In The Cold Light Of Day: Whitecaps Out Of Their Depth In Houston

With all the exciement and eventful games in the Whitecaps MLS season to date, fans were brought back down to earth with a bump this afternoon with a pretty lacklustre Caps performance in the Texas heat.

Facing up against Franchise FC in Houston, Vancouver were put to the sword as a dangerous Dynamo side took apart the midfield and defence time and time again.

You can read our full match report of the game at Prost Amerika.

We’d been impressed by the depth of the Whitecaps squad so far this term, as injuries and suspensions continued to the plague the team. Today showed that the depth level probably does penetrate too much into the 20’s.

Let’s look at the positives first.

Um, well we kept them down to three! I don’t know how, but we did.

Aside from that, few players came away with a lot of plaudits.

Camilo looked dangerous but really needs to keep his diving under control. He was very lucky not to get booked trying to win a penalty in the first half. The thought of Camilo playing alongside Hassli and Salgado is truly exciting. His finish was exceptional for the Caps only goal.

Why Teitur took him off for Salgado is a bit of a mystery. Camilo was our only real attacking threat whilst Harris was pretty much done and not mobile. I would have liked to have seen Salgado on 10 to 20 minutes earlier. It may not have made much of a difference but it would have been good to see what he could introduce to the game.

Jay Nolly made some saves and couldn’t be faulted for the first two goals. He perhaps rushed out a little bit early for the third but to be fair, Bruin had easily left Rochat and Boxall behind and would have probably put the ball in the net no matter what.

Rochat clearly tired before the final whistle. Understandable after working in the middle and then having to cover Blake Wagner for a lot of the match in the left back position too.

The midfield was non existent for most of the game. Houston managed to do what others have struggled with so far and that’s to shut down Davide Chiumiento for most of the game. His flair made the Caps goal but there was little else of attacking note for the match.

Russell Teibert made a little difference when he came on at the half, but the midfield just couldn’t get into the game and were shut down. Nizar Khalfan was a shadow of the man we saw when he came on as sub last weekend. Maybe we should look at having him as an impact sub.

Jeb Brovsky didn’t do too bad on his debut and it was great to see Mouloud Akloul back playing in a Caps jersey.

A few of us were wondering pre-game whether Jay DeMerit was fully recovered from his groin strain. I guess we now know the answer to that and there’s going to be some more changes at the back next week.

So not a lot to take from this but let’s do our AFTN 3-2-1 anyway:

3 points – Camilo
2 points – Jay Nolly
1 point – Russell Teibert

The heat and two games in five days could be used as excuses for the lacklustre performance, but we don’t hold too much sway with that. The biggest positive we can take out of this is that it was a patchwork Caps side, with many fringe players.

So although we can’t get complacent, let’s not get too down about today either.

Yes, we were made to look like an expansion team out there, but it’s how we bounce back from it that matters.

And bounce back we must. Five points from a possible 15 isn’t the end of the world, but we need to start getting the ticks in the win column in our home games, hopefully starting against Chivas next Saturday, if we harbour serious hopes of a playoff berth.

Hey, early days I know. Hopefully we’re getting our injury problems out of the way early!

Once we get some of our main guys back in, I think we’ll see the Caps we know and love. It’s keeping them healthy and in the starting eleven that appears to be our biggest problem.

Mon the Caps.

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