With more and more MLS teams being forced to postpone games due to positive Covid tests it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that the Vancouver Whitecaps could simply self isolate their way into a playoff place.
The less likely route to the post-season would be to win some games of football but, astonishingly, that’s what they did on Saturday evening by beating Real Salt Lake 2-1 at Providence Park.
It all seemed a bit too familiar for most of the game, with the Whitecaps starting with some urgency but little control before the “visitors” took the lead thanks to Vancouver defending that looked more like a display in an abstract art retrospective than the work of professional athletes.
For the second half Salt Lake decided, with some justification, that if they just sat back Vancouver would huff and puff in vain and the points would be theirs.
But Marc Dos Santos finally decided to do what everybody else in the known universe knows he should do far more often and gave Michael Baldisimo some minutes.
Baldisimo sent in the free kick that forced the own goal equalizer and then hit a first time cushioned pass to Ali Adnan that began the attack that Lucas Cavallini eventually completed.
When I die and go to hell the flickering Betamax video I will be forced to watch on an endless loop will be a parade of Vancouver Whitecaps midfielders receiving the ball with their back to goal, having space to turn into a dangerous position, but instead opting to play a safe pass back to a central defender.
Baldismo at least spares me that fate before my time by always looking for the simple, but positive, pass.
In the closing minutes Vancouver endured the obligatory backs to the wall desperation accompanied by the mandatory injuries to their goalkeeper, but they hung on for the three points that lend the veneer of respectability to their place in the standings.
Can they build on this?
Probably not, but a win is a win is a win.
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings.
Bush-6, Nerwinski-4, Adnan-4, Veselinovic-5, Godoy-6*, Owusu-4. Bikel-4.5, Teibert-4, Dajome-4.5, Montero-6, Cavallini-5 (Baldisimo-6)