The game against TFC was one that the Whitecaps could have lost 3-0, won 3-0, tied 3-3 or any of the variants in between.
But, in the end, it took Lucas Cavallini doing his “Drunken supply teacher joining the grade 7 kickabout” impression that allowed Tosaint Ricketts to slot home a late winner that was both deserved and not deserved.
On the positive side the switch to four at the back didn’t make the defence any worse and it made the attack more potent. Ryan Gauld was back to something close to his best, always looking a threat when he had the ball and attracting swarms of Toronto players with every touch.
Sebastian Berhalter continued to show that he has a decent passing range, Javain Brown got forward with intent and Erik Godoy’s distribution from the back (and willingness to get forward on occasion) improved the overall level of play as much as it did the defensive solidity.
The negative side is that most of the positive sides occurred in the second half. With the Whitecaps once again hesitant to pressure an opponent until they really, really had to.
The spur on this occasion was a penalty-kick that was saved by Thomas Hasal and it would be nice to think that moment will prove to be a turning point for the young keeper while also bearing in mind that he was taken off injured after conceding what looked like a perfectly good goal later in the game only to be saved by the officials.
In retrospect it seem obvious that if the Whitecaps were going to win any game it would be one where the opposition failed to convert from the spot and had a good goal chalked off as well.
But it’s baby steps for this team and three points is three points and there’s at least the glimmer of something stirring in the way they played in patches on Sunday afternoon.
All may not be well but all is not still terrible.
Now can they build on their good fortune?
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings!
Hasal-5, Brown-6, Nerwinski-3.5, Godoy-6, Veselinovic-5, Teibert-4, Berhalter-5, Dajome-3, Caicedo-3.5, Gauld-6.5*, White-5.5 (Cavallini-6, Raposo-5)