Vancouver Whitecaps: The Slow and the Ponderous-11

From last night but now with bonus Director’s commentary.

Marc Dos Santos was about as irritated as we ever see him in the post game media call claiming, with some justification, that his team are having to put up with an awful lot right now and that should be taken as mitigation for the performances.

That’s fair. But the recent performances aren’t an aberration, they’re merely a continuation of a theme.

The Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders felt like nothing so much as the latest sequel in a movie franchise that has long since lost its way.

Yeah we get it. The Whitecaps defend stubbornly but fall apart once the first goal is conceded.

Yawn. Oh big surprise! The Vancouver star forward has just missed a golden opportunity with the scores still level.

Derivative! The Whitecaps midfield fail to provide any forward momentum at all.

After the game Dos Santos claimed that he needed midfield players who “had the personality to play”. It’s hard to know if that’s a dig at the players themselves or the people who have brought the players in but, either way, a coach rarely wins the battle against either of those opponents.

This felt like Dos Santos beginning to clear the path for an exit strategy that preserves his reputation as much as possible.

If this were an in flight movie half the audience would walk out.

And so it goes.

With all the participants phoning in their parts with little to engage those watching other than the slim hope that it won’t go on too long and it won’t be the unmitigated disaster that some of the previous outings have been.

Actual thoughts on the actual football game?

Lucas Cavallini is a burden rather than a benefit right now. His temperament costs him playing time and he’s a slow player who isn’t a clinical finisher playing in a team that needs pace up front and creates few chances.

I suppose it could be argued that Montero’s resurgence may have, ironically and very typically for the Whitecaps, made the team play in a way that suits Cavallini less. Milinkovic was playing well in the number ten role, but now that he’s been shifted to the wide left to accommodate Montero that only leaves the inconsistent Dajome and whoever is playing left back to supply Cavallini with the crosses he needs.

But that’s thin gruel to fuel an argument in favour of a Designated Player who is more interesting to watch for his body language than his play in front of goal.

Why Michael Baldisimo isn’t starting remains a mystery. He can move the play forward and he cares about keeping the ball (Maybe that’s why?) yet is consistently left on the bench in favour of journeymen who haven’t got a creative bone in their collective bodies.

Ironically, Baldismo does have the “personality to play”, he just rarely gets the chance.

The defence is mostly fine. It’s just that they have to defend for about eighty-eight of every ninety minutes and they will never beat those odds.

Oh, and the referee was hilariously bad.

So on to San Jose for the next installment of this long running debacle.

Time to roll the credits and give you Soccer Shorts player ratings.

Meredith-5, Nerwinski-5.5, Godoy-5.5, Cornelius-5.5*, Adnan-5.5, Bikel-3, Rose-3.5, Milinkovic-3.5, Dajome-2, Cavallini-2.5, Montero-5

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