Disaster in DC: Robbo’s worst game yetApril 11, 2016 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver Whitecaps 2016, Whitecaps Season 2016 | 1 Comment
Tags: Carl Robinson, DC United, Teitur Thordarson, Tommy Soehn, Vancouver Whitecaps
Poor Carl Robinson. So many of his preferred players were not available and so many of his squad players let him down in Washington DC.
Watching the Vancouver Whitecaps play away to DC United reminded me of the bad old days of 2011 when the expansion Whitecaps had fired Teitur Thordarson and had put Tommy Soehn in charge of the squad. Soehn thought he could get better out of the squad than Thordarson and brought in Peter Vagenas to give the team a “lift”. Squad players like Cameroon’s Alex Morfaw clunked along for the rest of the season and demonstrated that Soehn was wrong, one dreadful match after the next. If I recall correctly we suffered a number of 4-0 defeats that season.
Key Whitecaps players were not available for the DC game. Mathias Laba was serving a ridiculous ban imposed after a ridiculous red card against LA, and Pedro Morales, Nico Mezquida, Christian Bolanos and Octavio Rivero were all injured. Virtually all of our creative talent was unavailable.
Marco Bustos And Russell Teibert were both handed roles joining Andrew Jacobsen and Christian Techera in midfield. Robby started two strikers, Blas Perez and Masato Kudo, which was odd when we were always in tough for this away match. Starting another midfielder might have been the better option (if one could be found!).
Our starters were all available on defence, with Aird, Parker, Waston, and Harvey defending David Ousted’s goal.
Canadian talent did not do itself any favours in this match as Teibert and Bustos were both poor. Bustos reacted to his selection by promptly disappearing from the match. He was barely seen or heard of after the opening whistle until it was announced at half time that he was coming off so that Manneh could take his place. Teibert was also replaced by Kianz Froese after 60 minutes. Froese is a better player in my books, although Froese did not really change the game or add that much to it.
The Whitecaps midfield looked very unconvincing indeed with three shrimpy guys in our midfield attempting to cope with life in an MLS match. The towering Jacobsen stuck out like a sore thumb and really had little help from Teibert, Bustos and Techera who looked like little crabs scuttling across the beach looking for a rock to hide under.
Another guy who looked very unconvincing, not for the first time, was Kudo. The Japanese striker who enjoyed so much success in the J-League is a complete bust so far in MLS; he lacks strength, pace and footballing ideas. Is he this year’s Mustafa Jarju? I felt sorry for Perez, who put in a full shift and at least looked like a man out there, who must be asking himself if he made the right decision to come to Vancouver.
David Ousted made a number of key saves to keep the score at 0-0 but the DC United onslaught resulted in a goal on 38 minutes. Ousted saved a low shot from his right from close range and spilled the ball for Espindola to slot home. DC United had a lot of joy from Fraser Aird at the Whitecaps right back position, and the little man had a poor match generally, being caught out of position too often.
Eight minutes into the second half the Whitecaps conceded again when defender Parker was beaten to a far post corner kick by Bernbaum who headed on to the bar. Espindola tapped home the rebound from close range. Parker did not look good on the play, misjudging the trajectory of the ball and allowing the DC United player to leap over him and win the header cleanly.
Erik Hurtado came on for Perez after 67 minutes and provided some spark. He hit the post on one chance and swung and missed the ball when presented with the second chance. Had he scored on either it could have sparked a rally, but it was not to be. The only good news of this match was that Manneh looked sharp, created Hurtado’s chances, and did not hobble off injured.
The Whitecaps completely collapsed late on in the match having sent men forward, allowing United’s Saborit to score an easy late brace.
It was always going to be a tough match but I would have expected the squad players to do a better job and seize their chance to impress. Poor Robbo must have felt very let down by his team. This is the third match this season where the players have not been mentally present, and all of the fun and positivity from last year seems to have evaporated.
The Robbo honeymoon looks to be over and some harsh words will need to be spoken and some tough decisions made with respect to the squad to shake this team and wake it up.