Well that was better.
After the home opener debacle of last week the Vancouver Whitecaps put in a perfectly competent performance to defeat a particularly poor LA Galaxy side on Saturday evening.
This time around the Whitecaps played as though they had a game plan. They didn’t allow themselves to be dominated in midfield and didn’t allow each individual section of the team to become isolated from the others.
There was much talk before the game about the introduction of Andy Rose to provide experience and calm to both the back line and the side as a whole.
It’s hard to quantify just how calming that influence was, but it may be worth the BC Government keeping Rose on call so that he can helicopter in to any of the various Costco locations where people seem to be under the impression that toilet paper is the key to survival.
“Hello everyone, I’m Andy Rose and I’m here to tell you that five rolls of toilet paper per day is enough for even the most highly strung of families.”
Elsewhere, Janio Bikel made the kind of debut at right back that makes one think he will be a regular starter sooner rather than later and Ryan Raposo made the the kind of substitute appearance that makes one think that if it wasn’t enough to make him a regular starter, it was enough to make him one of the first options from the bench in future games.
Not that there weren’t still issues.
The Whitecaps can’t keep relying on Ali Adnan to be their main provider and In-Beom once again displayed a remarkable ability to make the wrong decision whenever he did get in to any kind of dangerous position.
Perhaps is is time for him to adopt the “Costanza Strategy’? If every instinct he has is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.
Vancouver also got lucky in playing a team who have bought a star forward who is specifically known for his prowess at finishing without really seeming to have thought about how those chances will be created for him.
But, on a completely different note, it was another unremarkable outing for Lucas Cavallini. One that he topped off with a penalty miss that was only somewhat less embarrassing than Ali Adnan’s against the same opponent last season.
Have the Whitecaps scouted the Galaxy and somehow decided that kicking the ball slowly toward the goalkeeper is an effective spot kick technique? If so, they are very, very wrong.
But now is not the time to dwell on negativity. There will be ample opportunity for such wallowing in future games.
Now is the time to enjoy a performance that indicated the Whitecaps can play in the style that Marc Dos Santos wants them to, that the new arrivals and the young players can make the team better and that they may not be the pushovers they so often were last season.
The next big test is to see whether they can perform as effectively at home when the onus will be on them to make the running.
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings.
Crepeau-6, Bikel-6, Adnan-6, Rose-6, Khmiri-6, In-Beom-5, Teibert-5, Milinkovic-4, Dajome-5, Ricketts-6*, Cavallini-4, (Raposo-6)