Come season end it’s doubtful that many people will remember the Whitecaps 0-0 tie with the Houston Dynamo as a particular highlight.
And many people probably didn’t remember much about the game even five minutes after the final whistle had been blown but for Vancouver themselves it was a surprisingly pleasing run out.
The defence was solid with Cole Seiler playing the role of right back as a defender rather than as a piece of surreal performance art and Laba and Jacobson kept the midfield under tight control while Pedro Morales used his ostensible starting position on the left to drift inside at will and so spend more constructive time on the ball than of late
The standout player though was Christian Bolaños who always looked the most likely to break down the Dynamo defence with his change of pace on the ball and both Mezquida and Kudo were lively up front without ever really looking like scoring.
Even the substitutes showed well with Pérez linking up play efficiently and Hurtado somewhat unfortunate to have a goal ruled out for handball (and really unfortunate to pick up a yellow card for said handball).
All in all the whole game felt much more like the Whitecaps of last season on the road; keep things tight and accept that one moment here or there could win the game for either team.
It would be somewhat ironic if the Whitecaps did find defensive solidity just as David Edgar is getting ready to be introduced to the lineup, but defensive solidity is never a bad thing and while there will be far tougher tests than Houston to come (and the ability to take the initiative at home is still very open to question) Saturday at least felt like a team that had found both some form and a form.
Baby steps to be sure but baby steps in the right direction.
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings.
Ousted-7, Seiler-6, Wasron-6, Parker-6, Harvey-6, Laba-6, Jacobson-6, Bolaños -7*, Morales-6, Mezquida-5-Kudo-5 (Pérez – 6, Hurtado-6)