From yesterday but now with additional chapter and verse.
“Stupidity and Lack of Creativity” is the working title of my yet to be published (or written) autobiography but, coincidentally, that is also a pretty good summary of the Whitecaps 3-0 loss to Nashville on Saturday evening.
The stupidity came in the not entirely unexpected form of Lucas Cavallini who decided that, with his team already trailing by three goals, a swift elbow and stamp to the head of an opponent was the order of the day.
The red card was a formality and the subsequent punishment from MLS should be severe.
We’ve probably all enabled Cavallini this season by allowing his goals to distract from his penchant for picking up a yellow card in just about every appearance he makes and we’ve decided to treat this foible with wry amusement.
But if I were running the Whitecaps (huge disclaimer here that I’m definitely not running the Whitecaps!) Cavallini wouldn’t play for the club again this season and he’d be shipped out as soon as possible.
Some things can’t be tolerated, especially from a senior player.
A commenter notes. “That’s totally bullshit about Cavilini. When you bring a premier (designated) player to make a change in 30 mins it’s obvious it’s a lot of pressure that you are putting on your own change maker.”
And there are others who also seem to feel that Cavallini was hard done by because he was just showing his desire to win. But there’s desire to win and there’s self-destructive stupidity and this was clearly a case of the latter.
But you know who else can’t always control their emotions? Vanni Sartini. Last week it was all about MLS selecting the other six teams for the playoffs because the Whitecaps were so good. This week the playoffs aren’t important and it’s all about restoring some honour for the rest of the season.
As a supporter it becomes the better option to switch off from such such highs and lows when coming from the coach and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the players too have started treating every impassioned oration as just so much white noise.
Ryan Gauld certainly seemed to confirm such a theory in his post game comments when he alluded to hearing the same half time speech for much of the season and there were also some comments from the Scot that, to a conspiratorial mind, could be taken as criticism of the coaching staff in general.
It’s certainly odd that everybody on the team knows there’s an issue with how the team start games and yet nobody has got even close to solving the issue.
The lack of creativity came from just about everybody.
Schopf was once again anonymous, Gressel and Raposo never get forward with any belief and Berhalter’s head went out of the game as soon as he gave away the pass that led to Nashville’s first goal.
One assumes that the Whitecaps work on how to break down a defence in training sessions and one also assumes that the theory on how to do that isn’t “pass the ball really slowly ten yards from the edge of the penalty area and then loft a hopeful cross into the goalkeeper’s arms” isn’t what they are supposed to be doing. Yet that is the comfort zone they almost always revert to.
Then everybody’s heads went out of the game when Nashville scored the second goal and the rest of the night was a salutatory reminder of just how bad the Whitecaps are at opening up a defence from open play.
Gauld and Cubas will always work hard and produce competency, but it turns out that not playing Teibert and Nerwinski isn’t the solution to all of the problems in the world of the Whitecaps.
The playoffs aren’t definitely out of reach yet, but Vancouver probably need four points from the next two road games to get themselves back in the race.
Not impossible (it’s MLS after all) but not at all likely.
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings!
Hasal-3, Gressel-2, Raposo-3, Brown-4, Veselinovic-4, Blackmon-3.5, Berhalter-2, Cubas-4.5, Schopf-2, Gauld-5*, White-2 (Cavallini-0, Dajome-2)