Vancouver Whitecaps face the final curtain.

And so it ends.

The 3-1 defeat at Kansas City ended the Whitecaps 2021 season with perhaps more of a whimper than a bang.

The chosen starting eleven seemed to be a case of Vanni Sartini being a little too Vanni Sartini, with Godhino and Gaspar as wing backs and Andy Rose in central defence.

Rose was fine, although the defence looked capable of being breached whenever the hosts broke forward with the ball, but Gaspar and Godinho offered nothing of quality going forward and Vancouver were subsequently toothless in attack.

Neither could they find a way to get Ryan Gauld into the game as Owusu and Teibert were out played and anonymous in midfield.

Once Dajome was moved to the wing back role the Whitecaps looked to offer more of a threat but, by then, it was too late.

But no sense to dwell on the disappointment of this one defeat and look instead at the overall tenor of the season because, for once, the Whitecaps losing in the playoffs doesn’t feel like the end of something. It feels like the beginning.

There’s already the nucleus of a good team there, but the off season acquisitions will be crucial.

They need to be better in the centre of the pitch next season and they need one more (maybe two) genuine attacking wing backs to offset the possibility of injuries demolishing the teams preferred style of play as well as another central defender.

They also need to replace Cavallini with a better player.

All this presumes that Vanni Sartini returns as coach of course, but that must surely be a given.

He may have got it wrong in this particular game, but he’s changed the mentality of the players and the quality of the football in a manner that seemed inconceivable during the early summer.

It all starts again in February so the Whitecaps will be back before we know it.

Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings!

Crepeau-4, Gaspar-3, Godinho-4, Rose-4.5, Nerwinski-4.5, Jungwirth-4, Teibert-2, Owusu-3, Gauld-4.5, Dajome-4.5*, White-4 (Godoy4.5)

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