I don’t think many of us expected much out of tonight’s game against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Sure it’s nice to hope that we can win every match but realistically, some games are going to be a stretch. These shock wins happen though. Just not to us.
It was going to be a hard enough ask at full strength. Our form is poor, we can’t even seem to buy a win at the moment and RSL have only lost twice at their new home in three seasons.
Add missing the suspended Eric Hassli into the mix and even getting a point out of the game seemed like a monstrous task.
The travelling support that made the long trek to Utah deserved a lot better performance from the players than what we got.
We spent a lot of time and money (this leg of the trip cost me over $500 alone) and we don’t do it just to see a win. We do it to support the team and the players and what we should expect in return is a gutsy performance full of fight.
I feel cheated.
There was no fight out there tonight. It was a glorious evening to play football in a wonderful stadium. After Jean Alexandre’s first goal, the heads went down and they never really came back up again until the late hurrah in the closing minutes, but by then it was way too little, way too late.
Even after the game Tommy Soehn commented that only 4 or 5 players were performing. That leaves far too many underperformers to even begin to hope competing in the league.
Should we expect a mass clear out in the summer transfer window?
The players owe the fans that made the trip an apology. They didn’t even acknowledge us after the final whistle FFS. Why should we even bother if they don’t seem to care?
I booed them off the park. First time I think I’ve done that as a Whitecaps fan.
It’s hard to pinpoint where it’s all going wrong but it’s clearly not a happy camp at the moment.
I like Soehn’s desire to take the bull by the horns and make early changes. Teitur waited far too late. The two changes at the half were good.
Peter Vagenas made his first start for the Caps. It was hard to tell, as he was posted missing for most of the first half. When Alex Morfaw replaced him at the break, there was an immediate improvement and the Cameroonian would feature in my 3-2-1 for the match for what he tried to bring to the second half.
Omar Salgado seemed a little lost out there in the second half. He wasn’t getting any support or guidance and his young years became very evident. I’d even forgotten he was on the pitch at one point.
We were outshot 24 to 7 and if it wasn’t for some great saves from Joe Cannon, we could have been on the wrong end of a hiding. RSL even seemed to be strolling and playing at half tempo at times in the second half.
At least one more goal would have got us a free Burger King breakfast!
Where we really fell down this evening was on possession. The home side had the better of that in general, but when we did have it we either misplaced passes, lost possession far too easily or had players on the ball with no-one moving or looking the slightest bit interested in getting the ball.
That is not acceptable for players off MLS quality. Maybe that is the key. We think we have a good squad, maybe we don’t.
It was perhaps easier for us to see from up high, but we kept bringing the ball up the left and the ball to play was the long diagonal over the Salt Lake defence to Camilo or Salinas on the other side. We had so many chances to do that and didn’t.
Bilal Duckett had a pretty poor game. His marking was terrible at times and he was giving the Salt Lake attackers way too much room and got burned time and time again, costing us the second goal.
Davide Chiumiento may like to play in the middle but he’s hell of a lot more effective for us out wide.
Overall it was poor poor poor. It was great seeing Rio Tinto Stadium. It’s a cracking little place to watch football, but I’ll be going over the away stadia next week in the blog. That was the only plus though.
Getting rid of Teitur has not improved anything. In fact, we’re getting worse and playing more raggedy by the game. And I’m saying that as someone who wasn’t objecting to Teitur’s sacking.
What makes it all the more depressing is that you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel at the moment. In fact the tunnel just seems to be getting longer and even the canary has died.
Our first Cascadia Cup match as a MLS side next. I should be looking forward to it. Actually, I’m dreading it.
*** You can find pictures from AFTN’s trip to Utah on our official Flickr page ***