In The Cold Light Of Day: Caps Can’t Find The Winning Way To San Jose

Another away game over and still the Whitecaps are looking for their first win on the road in MLS.

If they were to play with as much fight, desire and spirit in every away game as they did in San Jose, then that surely won’t be long in coming.

Wednesday night’s game was an entertaining affair from start to finish. It was a great advert for MLS and you couldn’t say that about too many Caps games this year.

It looked like we might be on the end of a bad one after the opening minutes, but then we found our feet and both teams will probably feel agrieved not to be coming away from Buck Shaw Stadium with the three points.

San Jose could certainly have had 5 or 6 if they’d gotten the breaks, but then we could have been up to 4 or 5 ourselves.

A lot of positives to be taken from the game and that is very encouraging.

Mustapha Jarju made his debut and showed enough signs that he’ll work well with Eric Hassli. He had that great first half chance which went just over. Could have been as spectacular a debut as Eric’s own one.

He clearly still needs to work on his fitness and sharpness, but this is still really pre-season Jarju that we’re seeing.

I don’t know whether it was Tubabo’s signing or what, but Hassli was in inspired form.

Maybe finally having a strike partner of note has lifted some of the weight off his shoulders. Two good finishes from Eric and two great assists from Shea Salinas.

Shea’s performances have dipped a little of late, but he was back with a bang in the Bay.

The footwork and composure he showed for that second goal was terrific.

Camilo also had some fancy footwork going on at times. He’s looked a different player recently, as we said after the Man City game.

Peter Vagenas continues to impress me with every game. He’s bringing so much out of Gershon Koffie and now that the Ghanaian seems to not be afraid to shoot, and is getting his efforts on target, we could see the central midfield we’ve been crying out for.

If that Koffie shot had gone in, instead of crashing off the bar, you’re looking at another Caps ‘Goal of the Week’.

We can’t not look at the negatives from the game though – the defence.

Simply awful at times.

Jeb Brovsky is clearly not a right back. What the fuck has Wes Knight done to Tommy Soehn to find himself below both Brovsky and Duckett for that position?

The fact he kept falling over on the surface didn’t help him look to good out there either. The pitch? Wrong footwear? Both?

The central midfield pairing of Greg Janicki and Michael Boxall is also one that clearly isn’t working.

Boxall had impressed me so much this year, but the last few games he’s looked pretty shaky at times. He’s been helped by having someone like Alain Rochat out there helping to mop up any errors, but he didn’t have that on Wednesday.

His saving grace though was that he wasn’t as bad as Janicki, who had one of the worst games I’ve seen from him in a Caps jersey. How we weren’t punished by that back header, I do not know.

Unless we’re going to go for the Kevin Keegan approach of scoring more goals than we let in, through constantly attacking, then we’re never going to get the wins.

Still, it was promising.

I’m predicting we’ll get our first away win in Portland.

A few games to get the guys fully gelled and hopefully, we’ll be firing on all cylinders for the rest of the season and take some momentum into next.

At least we’ve stopped looking like we’re going backwards.

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