galaxy side this coming Saturday in LA.

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  1. “What the Whitecaps need is more men, and less sulky boys. ” well said.


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