Report and Reaction: Whitecaps’ exciting four play leads to tremendous Rapids climax

Report and Reaction: Whitecaps’ exciting four play leads to tremendous Rapids climax

“Another heart has made the trade,
Forget it, forget it, forget it,
I don’t understand how a heart is a spade,
But somehow the vital connection is made.”

The wise words of Justine Frischmann and Elastica there from 1994, and Vancouver Whitecaps certainly had heart in spades at BC Place on Saturday afternoon, putting in an aggressive team performance to make it back to back wins, and consigning the previously high flying Colorado Rapids to their first defeat of the season.

The Whitecaps went with their new blue kits for this match following the success the week before in LA and they came out all guns blazing from the first whistle, firing a shot right down the middle of the grid and forcing the Rapids to be on the back foot from the start.

Colorado played it safe in reply, slotting in right beside the ‘Caps attack before Vancouver tried to pen the visitors in on the backline, but a bit of quick thinking saw things quickly level up.

A tense midfield battle looked to be on the cards, as the ‘Caps tried to stamp their authority in the middle of the grid, while the Rapids were happy to try and get their discs out to the wings, before the home side saw the threat and shut that particular line of attack down.

It was still looking like all to play for after four, but Marc Dos Santos’ gameplan suddenly sprang into action a round later, as the ‘Caps stuck to the process, methodically setting up the first chance to score in the game with a brilliant long diagonal that cut through the Rapids red defence like a hot knife through butter.

It was a ballsy play this early in the match, as Vancouver hoped to catch Colorado’s head in the clouds, but the Rapids rearguard showed quick reaction to save face and block the move, keeping their fading hopes alive.

The road ahead for the visitors was already looking a rocky one and it already looked like they had a mountain to climb.

Vancouver smelled blood in the springs and continued to pack the middle, taking control of the centre of the grid and showing a sense of strength and authority in the middle that we haven’t seen from the ‘Caps for a long time.

With no way through that packed midfield, Colorado had no alternative but to try and play out wide, but it was hard to see how that was going to produce any kind of success and you already felt that their best hope of getting any sort of result in this one would be to just try and delay and frustrate Vancouver and try and grind out a scoreless draw.

The ‘Caps weren’t concerned about what the visitors were doing, only focusing on their own route to success, and they kept the high press on, setting up another chance of a winner in the 7th, with a nice move up the inside left of the grid.

Colorado produced their second save of the game, but were clearly on the back foot now and fighting to keep their unbeaten start to the season alive.

The ‘Caps knew it was only a matter of time and set up a great double threat in the 8th, just needing some patient and to make some key moves to see one of them come off.

Colorado were out of ideas and looked like a beaten team, with no attack coming from them whatsoever and hoping beyond hope that they might see another defensive slip up from the ‘Caps to give them a chance.

But this wasn’t 2019. This was a much different Whitecaps side and they didn’t take their eye of the prize for a moment, delivering the perfect set up in the 9th.

It was at this point that I think boredom, or just a sense of resignation, took over the Rapids. With a clear desire for the game to end, they seemed to just throw it all away, with one of the worst giveaways you’ll see this season, allowing the ‘Caps to deliver the killer blow in the 10th, in a beautiful four-disc diagonal connection for the victory.

Back to back victories now for Vancouver and fantastic to get that monkey off their back with the first home win of the new campaign.

As pleasing as the three points was the nature of the performance. It was aggressive from the get-go and they bossed the middle of the grid, not giving the Rapids a sniff of anything from start to finish. This was the most clinical we’ve seen the ‘Caps in a long, long time and it’s exciting what may now lie ahead.

To Hull and back?

FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 4 in a row – Colorado Rapids 0

ATT: 22,120 (sell out – although Bob Mackin doesn’t agree)

VANCOUVER: Blue Disc; Blue Disc, Blue Disc, Blue Disc, Blue Disc; Blue Disc, Blue Disc (Blue Disc 61), Blue Disc, Blue Disc; Blue Disc (Blue Disc 86), Blue Disc (Blue Disc 67) [Subs Not Used: Blue Disc, Trialist, Blue Disc, Fredy Montero]

COLORADO: Red Disc; Red Disc, Red Disc, Red Disc, Red Disc; Red Disc, Red Disc (Red Disc 75); Red Disc (Red Disc 80), Red Disc, Red Disc (Red Disc 61); Red Disc [Subs Not Used: Red Disc, Red Disk, Red Dick, Red Dirk]

Possession: VAN 52.6% – COL 47.4%
Shots: VAN 10 – COL 9
Shots on Goal: VAN 3 – COL 0
Saves: VAN 0 – COL 2
Fouls: VAN 0 – COL 1
Offsides: VAN 0 – COL 1
Corners: 4




Overall thoughts on the game:

“I’m delighted for the whole team. We came out strong from the first play, followed the process, and got what I truly think we deserved. It was important to build on what we did in LA. We’re still learning how to be a team, but the signs are there that we are moving in the right direction. I didn’t think we were in any trouble for the whole game and when we got our chance, we took it. Now we move on.”

Did the team feel any pressure to get that first win at home under their belt?:

“Listen. Pressure is not being able to put a new toilet roll on your holder or have disinfectant wipes to put on your table. This is week three of a long season. You guys always want to hype up the pressure. You ask the fan who hasn’t been able to get any tinned soup what’s pressure. This isn’t pressure. This is a game we love. Last game, we were anxious, for sure, but not today.”

On the strong play in the middle:

“We watched Colorado and we knew they liked to get the play out wide. In a game like this, with a tight grid, there’s very little room for error and if you boss the middle, you simply take away any space for your opponent and they will nevr get anything going. I thought the guys did that today and were excellent in keeping that press on. This is what I’ve been looking for since I came here.”

On why Fredy Montero didn’t play a disc today:

“Why are you guys always asking about Fredy? He’s our player. He has a contract till the end of the season and was on the bench today. He’s still very much part of the team, but for a game like today, I didn’t feel he had the defensive capabilities we were needing to shut down the Rapids play.”

On the ongoing visa issues:

“Yes, it is still very frustrating. That wasn’t our best today. We didn’t have the strongest game out that we were wanting. I was wanting the new deluxe version from Europe, but the visa card was maxed out after Jeff Anderson had bought a soy latte with an extra shot of espresso, so we had to go the thrift store and buy a copy there for depth. Hopefully by next game you will see our first choice grid out there.”

Authored by: Michael McColl

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Chris Corrigan at 00:20

    You, sir, are offically a fucking legend.

  2. Susan Harris at 08:49

    I second that. This was brilliant.

  3. Rituro at 12:02

    Amazing. Love how you included the heatmaps with the write-up. The squad is really finding those connections now.

  4. scott steinson at 08:17

    Useless for people wanting to see the score and move along. How hard is that?

  5. Pingback: Second ‘Caps Thoughts: Vancouver Whitecaps keeping busy, connecting the dots during postponement - Between The Sticks

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