If, at the start of the season, we had been told that Felipe and Jordon Mutch were penciled in to start a crucial home game in October we would no doubt think to ourselves “Hmm, they must have had good seasons”.
How wrong we would be!
The Whitecaps lost 4-1 to Sporting Kansas City at BC Place on Wednesday evening in a game that began with promise and ended as (yet another) neat summary of how terrible this season has been.
Not least among the issues was the number of players called up to international duty and also not least among the issues is that Vancouver have assembled a squad of some impressive depth (on paper at least) in which an astonishing number of players have barely kicked a ball in anger in the second half of the season.
Also not least among the issues is that they can’t keep a clean sheet even if their lives depended upon it. An issue that was beautifully highlighted by both central defenders, Aja and Maund, being shrugged aside by Kansas forwards as though they barely existed to give away two of the goals.
Also not least among the issues is that the best Vancouver player on the field is incapable of completing ninety minutes.
Brett Levis had a great game making challenge after interception after challenge but his obligatory onset of cramp in the last fifteen minutes forced Craig Dalrymple to make a final change at left back when energy up front was sorely needed.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for Dalrymple.
In the first half he got his side playing decent, even intelligent, football and if the odd chance here and there had been taken then perhaps the story would be a different one?
But in retrospect it simply felt as though the cannier Kansas were just waiting for the Whitecaps to tire before putting them to the sword.
Maybe it’s a shame that the relevance of season won’t be extended to one more game at least but really (and we all know this deep in our hearts) it doesn’t deserve to be extended.
If it were a dog this season would have been put out of its misery a good few weeks ago (or quarantined for suspected rabies sometime around May) so this quick ending is for the best.
All we can do now is look forward to the exciting new puppy that will be the 2019 season (while hoping more than a few of this squad get sent to the metaphorical farm to keep them out of harm’s way).
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings.
Marinovic-5.5, Nerwinski-5.5, Levis-6*, Aja-3, Maund- 4.5, Mutch-5, Felipe-5.5, Shea-2, Mezquida-5.5, Hurtado-4, Kamara-5