Whitecaps Game 1 BC Place:
On October 2nd, the Vancouver Whitecaps officially played their first game on the Bell Pitch at the new and improved BC Place.
The Whitecaps played well in the first half, just barely failing to capitalize on several good chances, including one fantastic shot by David Chiumiento that rippled the outside of the net, and another from Camilo that was tipped over the crossbar by keeper Troy Perkins.
However, several poor turnovers had fans frustrated as they watched their team waste the otherwise impressive half. One turnover in particular proved costly, leading to a quick counterattack that culminated in Portland’s Kenny Cooper scoring in the 25th minute.
In the second half the Whitecaps controlled most of the play, keeping possession of the ball for most of the half and earning several good scoring chances around Portland’s net.
However, the Timbers were able to survive the Whitecaps assault and earned a much needed 1-0 victory that will continue to fuel their playoff hopes.
However, despite another disappointing loss, Whitecaps fans have every reason to be optimistic about the future.
First of all, reviewing the new stadium. For $563 million, Vancouver residents had every reason to expect that the new stadium would be breathtaking. And it didn’t disappoint. The new stadium is much bigger and more open, plus it keeps fans close to the field, making the experience more intense and personal.
The most impressive feature of the new stadium was the video screen, the second largest in North America behind only the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. It allows fans to follow the game no matter where they are sitting, and see highlights and reviews in perfect high definition.
However, a new stadium is not particularly valuable unless you can fill it full of rabid soccer fans. Despite some concerns in the week leading up to the game, the 21,000 fans packed the sold-out (not including the closed upper bowl) stadium and gave their team all the energy they had.
Before the game even began, there were crowds mingling outside the stadium, checking out the promotional booths and drinking in the scene. Inside the stadium itself, the fan section acquitted itself well against the minority of Timbers fans that had made their way up to watch the game from the opposite corner of the stadium.
The biggest regret the Whitecaps should have about this game is wasting the energy and atmosphere of the newly opened BC Place, an energy that hopefully will return in future home games.
A state of the art stadium and a rabid fan base in a city craving a championship?
The Whitecaps might not have impressed many this season, but they have several of the main ingredients required to turn their expansion team into a perennial contender.