The first half of the Whitecaps 3-0 win over the LA Galaxy was like an M.C. Escher painting come to life.
Players from both sides moved toward the goal with purpose only to find themselves inexplicably back in the centre circle and neither they (nor those watching) could escape from the seemingly eternal sense of nothing happening for ever and ever.
But, in the second half, Vancouver produced one of those performances that is both a pleasure to watch and a tortuous display of what could have been.
Playing players in the right positions helped.
Luis Martins demonstrated the value of having a left footed player in the left back role and Ryan Raposo showed that he’s still a better attacking player than he is a defensive make weight.
Ryan Gauld was allowed space to use the ball and, more often than not, had options to pass to and Andres Cubas shut down the Galaxy whenever it seemed they were making a break forward.
All in all it was a fine example of what this group of players could have been capable of if they had been given the chance to develop some kind of consistency of purpose and clarity of tactical thinking.
They still won’t make the playoffs and the chances are that the coach would rather roll the dice on making changes for the game against the Sounders on Saturday than sticking with what worked so well on Wednesday.
The Whitecaps climbed a fair number of stairs tonight, but let’s not be surprised if they find themselves back at the bottom next time out.
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings!
Hasal-5.5, Nerwinski-5, Martins-5.5, Veselinovic-5.5, Blackmon-5.5, Cubas-7*, Owusu-6, Raposo-5.5, Gauld-6.5, Vite-5.5, White-5