So I was sitting in a Vancouver coffee shop on a Sunday morning a few weeks ago when I noticed a cop car pull up and park outside the door.
After about five minutes of waiting the uniformed policeman got out of the car, walked into the coffee shop and (Without checking or glancing at any other customer) came directly up to my table and said
“Excuse me. Are you Mister Collier by any chance?”
“No” (Because I wasn’t).
And then he simply turned and walked out of the coffee shop (Again, without glancing at any other customer or table) got into his car and drove immediately away.
It made no sense.
You know what else didn’t make any sense?
The Vancouver Whitecaps 4-2 (5-4 on aggregate) defeat to the Montreal Impact in the Canadian Championship on Tuesday evening.
The Whitecaps were mostly terrible, gave away two rightly called penalty kicks, were 3-0 down at half time and yet somehow managed to make the last ten minutes tense for Montreal given the vicissitudes of the away goals rule.
Ultimately Vancouver were undone by the Impact fielding a far stronger team than the Whitecaps had done in either leg so best to avoid the pointless tactical analysis in such a situation and see if we can’t glean a few bullet points of truth from a game of scattershot passing and shooting.
Brek Shea failed to impress in his preferred wide role- If this was an audition for Shea to be moved from the bench or the central striker position then he didn’t fare well. He rarely influenced the game and posed little or no threat to the Montreal defence.
Kyle Greig could do a job for the first team- Not much of a job to be fair because he lacks the pace and touch of a top class forward. But in the closing minutes he not only scored with a well taken header but looked dangerous every time the ball came into the box in the air.
In certain game situations and with the right service he could well be a useful option off the bench.
Russell Teibert is still a very limited player- We knew this already I suppose but the Canadian offered no attacking threat in a game when his team desperately needed something from the midfield. At least Ben McKendry displayed a degree of neatness about his passing in the central area.
Jake Nerwinski continues to impress- Nobody fared well in the Whitecaps back line but at least Nerwinski (And de Jong to a lesser extent) offered something going forward.
Mauro Rosales is no longer a starter– He probably won’t be anyway now that the Canadian Championship is done but Rosales looked gassed well before he was removed.
He could well go on to be a great coaching asset for the team, but his days of influencing the game from on the field look to be over.
Best if you tell him that to his face though and not me.
Carl Robinson can take some solace and some distress from the game- Solace because his team kept battling to the end and even came away with some credit when it could so easily have been a good old fashioned hammering.
Distress because all his eggs are now in the league table basket and that means making the playoffs (And only making the playoffs) will be good enough by season end.
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings.
Richey-5.5, Nerwinski-6*, Parker-5.5, Seiler-5, de Jong-6, Teibert-5, McKendry-5.5-Mezquida-5, Shea-4.5, Rosales-5, Greig-5.5 (Davies-6)