In The Cold Light Of Day: The Toronto Cup Debacle

Four attempts. Four failures. That’s Vancouver’s Voyageurs Cup record since Toronto FC came into existance. Zero for ten in the whole tournament’s history.

At least one of them was a glorious failure. Sadly that wasn’t today.

So where to start?

Well, I’m man enough to congratulate Toronto FC on winning their third straight Canadian Championship. They deserved it on the play today.

The better team at BMO Field won.

The difference for me was in how both teams responded after going a goal down.

Toronto fought for their lives, piling on the pressure and taking the game to Vancouver in wave after wave of attacks. Vancouver looked clueless and even in those closing minutes when we were almost encamped in the TFC half, their defenders coped with everything we threw at them with ease.

We had three shots on target the whole match. Three shots, in a game where we were fighting for our lives for the last 29 minutes. Toronto had twelve.

The way Toronto were playing after Camilo’s brilliant free kick, you knew they’d get back into the game. We never looked in the game at any point after our goal. Although to be frank, we didn’t look in the game before the goal either.

Eric Hassli was posted missing and if he’d had more composure and buried that chance late on, we wouldn’t be having any of these discussions right now.

The midfield failed to stamp any dominance on the game. We’ve been critical of Terry Dunfield of late, but he was our best midfielder out there today. A Canadian playing for Canadian pride.

Gershon Koffie played so deep, he was like a third centre half at times. His confidence has clearly gone after being dropped by Soehn and Nizar Khalfan’s skill, pace and confidence has been missing for a long time now.

The defence were all over the place. Jay DeMerit was angry as hell at being substituted and rightly so. Who wants to be replaced by Blake Wagner?

How are he and Bilal Duckett even still getting places on the bench when the likes of Alex Morfaw, Greg Janicki, Wes Knight and the apparently released Mouloud Akloul aren’t? None of them are starters but they have fight, spirit and play for the jersey.

Yet again, it was a spectacularly disappointing second half capitulation. Just what does Tommy Soehn say to the players during his half time team talks that makes them come out and play so badly? Whatever he is saying to try and motivate them and to get them to hold on to their leads, or keep the score tied, plainly isn’t working.

To paraphrase Soehn after the game, he basically had a tactical plan around possession and the players didn’t stick to it.

So whose fault is that?

The players for not listening and carrying out the plan, either through ignoring their manager of their inability to do it? Or the manager for not making sure he got the message out there to the players that they weren’t following orders?

Probably a bit of both and neither are acceptable.

There’s a lot not acceptable just now in the House of Caps. Even the players are coming out and admitting that now.

Soehn took a gamble and laid it all on the line when fielding a reserve team against Toronto on Wednesday night. Was it worth it?

It’s easy to say no in hindsight, but we backed him 100% in that decision and still do.

A lot of the anger and frustration at this defeat is going to be laid at Tommy Soehn’s door.

He doesn’t make the players play poorly, but he does pick the team, make the changes, set the tactics and had a role in bringing most of the flops to the Caps in the first place.

There are two conversations that there is absolutely no need for any of us to get bogged down in right now: the abandonment of the first game and the sacking of Teitur Thordarson.

What’s done is done. No amount of griping can change that. But we do need change at the Club and that’s exactly what we should be griping about.

Teitur’s sacking was a surprise to many. I said at the time that it was the right decision. I didn’t feel that Soehn was the right replacement.

Nothing I have seen in the subsequent seven games has changed that opinion. I said we needed to give him some time to stamp his mark on the team and suggested to wait until after today’s game. By then we would know what a Soehn-style Caps team would be like.

I think we now know – not very good and certainly not any improvement on Teiturball.

Would I like Soehn to go now? Most certainly yes, but if we can’t get the right man just now, there may not be much point.

To fire two managers in a season would make us look like a laughing stock and totally clueless. Oh, wait a minute…

If the Caps were going to fire Teitur, it was imperative that they had the right LONG TERM replacement lined up. Soehn was a quick fill and not the future of the Club.

We could get a new manager from Europe just now, but he will be out of his depth with the weird and wacky rules of MLS. We do need someone familiar with this League and that man, for me, is Frank Yallop.

I mentioned on the Southsiders forum a few weeks back that I would love to have Yallop here, with a young assistant he can groom to take over. Get #YallopForCaps trending now on Twitter!

We won’t be able to get him till the end of this season sadly. I say sadly, as what we need is someone who can come in now and fairly evaluate ALL the players for next year. Not his personal acquisitions and favourites.

Our season is as good as over. I read somewhere that we have a 2% mathematical chance of making the playoffs now. Good luck filling Empire for the next three months.

We have to look to the future. Get rid of the dead weight and play some of our Residency prospects. With the prospect of a MLS contract carrot, these guys will play out of their skins.

What have we got to lose? We can’t sink much lower.

It’s tough at the top. It’s even tougher at the bottom. That’s not a place that Vancouver Whitecaps FC are used to being. So who, or what, has taken us to the basement?

The Club need to know of the fans’ displeasure. Don’t keep your mouths shut and carry on as if it doesn’t matter or that there’s nothing wrong. Don’t be fobbed off with some summer signings when the season is already over.

The media need to stop kissing butt and ask the difficult questions. The players and management need to stand up and be counted.

Only then will we move forward and be the Club we could, and should, be.

We have a proud history. Since 1974. Don’t let it be tarnished.

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Authored by: Michael McColl

There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Anonymous at 03:44

    Frank Yallop is not the way to go. We need a manager with a good pedigree in winning championships and developing young players. There's only two managers in MLS with those qualities right now, and Yallop isn't one of them.

    Soehn needs to be replaced with an interim coach for the rest of the season. That's the way forward.

  2. Arne Salvesen at 17:40

    Another interim coach is most definitely NOT the way to go Mr. Anonymous (if that is in fact your real name). 2 interims in one season just adds to the confusion on the pitch.

    Soehn needs to go … completely … from the team … but only when we have a long term manager in place.

  3. Arne Salvesen at 17:40

    Another interim coach is most definitely NOT the way to go Mr. Anonymous (if that is in fact your real name). 2 interims in one season just adds to the confusion on the pitch.

    Soehn needs to go … completely … from the team … but only when we have a long term manager in place.

  4. Anonymous at 22:56

    I'm in favour of an interm coach too. We need to make more changes than Sohen. I want the guy who hired him fired as well.

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