Techera rocket lights up miserable match

July 14, 2016 at 9:52 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver Whitecaps 2016, Whitecaps Season 2016 | 1 Comment
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The fare that Major League Soccer serves up in its midweek matches is pretty lukewarm stuff.  The participating clubs have usually played on the weekend previous and often have to play the weekend after.  The tendency is to play reserves and give stars a rest, at least for most of the match.

Such was the case at BC Place on Wednesday night, where the match was so boring it felt like an inter-squad game or a reserves match.  The second half was so dull that conversation with neighbouring fans was more riveting than the game itself.

Real Salt Lake played only a few known players and filled its game day roster with reserves.  Whitecaps coach Robbo fielded a weakened line up with Kekuta Manneh unplayable due to an ankle injury and Pedro Morales on the bench nursing his tender calves.  Morales would feature later on in the match.

It was mostly first team on defence, however, as Ousted guarded the net with Harvey, Parker, Waston and Smith in front of him.  Laba and Jacobsen played defensive midfield with Bolanos, Mezquida and Techera ahead of them.  On a happy note, Masato Kudo made his comeback from a dreadful jaw injury against the Chicago Fire a month or so ago as our lone striker.

Bolanos was our best player in the first half, and it was he who unlocked the RSL defence with a deft pass to Laba, who had made a rare well-timed foray into the offensive third of the pitch.  Laba brought the ball towards the goal line and crossed a vicious low cross in front of RSL’s net.  Two RSL defenders fought Kudo and Techera for the ball. One of the RSL defenders got to the ball first, but kicked the ball off of his own man into the net.  It was 1-0 with an own goal.  It just served to prove how goals come from putting opposing defenders under intense pressure.

Bolanos was also involved in the second goal when an RSL defender cleared the ball out of his own end with a poor effort that Bolanos brought down into the path of a Charging Techera who lashed the ball on the half volley from 30 yards towards RSL’s goal.  RSL keeper Antinella moved towards the ball but could not stop it from crashing into the top corner of the net.  Techera’s goal was a sumptuous feast in what was a match starved of flair.  It was one of the finest goals we have seen at BC Place since another little fellow called Camilo played there.

It was 2-0 at the half and a poor RSL team looked hardly capable of coming back.  They had some good opportunities in the first half but skied their efforts over the bar.  Ousted had to make a point blank save which looked more impressive than it was.  The header was weak and Ousted hammed it up a bit, which some goalkeepers tend to do!

A prominent pair of fellows called Morales (Pedro and Javier) made appearances for their respective teams but too late to really get going.

We got a look at new signing Marcel de Jong, a Canadian international who came to us from Ottawa FC of the NASL.  Robbo played him on the left side of midfield. De Jong’s touch and fitness were way off, which was a bit of a disappointment.  He clearly needs to work on his fitness and mental alertness. He gave the ball away in our own defensive third in an embarrassing way, and even De Jong himself could be seen wincing at how bad it was.  The Whitecaps fitness coaches have some real work to do with him.

The Whitecaps did their best to chuck the win away again by retreating into a defensive shell, but luckily RSL rang a late effort off of the crossbar and Ousted was able to enjoy a clean sheet for the first time in a while.

Perhaps MLS should revisit these mid-week games, which are almost always inferior to those played on the weekends.  With the restrictive salary cap MLS limits its teams to, squad players are not really worth watching when starters are rested.


1 Comment »

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  1. You are right. It was a poor game. Not worth a quarter of the price of admission.

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