For sixty minutes the Whitecaps played in a very Whitecaps way against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday evening.
They didn’t really think about attacking, they couldn’t keep the ball because they didn’t want the ball. Any attempt to play it short from the back was defined by lethargy and lack of movement. Any attempt to play it long from the back merely resulted in the ball settling happily at the foot of a Rapids player and there were no attempts to play it through the middle from the back because the midfield existed more as concept in the imagination than a physical entity that existed in the real world.
Somehow though Vancouver were still tied at 1-1 after one solid hour of play and so Vanni Sartini decided to accept that the universe is just a bundle of chaos existing in a vast and empty void and made his substitutions accordingly.
White and Cavallini playing up front at the same time? Why not? Removing the midfield entirely? Let’s give it a go! Playing Dajome in a variety of positions based solely on the premise that there was no premise? Done!
Bizarrely it worked.
Or rather, it both did and didn’t work.
It worked in the sense that the Whitecaps began to create openings and could even have stolen a win.
It didn’t work in the sense that the Rapids had chance after chance and, on another night, could have run away with the game.
But maybe if you play the universe at its own game it will occasionally reward you?
Maybe if you stare into the abyss and see the abyss staring back at you and you somehow don’t blink or flinch or shudder then the abyss will give a shrug of respect and decide that, just this once, it will let you walk away unscathed?
That’s not a long term plan for sporting success but, on the night, it was kind of fun to see a Vancouver coach and team not give a hoot about shape or formation and just let the stars align as they chose to do.
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings!
Crepeau-5, Brown-3, Dajome-5*, Veselinovic-4, Rose-4, Jungwirth-4, Bikel-2, Teibert-3.5, Gauld-5, Caicedo-4.5, White-4 (Cavallinie-4, Baldisimo-4)