In The Cold Light Of Day: One Point From Two Game Home Stand Could Prove Costly To Caps

Well, that’s the unbeaten home record gone. And in disappointing fashion at that.

It’s not the fact that we lost the game, it’s the manner of how we lost it. You can read our match report of the game over at Prost Amerika.

We showed so much attacking prowess right up until we scored then we simply just went to shit. I don’t think we can hit the panic button quite yet, but there are areas of concern.

There’s only going to be so many times we can keep blaming injuries. All teams are going to be hit by them over the season. That’s why you put together a strong squad.

We can start at looking at the positives from Saturday, but that won’t take too long.

A sell out 21,000 crowd on a lovely spring Vancouver day, right in the middle of the NHL playoffs, was reassuring. The way the game played out though, we saw the quietest Empire crowd so far. Dallas managed to pretty much take away that home advantage we’ve been seeing. We can’t let that happen. We have to bring that support for all game, every game, especially when the guys need us most.

Of the players, the first half performance of Davide Chiumiento was outstanding. Everything the Caps were producing of attacking note went down that left hand side and through him primarily.

Once again though we saw him visibly tire and his second half performance was markedly of less impact. Will he ever be a 90 minute player? Frankly I don’t care if he is, but we do need him producing for every minute that he does play.

Chiumiento and Hassli linked up well again. My excitement at a Hassli/Camilo partnership up front is beginning to wane though. It just doesn’t seem to be clicking. I’m prepared to give it another couple of games before starting to worry too much, but they need to start producing goals together and soon.

Hassli’s booking was scandalous. Watching the replay, there was nothing in the incident that merited a booking. Both players pushed off each other, that’s how defenders and burly attackers play week in, week out the world over.

Hassli no doubt will feel like a marked man. Teitur keeps telling us that he doesn’t want him to change his style of play though. I’m pleased about that, as his style is going to make him one of the League’s most dangerous attackers. At least when he does play. That’s another suspension coming up for Eric against Columbus for hitting the five bookings mark.

Talking of dangerous attackers in MLS, David Ferreira’s injury is unfortunate but no blame can be put on Jonanthan Leathers at all for his broken ankle.

From what we saw, Leathers won the ball, conceded a corner and the referee saw neither a foul, a booking or a sending off in the tackle. If anything, Ferreira’s injury could have been caused by our damn turf and the way he landed.

The way the Dallas players were flopping around out there, it’s very hard to have any sympathy for him. I’ve never seen a team seemingly waste so much time when they were a goal down.

For Dallas coach, Schellas Hyndman, to class post-match Ferreira’s injury in the same bracket as Brian Mullan’s horror tackle on Steve Zakuani the night before is completely out of order, emotions of the incident or not.

At that after match press conference, what struck me most was how much Hyndman reminded me of a cartoon tortoise. He even has the sound of it too. Guess that’s where the name Schellas comes from.

Back to the Caps though.

Defensively, I thought that Leathers had another great game. There was one incident in the first half where he cleverly committed a foul, by tugging at a jersey, that could have prevented a goal.

Alain Rochat and Michael Boxall did well, but left back is still a big worry. With Mouloud Akloul on the bench, surely it would have been better to have him play in the middle and move Rochat to his rightful left back position. Hopefully this is what we’ll see on Wednesday against Montreal.

Jay Nolly didn’t have a good game. Dropped a few balls and looked like he could have done better on the winning goal.

The midfield is our biggest problem. If we do end up signing Peter Vagenas, that should plug a gap until we get all of our first choices finally fit and able to play together.

With Ghana thankfully being knocked out early in their U-20 tournament, we’ll have Gershon Koffie back soon. He’ll be available for Wednesday but could start on the bench. On the plus side, we won’t be losing him in the summer for the U-20 World Cup. Shame for his country, fantastic for us.

Shea Salinas will also hopefully be starting soon. He impressed so much in pre-season, that I can’t wait to see what he can do in a Caps jersey.

Taking only one point from a two game home stand is disappointing. These are the game in which we need to deliver if we are to be serious play-off contenders. We could have easily had six and all talks of crisis far removed. It’s only seven games into the season FFS, there should be no talks of crisis anyway at this early stage.

We do need to start recapturing some of that early season form. Wednesday’s Voyageurs Cup game at Montreal will hopefully be the start of a confidence boost for us, as I don’t fancy our chances of taking much from the Columbus game.

We’ll see. It’s been a surprising Whitecaps team so far, to say the least.

Mon the Caps.

Authored by: Michael McColl

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