Whitecaps disappoint in San Jose lossAugust 13, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps | 1 Comment
The mandate was clear for the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place: in order to stay in serious playoff contention they must beat San Jose. Having fallen to seventh place and with Seattle and San Jose surging, They had to win to keep pace. Instead, they fell further behind, losing 2-1 in a match in which they performed very poorly. It was one of those nights that made you cringe over and over again.
It was a sad effort the Whitecaps put on display for the BC Place faithful.
New boys David Edgar and Nigel De Jong lined up in our defensive line alongside Parker and Waston. It was to prove another leaky night as two more goals were conceded. Coach Carl Robinson’s ceaseless experimentation continued as De Jong played so high up the pitch the Whitecaps looked like they were playing three at the back with Waston and Parker playing on the outside of Edgar. The sight of Waston playing as a full back came as a bit of a shock to all of us!
Robbo’s dance with Pedro Morales continued as Morales was moved back alongside Mathias Laba in a more defensive position, playing passes from a deep position. Morales was so far back at times he looked like a sweeper.
Giles Barnes got his first look at a competitive home match starting on the left side next to Mezquida, with Bolanos playing on the right flank. Masato Kudo was up front.
The sad fact about this match was the lack of enjoyment the players showed. The lack of harmony and the poor team play made the Whitecaps look like a team of guys who don’t like each other. This is astonishing since last year the Whitecaps seemed to be playing just to have fun with each other but were getting some great results. It looks like all of the fun left with the players who left the team in the off season.
Those players that have come in to Vancouver most recently have been underwhelming to say the least. De Jong, Edgar and Barnes distinguished themselves only through their mediocrity. The fact the Whitecaps have brought in some very average players only seems to have demoralized the players in the Whitecaps squad, who must have been hoping for better.
Whoever it was that thought Giles Barnes was going to help matters must have had a red face after last night’s performance. Barnes looked strictly like a meat and potatoes kind of player. I suppose there is a reason Houston is in the basement of the West; it is quite possibly the play of Barnes.
The fact is the players who came into the squad since last year have nowhere near replaced the quality we lost in the off-season. No wonder Pedro Morales looks depressed.
The Whitecaps conceded early with a point blank header off of a corner kick from Amarikwa. The odd thing about the goal is that Laba ducked and let the ball go over his head so Amarikwa could score. Ousted stopped the ball but then appears to have taken the ball with him over the goal line. Sad to say this was another grand gaffe by Ousted. It was a play made for the dreaded video replay, because the linesman didn’t see it and the referee was in no position to see it either. It was one of those MLS ref calls that has been going against us since day one in this league. It was not a goal going against the run of play because San Jose had hit the cross bar a minute earlier.
The Whitecaps began the second half brightly with some shots on goal, none of which really challenged Bingham in San Jose’s goal.
Laba’s troubles continued when he was beaten for the ball in midfield by Quintero. Quintero then fed Dawkins on the right flank. Dawkins was one-on-one with Parker, who gave the striker too much space and was easily beaten when Dawkins dragged the ball past him. Dawkins beat Ousted to the far corner and it was 2-0. Parker’s play was typical on this night when all of the Whitecaps players were second best to those of San Jose.
Laba was substituted and Aird was brought in. It was Robbo’s message to Laba that he had played very poorly.
Kudo had a very quiet night up front but just before he was substituted he found himself alone in front of the net due to a lucky bounce. He fumbled on the ball however, and was soon covered by a San Jose defender. Kudo chose to shoot rather than give the ball to Bolanos, who was wide open and in a better position to shoot. The opportunity fizzled out.
Substitutes Davies and Perez seemed to brighten the prospects for the Whitecaps briefly, and Perez hit the crossbar when he should have scored off of a perfect cross from Mezquida. Perez was all-alone but could not get the height to head the ball downwards.
Mezquida scored in extra time after a perfectly executed corner kick, but sadly it was the first thing the Whitecaps had done all night. It was too late to save this match.
By the time Nico scored, fully two-thirds of the crowd had called it a night. The emptiness of BC Place spoke volumes about how poorly the Whitecaps played on this night.
Though the Whitecaps are still mathematically in it to make the playoffs it is clear the team and its coaches have run out of ideas and inspiration. Robbo’s players, who played so hard for him last year, appear to have given up the ghost. None of the players is leading and those players that led last year have fallen silent.
It is a very sorry state of affairs.