The MlsisBack tournament is a terrible idea.
Sending a bunch of professional athletes to live and work in one of Americas hottest of Covid hotspots is spectacularly dumb.
Throw in the ingredients that two of the teams have had to drop out entirely, many of the league’s bigger stars have decided that not attending was the wiser course of action and that games are being rearranged on a seemingly hourly basis and the whole thing should be a recipe for disaster and embarrassment.
And yet the games have been stupidly entertaining.
The combination of player exhaustion, ill prepared defences and the general chaos that encircles many an MLS game has led to a mixture of tension and laugh out loud comedy that have made the whole thing somewhat irresistible.
It may all still collapse in a heap of metaphorical rubble of course but, for now, the whole thing is a testament to how sport continues to overcome the ineptitude of sport administrators.
So, given all this madness, should we be too harsh on the Whitecaps following their 4-3 debacle against San Jose? They were without key forwards who could have held the ball up and bought the defence time as well as taking even more advantage of a disaster prone San Jose defensive system.
A Cavallini, Montero or Ricketts could have been a difference maker.
But the problem for those of us who follow the Whitecaps is that we have been through this move before.
Failure to take advantage of the weakness of the opposition, failure to think that leading in a game gives players freedom rather than imposing asphyxiating restrictions and failure to use the players on the bench in a way that makes any kind of sense.
Marc Dos Santos has claimed that he is reluctant ti use young players who haven’t earned their time. But that shouldn’t be at the expense of older players who are out on their feet.
The final minutes against San Jose were crying out for fresh legs who could close down the opposition and protect the defence. Sometimes it’s okay to be pragmatic rather than principled.
And speaking of pragmatism.
The news that Russell Teibert has signed a new contract through to 2023 can only be met with a shrug of vague indifference.
No team who want to be challengers in MLS would have Teibert as a regular starter, but most teams would probably be happy to have him in the squad.
And the Canadian has become the footballing equivalent of an annoying Christmas song.
You start off thinking “What’s the point of this?”, transition to “Oh this again?”, before settling on the realization that its continued occurrence provides a strangely comforting sense of familiarity and nostalgia in a world that is constantly changing.
The Whitecaps “journey” through the tournament could end tonight against the Seattle Sounders.
The Sounders have been as poor as the Whitecaps in their two games so far, but it’s likely that the extra game under their belt and the general sense that they want to win the tournament rather than survive, it doesn’t bode well for Vancouver.
Maybe there’s another night of craziness ahead to confound our expectations, but nobody could really blame the Vancouver players if they weren’t thinking longingly of a flight back to Canada and the sweet, sweet release of fourteen days of quarantine.