After weeks of excitement, the 2016 MLS season kicked off with a whimper Sunday at BC Place. There were mistakes a plenty, some quality chances from Whitecaps players and two set piece goals to improve upon for next game.
There is certainly plenty to work on this upcoming week, but it is only game one of a long season. The team will gel with more games under their belt and quality minutes played together.
First Kick was a day best forgotten, but before we are on the next one, let’s take a look at “The Good, The Average and The Bad: Whitecaps Killed Upon Impact Edition”
Kekuta Manneh Off The Bench
It may have been somewhat forced due to his nagging injury, but Supersub Manneh is back for the 2016 season. He was that spark coming off the bench in the 60th minute for a tired Cristian Techera.
Before Manneh came on, the team had looked a little lacklustre at the beginning of the second half. He added some width down the left side of the pitch and took some pressure off his teammates.
You can tell this is still not a fully fit Manneh on his game. When we’ll see that Kekuta again is still unknown, but now his limited role could prove crucial.
Kendall Waston’s Overall Game
Game one for Waston is not anything special to write home about. He seemed a little hesitant to step up and be physical (referees playing on his mind now?), got beat way too easily up the middle of the pitch and sent way too many balls over the top to try and start the offensive push up the pitch.
He salvaged himself late in the game with the beautiful header of the Christian Bolaños corner.
Aird Rescue Needed
Probably had the best preseason of any incoming new player this year. Not a lot of people saw him starting when he was first announced, but after a great run of games he was for sure the choice of being the starter at right back.
Might not be the same chatter with the supporters after this game. Was beat far too easily, on way too many occasions. We saw him be too slow covering the wing and over commit when he caught up to the wingers on the Impact.
Was at fault for the first goal, but was man enough to put his hand up for it when talking at half time. Strong character to do that, and it was the first MLS game for the converted right winger, but he needs to improve that defensive side of his game or risk getting seriously burned.