So the “Fire Carl Robinson and hope we get a new coach bounce and sneak into the playoffs” gambit didn’t really work did it?
The Vancouver Whitecaps lost 3-0 to the LA Galaxy while playing in a manner which suggested they were more interested in the beaches of California than the opposition net.
But perhaps that’s a little unfair?
Maybe the whole performance was the team paying a heartfelt farewell homage to their former coach?
Two needlessly conceded penalties, a stunning lack of ambition and a blatant inability to master even the basic fundamentals of the game were certainly nice call backs to Robinson.
It’s hard to know by now whether these players are incapable of mastering those fundamentals or whether those fundamentals have been systematically eradicated from their arsenal over the last few years.
Whatever the answer to that riddle is the new coach’s first job will be to reintroduce (introduce?) his squad to the concept of passing and moving and somehow persuade them that the ball isn’t something to be quite so terrified of.
Hopefully his second job will be to place a moratorium on any talk of “rising to the challenge”, “never giving up” or some similar nonsense until the team prove they can actually rise to challenges and not give up during the time period between the referee’s first and last whistle.
Any bright spots from that game?
Well at least we are all a step closer to being definitively put out of our misery regarding the playoffs and Alphonso Davies was lively at times and Russell Teibert hustled.
But most of the time it felt as if the Whitecaps were approaching the game in much the same way as most of us watching; drifting in and out of concentration depending on the game state.
I don’t think any of them were actually checking their social media timeline but they may as well have been.
Poor Craig Dalrymple must have woken up in a cold sweat this morning (if he slept at all) because he now has to take this team to Toronto next week before bringing them home to what will surely be a less than full and less than enthusiastic BC Place.
Oh and then back down to Los Angeles just to relive the nightmare.
Playing Teibert alongside Mezquida to press the Galaxy back line was at least an interesting idea but whenever that press was bypassed (and it was bypassed a lot) the Whitecaps were outnumbered to an alarming degree.
It’s tempting to suggest he should mix things up even more when it comes to team selection for the remaining games but “mixing things up” when it comes to team selection is exactly how we got to where we are now.
So the best we can hope for is a moderately quiet and somewhat dignified end to it all.
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings.
Marinovic-4, de Jong-3, Nerwinski-4.5, Waston-3.5, Henry-3, Teibert-5, Ghazal-4, Shea-3, Mezquida-3, Davies-5.5*, Kamara-4 (Felipe 3.5)