Whitecaps found legs first in opener, and then Toronto woke up

Captain Pedro Morales takes a corner in the Whitecaps' home opener against Toronto FC. (Photo RosieTulips/Flickr)

Captain Pedro Morales takes a corner in the Whitecaps’ home opener against Toronto FC. (Photo RosieTulips/Flickr)

During the off-season, a soccer team doesn’t exist in any of the important ways, like the way it does during the ebb and flow of a game. The pre-season is used to prepare and predict what the team will be like when it exists again for real; come the opening whistle it blips back into the physical plane. With some new limbs and some limbs missing, it lumbers into motion and begins to walk and pass and try to score a goal, just like it did the last time, but for the first time as a new group.

The Vancouver Whitecaps figured this out early and had a good first half in its opener Saturday against Toronto FC. Then Toronto woke up, and they had a very good second half en route to a 3-1 win.

Two of the biggest new faces introduced to the Caps this year, and the only two new players in the starting lineup, were Pa-Modou Kah, the centre-back picked up from Portland, and Octavio Rivero, the Uruguayan striker brought in to fill the fans’ hunger for a goal-scorer and whose predecessor had not quite managed to satisfy.

Their integration was a success, with Kah picking out the new central striker from almost 30 yards away that released him on a run that culminated in Rivero beating Joseph Bendik on his right side. Rivero basked in the moment, getting a chance to make his mark on his debut early, like Sebastien Le Toux in 2012.

By contrast, Toronto looked nervous, bending under the expectations that come with their wage bill. When a ball from Michael Bradley deflected through the box to their winter signing Sebastien Giovinco, the new man turned at the same rate as everyone around him, a second behind the ball like he was surprised to be alone with it, before putting a blistering shot just wide on the 17th minute.

But even without cohesion, individual players can still shine. Jozy Altidore, fresh from a disappointing term with Sunderland in the English Premier League, was given a gift of a Giovinco ball across the carpet and, as though through muscle memory, deftly turned past the goalkeeper.

The Caps stayed good for the rest of the period and were more aggressive at finding space to exploit, but didn’t convert it to goals. Kekuta Manneh, on 39 minutes, couldn’t work the same magic 1-on-1 with Bendik that Rivero had earlier, and Vancouver went into the tunnel on even terms with a Toronto side that hadn’t figured out how to make all of its expensive pieces snap together.

But you can’t count on your opponent’s ill fortune. The Toronto that came out of the tunnel was more determined and less nervous, converting that with a smooth run from Justin Morrow that bamboozled Vancouver defender Stephen Beitashour and put him in a position to pick out Robbie Findley.

It was now Toronto, not Vancouver, that was striding past back lines and executing smart runs. On 62 minutes, there was a strange crossover that looked almost like a Whitecap stole the ball from another; on 83 minutes Pedro Morales recovered the ball from the defense, but through fatigue couldn’t find an outlet before being overrun in his own half.

The penalty that ended the team’s chances was cruel, although not undeserved. After Gershon Koffie had a foul shout at the other end, Kah, fulfilling jitters from fans that don’t fondly recall his performance in Portland, clattered into Altidore on 89 minutes. If he touched the ball, he launched his frame into the air so clumsily that nobody could really argue.

The 2015 Whitecaps exist now, and the result was promising, if not disappointing. They lacked the ability to control Toronto’s firepower, when it woke up, and with more time for Kah and Kendall Waston to work together and more time for Rivero to earn the confidence of fans in a way past strikers couldn’t, they might be able to assert themselves down the road. It begins now.

Stats after the jump.

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Monday Review: In a time loop, does your GAA go down?

"Do you feel like... we've done this before?" Photo illustration Andrew Bates, original photo courtesy Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star

“Do you feel like… we’ve done this before?” Photo illustration Andrew Bates, original photo courtesy Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star

As Vancouver shipped its third consecutive goal in the first five minutes of the second half on the way to its second consecutive 2-0 road loss, Toronto dropped points after conceding in the final minutes of the game for the fourth time in a row. All this repetition leads me to wonder: How would this affect a goalie’s goals-against average?

If you realize you are playing the same game over and over, are you statistically putting in multiple shifts or are you just doing over the same performance? Would you carry the memories of past goals nobody remembers to haunt/empower you, or would you be doomed to repeat it?

Either way, it won’t help TFC in the standings.

Major League Soccer

Welp, here we are again. Toronto were cruising to a 0-0 draw away to an out-of-conference opponent, and then Logan Emory fell over in the box. The man he was marking, former useless TFC striker Edson Buddle, picked it up and washed it all away. Toronto falls to 1-4-4, and ninth in the East. Six out points of a possible twelve lost in the dying minutes over the last four games.

Montreal bled late too, conceding in injury-time to draw 2-2 against San Jose. In the ever-touchy east, the dropped means Montreal is the bottom team in a four-way tie for first, all on 17 points.

Seattle also clawed back to a 2-2 draw after conceding to Philadelphia’s Danny Cruz twice in two minutes, while Portland never got started, scoreless at home against New England. Sporting Kansas City thumped Chivas 4-0 and Houston made it out of LA with a 1-0 win, which means with FC Dallas on a bye, Salt Lake and Colorado were the only teams from the West to get anything. Vancouver sits eighth, three points back of the fifth-place Rapids.

North American Soccer League

Edmonton, who nicked their first win of the season last week, are still chugging along. They conceded an early penalty kick, but turned it into a 1-1 away draw against joint league leaders Tampa Bay Rowdies. Shawn Seiko levelled it in the 35th minute and the tired Eddies managed to bring it home with them. Edmonton are 5th with five points, but the top is a log-jam on eight points, so it’s not out of reach.

National Womens Soccer League

Sophie Schmidt tried, but she couldn’t get Sky Blue FC past the Western New York Flash. Trailing 2-0, Schmidt buried it late in the first half to bring it within a goal, but they didn’t make it home. In much the same way, Diane Matheson’s penalty kick similarly got the Washington Spirit on the board against the Portland Thorns, but couldn’t stop a 2-1 loss.

Sydney Leroux, villain to Canadians (but let that be a story for another day) scored a hat trick to power the Boston Breakers 4-1 over Chicago, and Seattle has lost again, a 1-0 defeat to Kansas City for the second straight week. Boy do they need Megan Rapinoe to come back from Europe.

Amway Canadian Championship.

Hahahahaha. As Vancouver eased to a 2-0 win to usher out Edmonton, Toronto conceded again and again and again to lose 6-0, 6-2 on aggregate against Montreal. When I got to BC Place Wednesday, I eyed the score, sitting at 3-0 as I waited for the elevator. By the time I got to the top it was 4-0. So that’s how that went. It’s an off-week for the competition before the first leg of the final kicks off next weekend in Montreal.

Pacific Coast Soccer League

The Whitecaps Girls Elite team started off brightly with a 4-0 win against the NSGSC Eagles in the Womens Premier division, with Summer Clarke getting a brace.

Defending Mens Premier champions Vancouver Thunderbirds started with a 2-1 loss to the Victoria Highlanders reserves. The Highlanders then crossed the Georgia Straight the next day to fall 3-2 to Khalsa Sporting Club. Khalsa were fresh off a thumping 7-2 win against Victoria United, sporting a 3-0 hat trick from UBC star Milad Mehrabi.

Bellingham, who started last weekend with a pair of wins on Vancouver Island, weren’t so lucky at home across the border with a 2-1 loss to Estrella de Chile.

All you need to know about the 2013 Amway Canadian Championship

The winner of the Canadian Championship is awarded the Voyageurs Cup. Photo courtesy Jason Gemnich/CSA

The winner of the Canadian Championship is awarded the Voyageurs Cup. Photo courtesy Jason Gemnich/CSA

It’s a special time for Vancouver Whitecaps fans: the Canadian Championship. Every year, it’s an opportunity to see old friends from the second division, dream of Central America and ugly cry after the final.

Vancouver will visit FC Edmonton tomorrow in the first leg of a two-match semifinal, with Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact in the other side of the bracket. The Championship, also known as the Voyageurs Cup, is how I got into following the Whitecaps, and it’s always been the source of some lovely memories. And some really, really awful memories.

What’s at stake?

The winners of the Canadian Championship are awarded the Voyageurs Cup, named for the national team supporter’s group that bought the trophy. They are also granted a spot in the CONCACAF Champion’s League, which is like the European version except with less money and more trips to crazy loud Mexican and Central American stadiums. (MLS teams usually compete for that through the league or the U.S. Open Cup, but we are special Canadian flowers and we get our own route. It works out.)

How did it start?

It started life in 2002 as the Voyageurs Cup, a trophy founded on donations by the national team supporter’s group and completely organized by the fans. At the time, all the Canadian professional teams played in the North American second division. From 2002 to 2007, it was awarded to the team with the best results in the regular season against the other Canadian teams in the league, which was invariably the Montreal Impact. Montreal competed yearly with the Whitecaps, TFC’s predecessors the Toronto Lynx, and, for a time, a Calgary team.

But things were changing rapidly by 2008. Toronto got an MLS expansion team and CONCACAF was rearranging its eight-team knockout cup into a 24-team format more like Europe, with group stages. Since American teams had always been awarded to the top two MLS teams, Canada needed to find a way to pick their own champion. Enter the Canadian Championship, a four-game round-robin between Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Eventually, Edmonton joined the second division, and in 2011 it changed to its current form, home-and-away semifinals followed by a two-legged final.

Has it been fun?

Oh yes. Back before Vancouver and Montreal got their MLS spots, it was a fun chance to take swipes at big-league Toronto. To those who had schlepped it in the second division for years, Toronto fans seemed like plastic jerks with no sense of history, who thought they were important just because they had games on TV. (Now, of course, we’re all that way.) A 1-0 win at BMO Field in 2008 was an underdog’s triumph, and though the ‘Caps lost, taking five points off Toronto kept them from seizing the first Cup of the new era.

Vancouver really wants to win one of these, largely because it keeps evading them. Last year’s 1-0 wet-fish loss against a TFC team that had been dire in almost every other match it played was brutal. In 2011, Vancouver were leading 1-0 in the 60th minute of the final’s second leg at BMO Field before rain and lightning caused the game to be called off. It was restarted a month later from 0-0, and TFC maddeningly won 2-1.

And then there’s 2009.

What happened in 2009?

Oh, 2009.

It was an exciting time! A young nerd from the B.C. Interior who’d been watching Tottenham since 2005, I started following the exploits of the second-division Vancouver team, who’d recently been awarded an MLS franchise for 2011. On a vacation to the Lower Mainland, I poked my head in the door for my first ever pro game live, a Voyageurs Cup game against Montreal. It was wonderful, although I missed Ethan Gage’s 60th-minute goal because I was making an emergency run to the portable washrooms behind the bleachers that held the Southsiders in Swangard Stadium.

I prolonged my vacation enough to make the next V-Cup game against Toronto, and it was delirious. With all the pressure — Toronto would win the Cup on our ground if they beat us — Ansu Toure scored twice, and Vancouver turned aside those big-league jerks. Not only that, but barring an inconceivable four goal win for TFC in their final game against Montreal, Vancouver were going to win the trophy themselves. We were dreaming of Costa Rica. There was a pitch invasion. It was like this:

Two weeks later, Toronto and Montreal lined up at Stade Saputo, with a crew of Whitecaps players watching from the stands. It couldn’t go wrong, right? Montreal wouldn’t ship five. They were too good for that. Even though they’d fielded what looked like a weak side, when they scored the first goal on a penalty, that looked like it was done and dusted.

And then Dwayne DeRosario, that asshole, scored twice before halftime. Then again for a hat trick. Then Amado Guevara scored. And then Chad Barret scored. Guevara’s 90th-minute goal sealed it. Toronto had won 6-1. Each goal was like a punch to the stomach.

Writing for the 24th Minute at the time, I had absolute sorrow. From Whitecaps president Bobby Lenarduzzi down, everyone was furious at Montreal for rolling over. They maintained they were saving their energy for the league game against Vancouver on the weekend, when, to add insult to injury they trounced the Whitecaps on national TV. The Montreal supporters’ group boycotted the first half in protest. There would be no Costa Rica. Toronto lost in the first round of the Champions League.

It was sporting hurt. Vancouver fans fly banners that read Je me souviens to remember it. One of these days, we’re going to win this damn thing. Maybe this is the year.

It’s Monday! Time for the Monday Review.

Christine Sinclair must have done this to Kaylyn Kyle like, eighty times in practice. Photo courtesy Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Thorns FC

Christine Sinclair must have done this to Kaylyn Kyle like, eighty times in practice. Photo courtesy Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Thorns FC

It’s Monday! That mean’s it’s time for the Monday Review. What happened in soccer this week?


It was the historic start of the National Women’s Soccer League’s first season! (That actually started a week ago.) Portland Thorns FC defeated Seattle Reign FC 2-0 in their home opener Sunday. A posted attendance of 16,479 at Jeld-Wen eclipsed all of the games in the previous women’s pro league, WPS, as well as the crowds of all 9 MLS games except LA and New York.

The news will hearten women’s soccer fans, although certainly an MLS stadium in Portland with two of the best attacking players in the game got an attendance that teams like Chicago, satisfied with its 3,000-seating Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex, aren’t trying to hit while the game is in its growth period.

But the good news is that the teams are fairly even on the field. Though Portland has heavy talent in Canadian talisman Christine Sinclair and goalkeeper Karina Leblanc as well as the USWNT’s Alex Morgan, the Thorns were bright in attack and okay in defense, but they need to figure out how to get the ball to their attacking pair. Just like Canada! Seattle sported the CANWNT’s Kaylyn Kyle and Emily Zurrer, as well as Welsh star Jessica Fishlock, who was keen to play antagonist to the Portland fans. Should be bright.

Thorns lead the table with 4 points and a 1-1-0 record. In the other NWSL game of the weekend, Canada’s Diane Matheson scored an 86th minute penalty kick to draw the Washington Spirit even 1-1 with the Western New York Flash.


Despite really really looking like they could pull out a win against Houston, Toronto conceded at 93:30 of a 94-minute match on one of those last gasp corner attempts. TFC had a man on the far post and a man on the near post, but nobody on Houston D-Mid Warren Crevalle, who stood right in front of GK John Bendik and flicked it backwards with a seal-poke of his forehead. It erased a lead the team had been carrying since a Jeremy Hall goal in the 58th minute for a 1-1 draw.

Elsewhere, Seattle got a 1-0 away win at Colorado, Portland drew 1-1 at San Jose, the Union beat United, LA Galaxy turned away Kansas City, Salt Lake defeated Chivas, Chicago got Columbus, and New York trounced New England 4-1 at home.

Montreal, sitting third in the East, didn’t play this weekend. TFC is sitting four points out in seventh, while Vancouver is seventh in the west, because oh yeah.


FC Edmonton, whom Vancouver will visit in the Voyageurs Cup on Wednesday, lost 2-0 to Minnesota United, struggling to find space despite having lots of possession. Former Whitecaps Wes Knight left the game with a serious foot injury in the 17th minute and they conceded a penalty in the 29th. It was a bad day for Colin Miller. The winless Eddies sit joint bottom with a point after three games.

CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship

The agony. The ecstasy. Terrified high-schoolers playing away in Panama City. Already qualified for the U17 World Cup after pushing past Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Jamaica, the Canadian men’s U17s tried to push for gold but lost out to Panama in the semis. They beat Honduras on penalties in the bronze medal game, so they’ll go home happy. And they should! They got some good games against international opposition, and now they have a trip to the United Arab Emirates in October to look forward to. Hopefully nobody threw urine at them.


With five players away with the Canada U17 men’s team, the Whitecaps U18 residency team managed to beat San Juan SC 2-1 despite having to haul in some younger players. The U16s, however, had all their players hauled in by the U18s, and lost 1-0. With five games left each, the U18s and U16s sit first and sixth respectively in their West Conference standings.


The Pacific Coast Soccer League schedules are out! They’re, uh, all in Excel. Working on it. Sadly missing Kelowna club Okanagan Challenge FC after it closed its doors this winter, the men’s season will kick off next weekend with the Victoria Highlanders and Victoria United both hosting and conclude July 21st before the Challenge Cup on the 27th and 28th.

The Whitecaps’ women’s team (is the PCSL squad now the senior team? Oh, woe) will get the ball rolling for the women’s Premier division May 1st at SFU. It will conclude the same time.

BC Provincial Cup

Semifinals have been set for BC Soccer’s adult cup competition. On the men’s side, Surrey United Firefighters beat Estrella de Chile and will face the PCSL champion Vancouver Thunderbirds, UBC’s summer team, who offed VMSL champs Columbus FC 3-1. West Van FC and Cowichan won their quarterfinals, and will meet on the other side of the bracket.

On the women’s side, Surrey United and Castaways FC picked up wins, as did Prospect Lake SC and the NSGSC Renegades. All semifinals will take place next weekend.

Six thoughts on the Whitecaps’ Year Without Canadians


This match on against Chicago a year ago was the last time Teibert–or any other Canadian–has been seen in a Whitecaps uniform on an MLS pitch. Photo courtesy Vancouver Whitecaps FC/flickr

It has been a year since the Vancouver Whitecaps have played a Canadian.

On August 7, 2011, Russell Teibert was subbed on in the 56th minute for Alain Rochat in a 4-2 win over Chicago. Since then, in 38 first team games, not even a single minute has gone to a Canadian international player. This year, the only players, other than the mandatory three Canadians on the Whitecaps roster, that received zero minutes are the third-string goalkeeper and Greg Klazura.

This has been a sensitive subject with Whitecaps fans, who are often sick of hearing about the topic and irascible about the charge that the franchise doesn’t develop Canadians, which, clearly, it does, with strong players at the youth and women’s level and alum on the men’s team. (The argument that Alain Rochat, Canadian-born but capped for the Swiss national team, should count is invalid. If Jacob Lensky signs, that too will be weak. I mean, even Joe Cannon’s eligible for a Canada cap if both sides wanted it. But it’s probably not happening.)

There was a strong connection between the national program and the Whitecaps when the team was in NASL, and it’s mainly gone missing in MLS despite promises that a franchise for the Caps would help transform the program. It’s the elephant in the room. But it’s a little bit more complex than just Canadian teams ought to play Canadians (although that’s not necessarily false), so let’s work through it. I’ll give three reasons why it’s something that’s okay to live with at the moment, and then three why it’s awful.

Why it’s okay

1. They’re trying

The argument for the lack of Canadians from the Whitecaps as a club is perennially that they are working to develop suitable subjects. Pioneering the Residence academy structure has helped, and the strong showing of the club in this year’s USSDA Academy playoffs has proven that there are great prospects like Bryce Alderson and Ben Fisk on their way up. This is a long and painful process, so it’s important not to expect instant results.

2. Can you think of any?

With the exception of any past-or-present Vancouver Whitecaps, which great Canadian players the club can go and get that can make an immediate positive impact in the squad? There are a bunch of sort of okay players bouncing around North America that can’t really make the first-team any more (the Kevin Harmses of the world), the great Canadians in MLS are securely with teams and the ones in Europe are mostly getting better opportunities. Toronto’s experiment with hauling in Julian de Guzman and Dwayne de Rosario ended in tears, so why would it work any better for the Caps?

3. It’s working right now

This is the guiltiest reason of all, of course, but the Whitecaps are playing well right now. There was good squad composition through the beginning of the year, and then after the roster shakeup there is still a great first XI. Nobody else will sympathise with Whitecaps fans on this, especially not Toronto fans that sat through the years starting 2007 when only Canadians counted as domestics. Which brings us to

Why it’s not okay

1. They changed the rules for this

The point of MLS as a league initially was to develop players for the US national team program; the product would be iffy at first, as the demands for players were much larger than the player pool, but it would get better. This is what Toronto was in for. Until the Whitecaps came in to the league, all but 13 of Toronto’s 30 players had to be Canadian. Part of the negotiation necessary to accommodate Vancouver’s club-based academy structure included making US players count as domestics in Canada, and requiring Canadian teams to only carry three truly domestic players.

This wouldn’t be a problem if the Caps weren’t using all three spots on players that haven’t got even a whiff of playing time in the first team. The idea that Caleb Clarke or Bryce Alderson are first-team players (or that Phillipe Davies was) is a farce, because Martin Rennie wouldn’t ever consider putting them on the field. The Whitecaps, in part, helped negotiate the Canadian quota down to a number where they would never have to play them if they don’t want to; and on current evidence, it seems they would rather work with a shorter bench than find players for those spots they would be able to use.

2. Terry Dunfield

I won’t tarry too long here, but it bears saying. Dunfield wasn’t great. But he wasn’t awful, and he was a Canadian, and Tommy Soehn sent him away for nothing. He just beat Julian de Guzman in a competition for places in Toronto. The next time the Whitecaps say they can’t find any good Canadians right now, think of the one they tossed out on a whim.

3. Do they think they’re not good enough?

The Whitecaps first team right now is a lovely cornucopia of nationalities that bends both the mind and the international player rule. There are a lot of great players there! There are a lot of okay players. In substitution situations, they are preferred to Russell Teibert every single time. Andy O’Brian, who is Irish, and Brazilian Tiago Ulisses were just brought in to be okay players. And it seems like the team prefers them not to be Canadian.

This isn’t like, some weird accusation of racism or something! The fact is that what you battle in the growth of a program is stereotypes and prejudice. Players like Paul Pechisolido and Paul Stalteri were evidence that Canadians could do well in England. Canadians need to prove they can earn their keep in a top flight. When the Whitecaps say “we want Canadians, we just want to develop them ourselves”, that might translate to an opinion that Canada has not produced any MLS players worth getting, and we have to make them ourselves to trust them. That’s the problem.

There are clubs where the coaching staff believe that Canadians aren’t up to snuff and can’t compete, and the battle is convincing them that they are wrong. It’s just bitter that the Whitecaps are one of those clubs.

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Toronto shakes the Whitecaps loose to snag a rare win


Whatever you do, don’t shake loose Joe Cannon’s short shorts (screengrab)

It’s finally time to change things up.

This seems like the road trip that lasts forever, hasn’t it? It’s only been eight days since manager Martin Rennie fielded an experimental side against Colorado that replaced suspended Jun Marques Davidson and injured John Thorrington in the midfield with defender Alain Rochat and new arrival Barry Robson.

That game against Colorado was fine and the Caps ground out an away win by counting on a piece of individual brilliance from Darren Mattocks for a 1-0 win. But at the the time, I thought it was certain the Caps wouldn’t know what to do if the opposing team had scored again.

If a few chances had went the other way—and they were very, very close—I’m not convinced they had an answer that would have helped them retain the three points.

See? I said that. Martin Rennie named the same side—even though he had Davidson back—against Chivas USA. And they weren’t able to come up with anything, with Mattocks suspended. Commentators noted that Rennie didn’t want to change things up when things were working, which is a fine sentiment except they weren’t. That game was a goalless draw, meaning that in 120 minutes, the Whitecaps garnered a goal and two shots on target, but they patted themselves on the back for garnering road results.

So Wednesday night, it wasn’t an unfamiliar story. They sold away Davide Chiumiento, one of the few players to create a chance against Chivas, on gameday to FC Zurich. Alain Rochat started in midfield and Davidson started on the bench.

The Whitecaps had trouble creating anything through the first half and managed to get something out of the blue at 50 minutes to go up 1-0. If you look at it, it’s good! One of the first pieces of great work from Robson in a looping ball to Mattocks who, like his goal against Colorado, simply worked as hard as he could to get the ball in the goal. Excellent, but not the thing you can count on happening because it was certainly against the run of play. Two minutes before it, pinned on the left hand side, a short throw in went to Robson, who passed it back to DeMerit, who gave it to Rochat, who gave it right back to DeMerit, who kicked it back to Robson, who put it out. That play never left the same ten yards. They had nothing.

1-0 up because Mattocks pulled something out of nowhere. Just like Colorado. Except this time, the Whitecaps conceded. And then they conceded again. The first goal came just after Y.P. Lee picked up a wrist knock while trying to send in a cross from the Toronto byline. As a result, the guy in charge of guarding TFC defener Ashtone Morgan’s cross is Le Toux, a centre forward playing as a midfield winger. Toronto’s Luis Silva at that point is already behind Gershon Koffie—also a midfielder—and makes it to the ball easily.

On the second, Cannon punches away a cross and immediately the defense splits: half to the clump of players on the left, half towards Frings on the right, leaving a space filled only by Gershon Koffie, who looks at the ball dumbly as it careens past. At this point, the Whitecaps have tried to make themselves look like an outlet capable of scoring a goal and as a result bungled their organization. The goals, combined with some physical play from Toronto, shook them away from being the lean unit that ground out those points in Colorado and LA; at this point in the game everyone is everywhere in an attempt to do something useful.

Then Mattocks came back to equalize in the 90th minute against the Worst Team in the World because he has a four-foot vertical jump. The club have this goal plastered everywhere, because it’s nicer than the result. Look at it! It’s pretty. But it wouldn’t be the result, because the Whitecaps were still all over the place. Two minutes later, Dunfield broke his cover on a corner and got a free header. Cannon couldn’t do one of his patented diving saves because Y.P. Lee, who is 5’9″, tried to head it off the line and succeeded only in knocking it into the goal.

But more than anything else, what I’ll remember about this game is Gershon Koffie lumbering around stock still by every single goal and covering his head dumbfoundedly.


First goal, Koffie on the near post.


Second and worst: Koffie hanging out around where Frings’ shot careened.


Third, Koffie looks on at Dunfield’s 94th minute header.

But I don’t even blame Koffie! Why is he, a central midfielder, carrying the most important marking assignments standing still watching Frings’ shot careen past him? The same reason why Y.P. Lee is trying to head a ball while Cannon is trying to dive for it. Because the current Whitecaps formation is a patchwork job that scrambles under pressure.

But at least now we know that it doesn’t work.

Stats after the jump.

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