Let’s get one thing straight.
The Vancouver Whitecaps were fairly terrible in the first half of their 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids at BC Place on Saturday evening.
Taking a fourth minute lead against the worst road team in Major League Soccer should have been an invitation to build on that goal and then coast through the rest of the game and thus save legs and minds for the Wednesday trip to Seattle.
Instead the Whitecaps decided the best option was to immediately concede possession and hang on for dear life in the hope that the visitors wouldn’t be able to breach their defence.
But they did.
And what should have been a comfortable game of football was transposed into an edgy encounter for those both on and off the pitch.
We all know that Carl Robinson likes to play the game in a certain kind of way but there are times when the fine line between tactical pragmatism and tactical pusillanimity become somewhat blurred.
And the first half of the game against Colorado was one of those times.
Thankfully Vancouver were a little better in the second half but still failed to increase their tally once Jordy Reyna had restored the lead in the fifty-fourth minute and we were subjected to watching Colorado lump high balls into the box for much of the rest of the time.
Yet for all the underwhelming nature of the victory the Whitecaps now sit four points clear at the top of the Western Conference and the much coveted home playoff game seems to be a more likely occurrence than not.
Watching this team one can’t help but be reminded of Mary Kay Ash’s famous quote about the humble bumble bee
“Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.”
I mean, logically this team shouldn’t be able to win so many games, but they don’t seem to know that and so they go on winning them anyway.
Anything else we can take from the match?
Well, Fredy Montero and Jordy Reyna are clearly vital to any success since they provided the only attacking threats of any note with both goals set up by sublime assists.
Brek Shea is still yet to prove he is deserving of a regular first team place.
Nerwinski and de Jong both offered something going forward, although probably not as much as they either could or should have done given the opposition they were facing.
And just maybe Tim Parker isn’t captain material? He got the nod again given the absence of Kendall Waston but he was badly at fault for the Colorado goal and on a number of occasions took options that were atypical of the way he normally plays the game.
That might just be the result of not having the comfort of Waston alongside him, but it may also be that the burden of captaincy clouds his mind rather than clears it.
It’s now on to two tough games in Seattle and Kansas this week and they will go a long way to deciding which of the top four playoff spot the Whitecaps are really battling for.
But don’t bet against this team continuing to fly no matter what the science may tell you.
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings.
Ousted-6, Nerwinski-6, de Jong-6, Parker-5, Jacobson-6, Ghazal-6.5, Tchani-5.5, Techera, Shea-5.5, Reyna- 7*, Montero-6.5