Whitecaps Left With Toughest Route To Cup

If Vancouver Whitecaps are going to be crowned Nutrilite Canadian Champions for the first time then they’re going to have to do it the hard way.

With a potential Champions League qualifier against Honduran side CD Motagua at stake, a point from last night’s match against Toronto did little to help the cause. Sure it keeps us in it, but we’re on a life support machine and we’re just waiting for someone to flick that off switch. Don’t be surprised if that person stinks of garlic and has a baguette under his arm and a beret on his head.

A third goalless draw in a row, albeit the most entertaining of them, was frustrating if not a surprise. I went into the match expecting a 1-0 defeat but getting a point doesn’t excite.

Let’s not beat around the bush here, Toronto were poor. Call them what you will, a makeshift side, an experimental side, a weakened side. Whatever they were it wasn’t the top TFC out there either in personnel or performance. If we can’t score against that, then there’s not a lot of hope out there if we go to BMO in two weeks time needing a win to clinch the trophy. It won’t be a lesser TFC facing us on the park that day.

To get to that stage of course we have to beat Montreal next week in Quebec. I won’t go down the whole “they owe us” a weak team saga again, as it’s getting boring now I know. I actually hope they don’t put out a weakened side as if they do and we fail to beat them, then that just leaves the Caps looking like chumps. I’d rather win in glory or go down to a full strength side.

I know some of the Toronto fans would love Montreal to play a weak team to shut us up about last year, but as if they will really. I think the quote of the day about it all was from Teitur when he was quoted in the Globe and Mail as saying: “I’m actually expecting them to send the junior team”.

Back to last night’s game, Toronto were outplayed for most of the match and by the second half there only really looked like being one team who would score. Now that’s based on possession obviously as opposed to our scoring prowess, but we did have some great chances in the last ten minutes to give ourselves an easier qualification route to the Champions League.

We so lack a spark up front. Marcus Haber can’t do it all. He can’t create and score at the same time. He needs help and when he returns to West Brom soon then we’ll really be in the shit.

There were some positives from the game –

* Cornelius Stewart was outstanding and is becoming a real find

* Greg Janicki’s commitment to the cause, whilst still suffering a weeping head injury is wonderful to see and what you want from your players

* The return of Martin Nash, as second half sub, added some bite into the middle of the park and some much needed authority. Looking ahead to future MLS years, if only he was a few years younger

* Another clean sheet for Jay Nolly and the backline. Three goals conceded in eight competitive matches is immense

That last point is what gives us the chance going in to the last two games of the tournament.

We’re not conceding. That’s a great base. Two more games without letting in a goal gives us the get out clause of just needing one spark of brilliance in each match to take us through. It won’t be pretty but what the hell, I’ll gladly take it.

I’ve been saying this for weeks now and it HAS to happen at some point. We will all of a sudden click and the goals will come. Not sure from whom but it will happen and then by October we’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about. We just need it to click in the next fortnight.

Mon the Caps.

Authored by: Michael McColl

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