When it comes to boring football matches, watching a meaningless midweek League match in the Scottish Third Division on a freezing cold wintry night between two uninterested teams takes some beating. Or so I thought.
It was nice of the Vancouver Whitecaps and Crystal Palace Baltimore sides to serve me up a slice of home, but it was ok lads, I wasn’t homesick. I just wanted to watch a decent game of football. You know. One with shots, saves, action, everything that wasn’t on display at Swangard Stadium last night.
When a winless expansion team comes a calling to their soon to be MLS hosts and it’s hard to work out which team is which, then that’s when you know that things are starting to go wrong.
I don’t think it was being presumptuous to expect the Whitecaps to beat a struggling team with a record of played 3, lost 3, score 1, conceded 5. To do that though you need to have more than one shot on target.
Yes, that was the Caps sum total of saves forced in last night’s encounter. One. Eleven shots, one on target.
The match report on the offical Whitecaps website said of the game that the Caps “struggled to find a way past Palace goalkeeper Evan Bush”. Actually shooting at him might have been a start and not from fifty yards out!
It was a dire goalless draw that was played out, devoid of any entertainment on the pitch that just led to us making our own off it. The result bizarrely leaves the Caps sitting top of the NASL Conference in USSF D2, with a grand total of four league goals in five games.
I think we know where the problems lie.
Teitur’s tactics are a bit of a mystery to me. I’m not really sure what shape and style we’re trying to go with yet. I’m not sure the players are either.
The defence is, on the whole, pretty shored up. We have a serious lack of firepower up front though. I love Randy as a player but he’s not a MLS starter yet. He’s not even a NASL starter really. He was pushed around a lot last night. Our midfield is crying out for some creativity. It’s had for the frontmen when they’re not being supplied with anything decent to work with in the first place.
When you think that our players this season should be playing for a MLS future, the way things are shaping up so far, we’re going to be relying heavily on the draft next year. There are very few players who are stepping up and making a claim.
I know it’s early days and we didn’t start last season too hot either, but you just can’t see where the goals are going to come from at present, which is a major worry, especially with Toronto coming up in a crunch Voyageurs Cup game.
Some may say that this season is just for experimentation and is a nothing season. The hardcore fans won’t agree. We should be trying to win every competition that we enter. Bob Lenarduzzi said as much as the MLS one year kick off event.
With Montreal back in town on League business next Saturday, we have to try and make some changes and soon. The dross on display today was unacceptable. Good players (like Johnny Steele) don’t become awful players over night, so we need to get to the roots of all these problems.
For me, the constant chopping and changing of the squad doesn’t help. Every year is a rebuilding exercise and the players will take time to bond and fully function as a unit. That might explain why they struggle to string together passes to each other.
I can take drawing or losing matches if we have some oomph about us. Made a real go of it.
On our displays so far this season, we’re missing the impact players and that’s something that Teitur has to address asap.