In some ways it’s hard to know how the Whitecaps ended up with all three points from the game against FC Dallas on Wednesday evening.
In the first half Vancouver followed the usual pattern of starting with enthusiasm but then failing to capitalize on half chances before shambolic defending allowed the opposition to score.
But there is an explanation for how the victory was ultimately achieved.
Firstly, Dallas sat deep in the second half and allowed the Whitecaps to gain the momentum they struggled to maintain in the first.
Secondly, the arrival of Brian White and Leonard Owusu provided some much needed energy in the forward line and the midfield.
And, finally, the Whitecaps worked really, really hard.
They didn’t work smart in the way that Dallas did (their pressing was far more systemic than anything Vancouver could ever achieve) but they covered the acreage of BC Place in such a way that they eventually wore the soccer gods down and the deities that we all know exist reluctantly allowed the match official to give a penalty-kick for a foul on Veselinovic and then blow the final whistle much earlier than he probably should have done.
This performance wasn’t a recipe for any kind of future success but it did at least provide the base for a a cake that might be edible once all the ingredients are available.
(That’s a clever reference to the players who aren’t available for those of you with more literal minds than you should have).
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings!
Cropper-6*, Brown-5, Veselinovic, 5, Nerwinski-4, Raposo-3, Guttierez-4.5, Teibert-4, Baldisimo-5, Dajome-5, Caicedo-5, Cavallini-5 (White-5, Owusu-5)