Whitecaps tactfully decided to delete tweets trolling Dallas fans over diving

"After gauging reaction from Dallas fans to these tweets during the match... we decided it was best to move in a different direction."

“After gauging reaction from Dallas fans to these tweets during the match… we decided it was best to move in a different direction.”

We know the people who run the front office are fans at heart as well, but the Whitecaps decided maybe they shouldn’t be yelling “How is your face, Ferreira?” from their main account.

Things are getting heated in the rivalry between FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps. Despite a playful back-and-forth between the teams’ social media accounts (Vancouvering!) before the game Saturday, it was during the first half where things really started to get a shade more uncouth than you might be used to seeing from official Twitter accounts. Here are some tweets from the @WhitecapsFC account:

  • @WhitecapsFC: How is your face Ferreira? #Vancouvering
  • @WhitecapsFC: Dear @FCDallas strength and conditioning coach, please work on improving your players’ leg strength. It’s like watching Bambi out there!
  • @WhitecapsFC: @spevin @DFElite You mean “on fire”…don’t worry we’ve been informed that Dallas fans are the most sensitive in the league …Our apologies
  • @WhitecapsFC: A second goal for #VWFC and we’re tied 2-2!!!!!!! We kindly ask that you not rub it in to Dallas fans though, they’re very sensitive

To be fair, it’s not without precedent: The Vancouver Canucks’ official livetweeting account is ran by a guy named Derek Jory who aims for playful, passionate tweets. But we think of main accounts as having a little more decorum, and those first two tweets vanished by the beginning of the second half. When I asked the Whitecaps, this is what they had to say:

Both ourselves and FC Dallas are keen on creating fun, engaging social media content to stimulate fan interest… However, after gauging reaction from Dallas fans to these tweets during the match, and in consultation with FC Dallas communications staff, we decided it was best to move in a different direction for the remainder of the match.

The Caps said they had been “all healthy discussions,” so perhaps the staffer wasn’t fired.

The real comedy in all of this is the giant elephant in the room. Same reason why the obvious response to the Vancouvering video, defining Dallasing as a verb meaning “to dive” came from blog Pucked in the Head and didn’t get coverage from the Caps’ official social media; same reason why Schellas Hyndman lost it on the Province’s Marc Weber on Saturday.

Despite the fact that everyone knows, make sure you never talk about Dallas and diving — at least not in front of them.

Sources: I got the full text of the first two from this message board post, though I’d MTed the Bambi tweet myself. Second two are still up.

Whitecaps comeback shows only place to get revenge is the back of the net

Much attention was pored on the antics of Dallas' David Ferreira. Photo Mafue/flickr

Much attention was pored on the antics of Dallas’ David Ferreira (centre). Photo Mafue/flickr

By the end of the first half, the air in BC Place was nasty with hate.

It wasn’t just anger or a regular expression of rivalry, it was a fermented mix of helplessness and outrage. The score was 1-0 to the visitors, Dallas were playing like sneering villains and Vancouver were playing awfully. Vancouver manager Martin Rennie argued that his players weren’t mad, but the rest of the stadium might have been.

You could feel it in the rueful head shakes of two ground staff waiting for the elevator at half-time. In the the social media staffer who accused Dallas of playing like Bambi from the Whitecaps main account while the match was in play. In the short, staccato four rounds of “FUCK YOU DALLAS” from the Southsiders late in the first, fully aware they weren’t supposed to sing it but too furious to stop.

It’s the sort of hate that isn’t productive, not in soccer. Joe Cannon looked up and waved frantically after the second goal went in on 47 minutes in disbelief. Even though there probably wasn’t contact, something had to be wrong with it. Could he have closed in any more without mashing his face into Matt Hedges’ boot? There had to be something wrong. I wanted there to be something wrong, because that would explain how Vancouver was down 2-0; how they had 57 per cent of possession but only two shots on target.

But that can poison you in soccer. Search for their foul or their dive and you never find the through ball that’s coming for you. No amount of roaring or taunting Dallas can change the fact that you’re down 2-0 in the second half.

And then the game turned. Passes started connecting. Jun Marques Davidson and Daigo Kobayashi, both having tough seasons, came out, replaced by youngsters Kekuta Manneh and Tommy Heinemann. Camilo, who had not taken a shot, lit up.

The first goal was a combination of those three forces. When Camilo’s shot riocheted off Raul Fernandez, Heinemann used a crazy diving header to try and keep the ball in play; it ended up being an assist when Kekuta Manneh, who had showed promise with no result, slid the ball inside the near post and brought the spark of life to the Whitecaps.

Three minutes later, it was Manneh again, sliding the ball through the box and finding Camilo, whose first touch slipped coolly into the goal. Just a week after a FC Dallas video mocked the Whitecaps for players lying on the ground, head in hands, in sorrow over missed chances or botched goals, three of their players collapsed in disbelief.

It was now Dallas who couldn’t believe how they found themselves level. Trying to shake off Alain Rochat, Brazilian midfielder Jackson whipped back and thwacked him in the previously-broken nose with a right hand. He saw red, and the Dallas attack slowed to a crawl. The goalie, Fernandez, got rattled. The crowd roared with excitement now, instead of rage.

Vancouver couldn’t, unfortunately, turn the comeback into a win. Even though they managed anger well, there’s still an element of fear that has persisted throughout the current streak of six games without an MLS win, especially the away loss last week to Dallas. You can see it nowhere stronger than than Darren Mattocks. Mattocks, who remains athletic and fast, had serious problems being in position for through balls in the first half. And while Joe Cannon saved the game in the 94th minute with a point-blank save, his decision-making is being questioned for his role in the two goals.

But on the night, the good guys won, because they started clicking and they paid attention to what mattered: their own play.

Dallas’ manager, Schellas Hyndman, for their part, was furious. He addressed the reporters like they were the team themselves, blamed the stadium for playing Dallas fouls on the screen and called a journalist embarassing for asking about diving. He hated that his team didn’t win.

But it didn’t win him the three points.

Stats and quotes after the jump.

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To break a road slump, the Whitecaps must be ready to get results

Joe Cannon, frustrated after Rusin's own goal.

Joe Cannon, frustrated after Rusin’s own goal, the first in a 2-0 loss away to FC Dallas.

What causes a road slump?

We keep talking about it, because the numbers make it easy to do that. The Whitecaps were 0-15-2 (W-L-D) in their first season, 3-10-4 last year. The road record so far, with three losses and a draw, is the albatross that turns a respectable home record of 2-0-1 to a pretty mediocre 2-3-2.

But how does it actually happen? Teams and players slump because they stop clicking and they can’t figure out how to pull off the things they’re good at. Clubs build up slumps against specific opponents because of an intimidation factor that comes from specific players and memories of bad losses.

But how does a team perform consistently for two weeks and then drop it the next? How can you turn it around? Teams with good away form buy hotels in their home city to inspire focus, but there is no such quick fix for Vancouver’s issues.

In the aftermath of the Vancouver Whitecaps’ 2-0 pasting at FC Dallas last night, they didn’t seem ready for the challenge of playing in the league leaders’ ground. There are a bunch of factors.

Vancouver’s young players like Erik Hurtado and Tommy Heinemann deserve minutes, but they can’t be counted on to create yet. The Whitecaps’ front four was Hurtado, Heinemann, Russell Teibert and Matt Watson, who bring only 43 games of experience (34 games in an MLS season) between them, with no goals. Not that those players aren’t worthy, but why would you rely on them to deliver you a result against the team with the best form in the league? Placing even one player, like Darren Mattocks, who has experience pulling results in this situation, in the mix could have worked.

Poor Joe Cannon was also let down, with two goals against on 13 total shots and six shots on target. Part of that was because Dallas was, as mentioned earlier, very good. Part of that is just lapses. What exactly is happening on the own goal?


Somehow, Brad Rusin is getting shoved all the way through the penalty area by George John. I can’t explain that. Rusin has been okay in the absence of Jay DeMerit, but he wasn’t on it last night, and nobody really was. Look at the backline on the second goal.


Rusin, Andy O’Brien and Y.P. Lee are all standing still within ten feet of each other staring at Kenny Cooper, and nobody is marking anybody. O’Brien has just turned around and the line is keeping David Ferreria offside, but by this point in the game the defense just wasn’t reacting fast enough to stop Blas Perez from breaking through the gap I’ve marked with the red arrow.

At the heart of it, these are the decisions you have to make. To beat a team on the kind of form that FC Dallas is enjoying, you need to move fast, stand strong, and be on it all the time. The Whitecaps know this, because in the last year they’ve willed these results into existence, winning not once but twice against San Jose last season.

After the game today, Watson pointed to confidence issues and Cannon pointed to the Voyageurs Cup match against Edmonton on Wednesday. At the end of the day, it’s not that they weren’t in front of the fans, it’s that they didn’t play like they thought this is a thing they could have pulled of.

You can roll out all the cumulative stats you like tying this current streak to the Whitecaps’ historical away woes or the drop in form that ended last season. What are we going to do? Fire Tommy Soehn? Cut John Thorrington? But the fact is that the only way to turn things around is come into every game ready to overcome challenges and win.

They didn’t.

Stats after the jump.

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Whitecaps show nothing, get nothing in fifth straight loss


Photo courtesy Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Vancouver Whitecaps played this game like they didn’t need to win, so they didn’t.

With losses in the previous four games and a week off for an international break the game was a great opportunity to tidily end a streak: against FC Dallas, the team who beat them to start the skid.

But the framing of the game, at least on TV, focused on Dallas, and their need to win the game, as opposed to the benefits of establishing a seven-point safety cushion between the Caps and Dallas for the last playoff spot. At half-time, the team was glassy-eyed on the road, grinding out a result but offensively lost. They just couldn’t hold it forever.

The teamsheet was shook up from the loss against L.A., with four players that started in that game–Dane Richards, Jun Marques Davidson, Matt Watson and Russell Teibert–moved to the bench. This was part of a hope to inspire any offense at all; the biggest offense of the four-game losing streak was that there were zero shots on goal in three of those games.

It was not particularly successful. The shuffled teamsheet had a difficulty striking up a rhythm; it’s not like players were bad on the ball, but there was no sense of shared movement that powered any offensive moves. However, the Whitecaps were lucky not to be punished for it early on.

Vancouver conceded a penalty kick on 15 minutes after Jay DeMerit rose to clear a cross by seizing the shoulders of the Dallas man next to him. But Brad Knighton, preferred to Joe Cannon for the second straight game, improbably got gloves on the ball to save it. It was the first of many strong saves from Knighton that kept the Caps in the game.

But the Whitecaps didn’t show any signs of capitalizing on that luck; between the penalty, a shot off the crossbar on 41 minutes and fingertip save on 42 minutes, the Whitecaps could have been 3-0 at the interval and offered no indication they could have dealt with the hardship if any one of the chances went in.

It’s not as though the Caps were awful. Second half substitutes Teibert and Mattocks did well to lighten the mood. The defense was solid, and there was great contributions from the midfield and the forward line; Mattocks was more solid on the defensive side of the ball than I’ve ever seen him.

But they just had no way of creating things. I cannot honestly tell you a single thing Barry Robson or Kenny Miller did. The Thorrington-Koffie-Rochat midfield was as defensive as you’d expect it, although Koffie had a go in the second half. This is the single biggest area in which the team needs to improve.

As Dallas pushed crazily for a goal in the game’s final moments, the Whitecaps looked terrified and disorganized; knowing that they had done nothing to avert a 0-0 draw and were in heavy danger of leaving Frisco with nothing. They were unable to hold Dallas out of their own penalty area and were punished at 6 minutes of injury time by a supurb strike that was patience rewarded.

And, you know, what would the Whitecaps have said if the game had ended 0-0? “Hey, we didn’t lose!” “We got shots on goal this time!” They can’t win games and, ultimately, make the playoffs that way. The home game against Colorado will be the new moment where they have to turn it around if they want to see the postseason.

Tonight, the Caps tried to hold on against Dallas, who were determined to get a result and won accordingly. There’s now only a point that separates the two teams. If the Whitecaps are complacent, they could be punished again.

Stats after the jump.

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