Vancouver Whitecaps and Eternal Recurrence

When my soul and spirit finally slip clear of this all too fragile bundle of flesh and bone and descend into the fiery pits of Hell, I’m confident that one of the main torments The Dark Lord has prepared for me will be to watch the Vancouver Whitecaps fail to beat the Philadelphia Union at BC Place over and over again.

But the joke will be on him because that is exactly what I have been doing since the Whitecaps joined Major League Soccer.

Or at least it feels that way.

A competent team arrives from the East Coast, sets up shop not to lose and the Whitecaps are all too happy to oblige.

Marc Dos Santos is totally within his rights to complain about the travel schedule his team is forced to face, but the inability to beat (or even impose themselves) on a side who face an equally debilitating flight is the very best way to kill of any hopes of a playoff place.

But are there any playoff hopes anyway?

This current squad certainly isn’t good enough for that, with the defence being the only area that can be assessed with any degree of satisfaction.

But the midfield and attack are far short of what is needed.

Hwang In-Beom stayed mysteriously deep on Saturday afternoon and he has still to solve the problem of playing against a side as physical as the Union.

And Russell Teibert unlocked a personal achievement by bearing down on goal, seeing the whites of the goalkeepers eyes and still managing to somehow pass the ball backwards.

This feels copied and pasted from every other game Vancouver have played, but they have to figure out a way to regularly get midfielders into dangerous positions when playing at home. And they have to have midfielders who can take advantage of those dangerous positions.

Up front Yordy Reyna was once again the standout player, but PC and Venuto showed that they are what they are; too direct and too lacking in guile to unlock a well martialed defence.

And Joaquin Ardaiz wasted another opportunity to impress, highlighted by him swinging and missing at a cross that was just begging to be hammered high into the net.

So no chance for the playoffs?

There will no doubt be additions come the summer and those additions may well be enough to turn this team into one more capable of bringing to life Dos Santos’ footballing philosophy.

But the job right now is to try and pick up enough points to make that hoped for improvement enough to squeeze into the top seven.

Not being able to beat the Philadelphia Union at home isn’t the way to go about that task.

Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings.

Crepeau-6, Nerwinski-6,  Godoy-6, Henry-6.5*, Ardnan-5.5, Erice-5.5, In-Beom-5, Teibert-5, PC-5, Venuto-5.5, Reyna-6 (Ardaiz-4)


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