If ever a team needed a relatively uneventful 2-0 home win then it was this Vancouver Whitecaps side.
And fortunately that’s exactly what they got as they overcame a slumbering start to the game against Real Salt Lake to notch two first half goals and ease some of the anxiety that has been surrounding the team of late.
It helped that both goals were of distinct quality with first Bolaños and Laba linking up to allow the latter to send in the kind of low cross that defenders hate and the defenders certainly hated this one as the ball caromed over a couple of them before hitting Justen Glad and ending up in the back of his own net.
The second goal was a thunderbolt from Cristian Techera from outside the box and perhaps the most important thing about both strikes may prove to be that they dissuade the Whitecaps from trying the kind of hopeful over the top ball which has spelled the death knell of many an attack in recent weeks.
Whether Carl Robinson told his team to kill the game off in the second half is a moot point because that’s exactly what happened with only the occasional brief flurry around the penalty area to really trouble David Ousted in goal and there will no doubt be huge sighs of relief that the seemingly elusive clean sheet was finally attained.
There are interesting questions to be asked about the lineup though.
A forward four of Bolaños, Mezquida, Techera and the returning Kudo had the potential to offer the kind of movement and interplay that has been lacking for much of the season.
That wasn’t always evident on Wednesday evening but there were enough glimpses of it to make it an intriguing possibility in the future.
But where does that leave Pedro Morales who was on the bench for this game? Playing deep alongside Matias Laba probably, but Laba had his best game of the season alongside Andrew Jacobson so no doubt the coach will be reluctant to change that particular pairing.
The relative defensive solidity also poses questions about how new signing David Edgar will fit in. In central defence no doubt but does that mean that Tim Parker moves to the right back slot? He can certainly play there but that’s not a long term solution that suits Parker in any way at all.
That’s all for the future though (or Saturday as we also call it) because for now the Whitecaps can justifiably feel the satisfaction of a job well done.
They weren’t great against Real Salt Lake but they were good enough and that’s about all that many fans have been asking for of late.
Time for the Soccer Shorts Player Ratings
Ousted-7, Smith-5, Waston-6, Parker-6, Harvey-6, Laba-7*, Jacobson-6, Bolaños-6, Techera-6, Mezquida-6, Kudo-6 (de Jong-5)