In The Cold Light Of Day: Disaster With A Capital DC

I wasn’t going to write anything about Saturday’s capital DISASTER.

There’s that old adage that if you can’t say anything good then don’t say anything at all. And let’s be honest here, what good can you say about the DC debacle?

Even the obvious fun we could have with Stephen King’s brace and horror doesn’t do it justice, although the aptness was incredible. Even the most glass half full fan would struggle for positives from that.

Let’s have a go….

Well, for me, the biggest positive is that we only lost by four. It could easily have been a lot more.

If we’d opened the scoring with that scramble from Camilo’s free kick, would things have been any different? No-one can say for certain, but seeing as how we’ve struggled to keep a lead all season, I think we can make a pretty good educated guess.

The only other positive road I can even begin to go down is that Camilo’s free kicks have surely got to be the best and most consistent in MLS. It’s quite inexplicable really as to why he’s not our penalty taker as well, especially considering how badly we’ve fared in that area of late.

Most teams have at least one nightmare games in a season. Saturday in Washington was ours.

Although we’ve only won three games all year, we’ve at least been competitive (maybe Real Salt Lake in June aside). Even the 4-0 defeat by LA saw us competitive until about the last fifteen minutes. We were never really at the races in Washington, or if we were, the players and management certainly had the blinkers on.

It was strange to see us edging the possession at the end of the first half, for it certainly didn’t feel that way watching it.

The midfield was posted missing on too many occasions.

It was so bad that until I rewound the action on my TV, I couldn’t for the life of me work out if Mustapha Jarju had come on for Shea Salinas or Peter Vagenas. Both were posted missing.

It was certainly Salinas’ worst game for us.

I’ve been becoming a fan of Vagenas in recent weeks. I know a lot of you aren’t, but I do feel he’s calmed down our midfield a little and been a huge boost for Gershon Koffie. He was completely ineffectual against DC.

The inability of the midfield to boss the game, led to wave after wave of attack on the defence and they were simply not up to it.

Both the midfield and defence are at fault for the goals. The midfield for letting them through and the defence for frankly being atrocious.

Jay Nolly had a mare. I felt so sorry for his wife, having to be surrounded by fans in Doolins, as a guest of the Southsiders. She was really going through the wringer.

With the way Soehn has acted this season, this will most probably spell the end of Nolly as the starting keeper and he may have played his last first team game for us. Every keeper has those games. We were even joking on Twitter the day before about goalkeeping howlers in general. That second goal doesn’t need analysing, Nolly himself knows it was a shocker, but he certainly could have done better for the first and fourth goals as well.

The defence left him wide open though.

We’ve seen some pretty bad defensive displays this season but that one tops the lot. We can’t handle anyone running at us. Toronto’s Plata has shown us that and on Saturday DeRo, and others, just waltzed past us with ease. Our marking was equally horrible. Leathers and Harvey just can’t track back quickly enough for long balls over the top, and the latter is far removed from being anywhere near being a capable replacement centre half.

Having only one defender on the bench in Bilal Duckett (and I use that term very loosely) was ridiculous. Putting on the least defence minded midfielder we have, in Davide Chiumiento, for Jay DeMerit and going three at the back was terrifying. It was clear we were going to get ripped a new asshole. And we were.

Where’s Mouloud Akloul when you need him? There’s still not been any satisfactory reason given for his release. Why wasn’t Janicki on the bench? Or Knight?

How can our current line up be expected to field four flair players (Hassli, Camilo, Chiumiento and Jarju) when we can’t defend to save ourselves?

Some of the tactical decisions, player positioning, team selection and substitutions have been baffling in recent weeks. Clueless and devoid of rational thinking.

That brings us nicely to Tommy Soehn.

For the love of everything holy, please just fuck off from our team right now.

Go back to DC or anywhere else that will have you. Your welcome has long gone in Vancouver.

We gave him the benefit of the doubt after Teitur’s sacking. We gave him until after we bowed out, or should that be meekly surrendered, from the Voyageurs Cup, when others were calling for his head long before.

But please, just go now.

Don’t wait for Martin Rennie to arrive and move back upstairs to your other job.

You’ve messed that up to. The quality of the players you’ve found for us has been terrible. You had over a year to prepare us, and Teitur, for the League you should know so well. You have failed us and you’ve managed to drag some players, like Omar Salgado, backwards.

You’ve lost the faith of many fans to be able to do the role of Director of Soccer Operations.

Harmony in the camp is not good. If you speak to players, their friends and families, and general front office staff, you’ll struggle to find many happy bunnies right now. This is not all down to Soehn either. He’s the fall guy, but it goes much deeper and higher.

We need a clean break so that Rennie can have fresh eyes and judge ALL the players accordingly.

I am certainly not deluding myself by thinking that Rennie can turn around the Caps with the current squad. It wouldn’t be the first time that he has gone into a Club and had a complete clear out. That’s what we need. A mass exodus.

Yes, it’s going to mean that some fan favourites will unfortunately be on their way out of Vancouver, but that’s what’s needed, for the good of the team.

When the season ends and we get to protect our few guys for the expansion draft, it will be surprising if any of the others are picked up. What needs to happen then is that before ANY player is released, Rennie needs a month working with ALL of the guys in a hard camp, so that he can make his own mind up as to who would be a fit for his team, without any prejudicial input from Soehn.

Rennie has his own style of play and tactics and is big on team players. He needs to assess them all to see if any will fit in with his plans.

There will be no Teitur’s guys. No Tommy’s guys. Just players, playing for their footballing future and the advancement of Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club.

A lot of these players can start playing for their futures now, but not all will get a chance.

Aside from the Cascadia Cup games, I would just field experimental line-ups for the rest of the season (admittedly some of the existing line ups have had a touch of Dr Frankenstein about them). Let all the players have a go and see what happens. We’ve nothing to play for and nothing to lose.

It’s interesting that the MLS game in which we have mostly dominated possession was against Toronto in June, when it was our fringe players out there. Sure we couldn’t score, but we at least knocked it about well and lost to a penalty. Plus the reserves recently beat Seattle 2-1, and quite comfortably at that.

Throw guys like Salgado, Tan, Morfaw, Knight, Janicki, Nanchoff, Davies and even Sylvestre into the mix. They’ll sink or swim, but at least the fans will think that we’re at least getting something out of the games by developing players. Why have them in the squad if we can’t get a look at them?

Playing our regulars and not getting results for the remainder of the season is pointless. Then again, that’s been our season so why expect different.

I want to see a team of fired up players against Portland. And you know what? I have a sneaking suspicion, based on nothing but my ample gut, that we will actually get something out of that game.

We better. Another capitulation will not be tolerated – especially in a Cascadia Cup match.

Authored by: Michael McColl

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. English Git at 19:09

    “Where's Mouloud Akloul when you need him? There's still not been any satisfactory reason given for his release. Why was Janicki on the bench? Or Knight?”

    Neither were on the bench. Neither travelled!
    Management obviously thought we didn't need them, or more to the point, don't like them. I think the fans deserve answers.

  2. GoF at 21:50

    Yeah that's meant to read “wasn't”. It does now anyway!

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