Fair warning to you all that I watched the majority of the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-2 win over the LA Galaxy on my phone while waiting to board a flight to the UK so the insights contained within will be those of a man both jet lagged and uninformed.
Maybe that’s the magic bullet I’ve been looking for?
Whatever the case I won’t allow being in England to influence my perspective in any way but cor blimey guvnor it weren’t half smashing to use me old apple pies to have a gander at them there fellas using their plates of meat so well.
Anyway, what did we learn?
Carl Robinson proves his critics right- One possible reading of the game is that the coach had been right all along with the formation he was playing, it just needed time to bed in.
The other, less charitable, reading is that everybody else was right all along and that the team needed to play in a far more proactive manner (especially at home).
This was certainly helped by the Galaxy’s strange compulsion to make the game as open as possible but even so the Whitecaps actually got men forward from the midfield and perhaps the most unexpected consequence of the Tony Tchani signing is that he allowed Matias Laba to get forward rather than the other way around.
It’s ludicrously early to be making any kind of relevant assessments but if Laba suddenly finds the will and the way to get into the opposition penalty area on a regular basis then that’s nothing but good news.
Selection headaches ahoy!– Brek Shea’s suspension gave Cristian Techera the chance to start a game and boy did he take that chance.
Techera hasn’t looked that good since he first arrived in Vancouver and it was a reminder of just how effective he can be as an attacking presence.
Maybe the Manneh trade has either invigorated or terrified the Uruguayan (nobody wants to wake up to find themselves on a plane to Columbus) but whatever the cause Techera should have moved ahead of Shea in the starting eleven reckoning after Saturday.
Shea will undoubtedly start against Tigres on Wednesday and so he has a chance to make a counter-claim but if Robinson doesn’t reward Techera with more minutes then we may well be back to the unmotivated bug of yester season.
There are still issues- Of course there are; one win does not make a summer after all.
In the first half the Whitecaps all but lost their way after the non-call on the Davies PK decision and the first LA goal and, after a very bright start, were somewhat grateful to get back into the locker room just one goal to the bad.
That hints at the still lingering suspicion of a soft underbelly at the heart of the team (Why is the underbelly near the heart anyway? They need medical help stat!) but hopefully that particular flaw will be partially remedied by the memory of achieving a come from behind win in such thrilling fashion.
Erik Hurtado’s attempt at a “Beckham”- We must never speak of this again.
Time for the (belated) Soccer Shorts player ratings.
Ousted- 5.5, Williams-6.5, harvey-6, Waston-6, Parker-6, Laba-7, Jacobson-6.5, Davies-6.5, Techera-7.5*, Bolaños-6.5, Hurtado- 5.5 (Montero-6)