We’ve been quiet here at AFTN for the last few weeks.
No particular reason, apart from the fact that we were just scunnered!
We’re refreshed a bit now though and with two Cascadia Cup games, a stadium closure and a stadium opening all coming up in the next couple of weeks, it’s hard not to feel a bit reinvigorated.
There’s an air of excitement for the first time in a long time, even after the Caps latest two game road trip wrapped up on Saturday evening with a 3-0 loss to Los Angeles Galaxy.
It was a trip we’d planned to make, but with the way the Caps have been playing and the meaninglessness of the game, it was hard to justify paying all that extra money, so we sold our tickets.
As it turned out, that was a good move, although it did mean we missed out on a football clinic.
It was more than a loss. We were given a bit of a schooling.
You have to give LA credit. They played some delightful football. Knocked the ball about well, always looked dangerous, never looked in trouble. All the things we all hoped we would become, but it still isn’t clicking.
Martin Rennie has a lot of work to do when he gets here, starting with building his trademark watertight defence.
I don’t think he can do much about the standard of refereeing in MLS, but although we can point some fingers in that direction during Saturday’s defeat, that’s not why we lost the game.
Not much point in analysing the game too much, especially at this late stage of proceedings.
My dad was over here and saw his first ever Whitecaps performance. He isn’t going home overly impressed! Bad opponents for him to see his first Caps action.
We’ve gone on all season about how close we feel the team is to turning that corner. To fire on all cylinders and look the part. How we’ve been in most of the games this year. Maybe we’ve been deluding ourselves all this time.
Saturday really did show the gulf in quality between those at the top of MLS this season and those at the bottom.
A few weeks ago, AFTN’s Metro column looked at what our realistic goals could be going into the final weeks of the season.
The four big hopes we had was to not finish bottom of the heap, not end up with the worst record in MLS history, finish above Toronto, and land the Cascadia Cup.
We’re sitting five points adrift now at the bottom. New England are still in our sites, but we’re close to having to dig out the binoculars.
Toronto have finally started to gel and are close to becoming a blur on the horizon.
Catching either is not yet impossible, but neither is still making the playoffs mathematically!
If we’re to land the Cascadia Cup then we need to win both remaining games, or at the very least beat Seattle by two goals and then get a draw against Portland. Nothing but a win on Saturday will do the job.
Four or six points from these two matches would certainly close the gap on those above us and help land a triple whammy of our hopes outlined above.
Failure to beat Seattle on Saturday and we’re just dead in the water.
When it comes to not being the worst team in MLS history, well, we’ve made some progress but we’re not quite there yet.
We still need one more win to avoid having the joint worst win record but we have avoided having the worst points tally thankfully.
Doesn’t look like we’re going to match or beat Toronto’s inaugural season record though. Three more wins and seven more points and we’re there! Hmmm.
The four games after Portland need to see the younger and fringe players given a chance.
It was great to see Alex Morfaw finally back in the gameday squad on Saturday. I’d have definitely put him on there instead of Brovsky. He needs gametime, he needs minutes and he needs the chance to prove what he can do.
I want to see him, Davies, Nanchoff and Tan given decent minutes before the season end, otherwise what’s the point of having a squad?
Meaningless end of season games are the ideal time to gives these guys a chance. It’s what teams do across the world. What’s the point of building up team selection consistency and momentum at this late stage?
Still, they might be lucky and win the “right back lottery” for one of the games.
If it wasn’t for the ridiculous MLS rules, I’d have Caleb Clarke and Ben Fisk out there too.
For now though, all eyes are on Seattle and we’ll have some build up to that game here and on Prost Amerika.
With the way Vancouver are defending and Seattle are attacking, it may look like only one result, but this is football. Anything can happen.
What we need most of all, is pride and passion. We’ll be getting it off the field, now let’s get some on it.