Vancouver Whitecaps get a dogged road win

Could it be that Vanni Sartini has found the secret to getting his Whitecaps team to defend competently?

And that secret may be having a defensive midfielder in front of the backline who can read the game well, organize the players around him and use the ball in a way that doesn’t constantly place his teammates in peril.

The assumption has been that the player in question would be new signing Andres Cubas but, since the club continue to employ the law firm of the Paraguayan has remained in work permit limbo and it was Florian Jungwirth who stepped into the breach to become the player the team needed.

It’s also possible that that the secret to getting the team to defend competently is to play an opponent who are not very good at attacking.

And watching Sporting KC labour to try and find openings thanks to a lack of movement and limited ball control must have left a strange sense of vicarious unease for many a Vancouver supporter.

But three points is three points and there were more positives from this game than just beating a poor opponent.

Javain Brown is getting back to the player he was last year; a good one on one defender with the potential to provide an attacking threat. Marcus Godhino is growing into a dependable MLS wing back and Lucas Cavallini has gone from unlovable wastrel to loveable rogue.

If and when Sartini gets a full raft of players to choose from then this Vancouver squad has the potential to be a little bit more than decent.

They also have the potential to revert to type and blow the whole thing in some entirely unpredictable manner.

But, for now, this was a good win.

Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings!

Cropper-5, Godinho-6, Veselinovic-5.5, Brown-6, Nerwinski-5.5, Gutierrez-5, Jungwirth-6*, Berhalter-5.5, Owusu-4.5-Dajome-5, Cavallini-5 (Caicedo-5)

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