From last night but now with additional meanderings.
Who knows why Director of Recruitment Nikos Overheul really left the Vancouver Whitecaps this week?
Well, quite a few people know obviously, but not the fans of the club who were left to wonder, once again, if there was anybody really steering the good ship Whitecap.
Maybe Overheul has been offered a better job? Maybe he’s tired of seeing the players he’s signed being played in unfamiliar positions? Maybe he grew weary of recruiting for one system of play and discovering that the coach had moved on to another? Maybe he’s just going to Goa to find inner peace?
Laborda at right back is text book Sartini. Take a player and try to make him fit into a role he isn’t used to. See the myriad wing backs from last season for further reference.
Whatever the reason he will no doubt have been watching his former team struggle to a 1-1 tie in Minnesota on Saturday evening.
To be fair to the Whitecaps they were missing two players to international duty. But, to be fair to Minnesota, they were missing eight players to international duty and featured more debutantes than a BBC adaptation of a Jane Austen novel.
Given the above a 1-1 tie is a pretty poor result. But the nature of it (a ninety-eighth minute equalizer when only six minutes of stoppage time were called for) will probably be enough to stave off the wolves that have been surrounding Vanni Sartini of late.
Whether that turns out be a blessing or a curse in the long run is a matter for debate but all the old failings were still there for this Vancouver team.
Decent possession at times, but a lack of both confidence and guile as soon as the ball got near to the opposition penalty area. An over reliance on set-pieces when it came to threatening the opposition goa and the inability to defend crosses.
Schopff seems to be going under the radar both in terms of his overall play and the avoidance of criticism. The midfield is better this season but rarely does he catch the eye or arrive in the box at the right time as he was predicted to do when signed.
Pedro Vite made a difference when he came on because, unlike Dajome, he has a vague notion of the right pass to play at the right time and Simon Becher once again showed more quality (and kicked the ball into the net!) than many more of his more highly paid colleagues.
It was Vite’s promotion to regular first team starts that gave the Whitecaps a glimmer of the playoffs last year. Why he’s not preferred over Dajome (who isn’t a number ten and who kills attacks with his inability to find the final pass) is a mystery.
It’s impossible for Becher to keep up this scoring rate of course but he has undeniably earned more minutes and already looks a better option than the erstwhile Cordova.
The optimist may think that two road ties in LA and Minnesota is a pretty good foundation for the Whitecaps to build on during the upcoming home stand.
The regular Whitecaps watcher knows that the world doesn’t work like that.
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings!
Takaoka-5, Laborda-4.5, Raposo-4, Veselinovic-5, Blackmon-5, Berhalter-4.5, Schopff-3.5, Gressel-5, Gauld-4, Dajome-3, White-5 (Vite-5.5*, Becher-5.5, Ahmed-4)