It’s easy to get carried away about the import of individual games, or even individual moments within those games.
But the late goal that consigned the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 1-0 defeat in Seattle on Saturday evening felt as though it were dripping with significance.
If the Whitecaps had held on for another road point they could well have looked back at the recent run of games with a degree of satisfaction. Not happiness, but at least satisfaction.
But, as it stands, they still sit outside the playoff places. They have played more games than any of their rivals. They have the worst Point Per Game record in the Western Conference.
That, deep into added time goal, was likely the one that caused the house of cards to tumble, the straw that broke the ecosystem.
And Marc Dos Santos can’t really complain about the result.
The first half was even, with two teams who who were depleted by International call ups making it look as though it would take a mistake to break the deadlock.
But in the second half Seattle pressed forward. Had a goal disallowed because VAR decided that if you looked at an incident twenty times in slow motion that it might just be a foul and, in return, the Whitecaps displayed all the shortcomings that have condemned them to a season of death by a thousand ties.
Their only realistic attacking threats all year have come from Yordy Reyna, Ali Adnan, Lucas Venuto playing as a substitute or set-pieces.
And so it proved again.
I could copy and paste every previous blog outlining that Hwang In-Beom is offering nothing going forward or that whoever starts between Russell Teibert or Felipe somehow manage to reduce the Whitecaps expected goal number, but there will be plenty of chances to do that again for sure.
But perhaps the biggest issue right now is Fredy Montero.
If Dos Santos had his time back would he still let Kei Kamara go and bring Montero in?
He could certainly argue that Kamara doesn’t fit his style of play, but it’s hard to see how this iteration of Montero does either.
Too slow of pace to truly press and seemingly now too slow of thought to turn the crumbs of chances he gets into a even a slice of bread let alone a loaf (for this analogy to work you have to imagine that a slice of bread represents a shot on target and a loaf represents a goal and, yes, it is a tad laboured).
A still effective in MLS Kamara may well have earned the Whitecaps three or four more points and given Dos Santos’ rebuilding project a little more leeway.
Perhaps the upcoming transfer window will bring in the catalyst to transform the season, but this no longer feels like a team in need of just one or two pieces to kick start them.
It feels like a team in need of an overhaul, at least in terms of how it is set up to attack and, at most, in terms of why players who should be core to the project aren’t performing anywhere near the level they should be.
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings.
MacMath-6*, Nerwinski-5, Godoy-5, Rose-5, Adnan-5.5, Erice-5, Felipe-4., In-Beom-4.5, PC-4, Reyna-5.5, Montero-3.5