Marc dos Santos a had a cunning plan.
It didn’t work.
But it almost worked, depending on your perspective.
Either a second string Vancouver Whitecaps team kept the Seattle Sounders at bay for fifty=five minutes, or the Whitecaps missed the opportunity to take advantage of a rusty Sounders team and allowed them to play themselves in to the game and on to victory.
And perhaps medical sporting science is now so exact that the difference between players playing for forty-five minutes and thirty-five minutes is a finely calibrated decision based on lung capacity, blood work and the extensive use of an MRI machine.
Or, perhaps Dos Santos decided to ride his luck for an extra ten minutes before making the change, only to discover that his luck had decided to throw him unceremoniously into a ditch.
Couple this game with the late defeat to the LA Galaxy and it’s hard not to leap to the (perhaps unfair) conclusion that the reluctance to make substitutions when they are clearly needed has cost the Whitecaps at least one, perhaps two, crucial points in the run in to the end of the season.
We won’t really know the answer to that until the end of the campaign and even then it will still be defendant on the manner in which MLS adjudges how the points tallies will be evaluated.
But in a year such as this it seems likely (and oddly fitting) that Vancouver could miss out on the joys of the post-season because the coach displayed an abundance of caution.
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings.
Bush-5, Bikel-4.5, Gutierrez-5, Rose-4.5, Cornelius-5*, Veselinovic-4.5, Baldisimo-5, Teibert-4, Raposo-3, Bair-3, Ricketts-4