Galaxy 2-1 Whitecaps FC
For the last time until March, I present to you, things to love and things to hate from Thursday night’s match. Despite the lose, despite the elimination; if you are a Whitecaps fan, hold your head up high! We lost out, but we lost out of a historic season.
I try to stay away from using the term ‘we’ in articles, but WE finished with an outstanding 8-3-5 record at home.
Some of that is on US. The fans. And we should be damn proud.
Toronto FC has come close. Very, very close. The Montreal Impact came close this year and impressed a lot of people. But close doesn’t matter. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, in their second season of MLS Soccer, became the first Canadian team to make the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Despite the result tonight and despite talk the ‘Caps backed in or didn’t deserve it; the history books won’t show that. It will show that they got there.
I was at BC Place on March 10th, the home opener against the Impact, and we the fans passed around a massive banner that said ‘The Rennie-ssance begins”. If this season truly was the beginning, I can’t be more excited for next season.
Na na na na na na na na na Knighton! Knighton!
It was at the very stadium in L.A. on September 1st that Brad Knighton took over at the wheel. Fans at home and even media weren’t sure if it was a Joe Cannon rest (several other key players were sat) or if it was a move for the rest of the year.
Looking back, I’m so happy that my suspicion was correct. Knighton has been nothing short of solid in these two months following his takeover.
When the team struggled and dealt with injuries, he was the rock that kept the backline calm. He was an absolute stud again on Thursday and kept it a two-sided match for the whole 90 minutes.
Martin Rennie stayed true to his game plan. Sit back, withstand the constant pressure from an elite Galaxy attack and then hit them on the counter.
That plan gave them the best chance to win and I respect Rennie for sticking to it, even as the pressure mounted and mounted.
There were, unfortunately, a few flaws with this tactic.
1. The Whitecaps counter attack wasn’t an attack at all. It was a dump and chase game that made me think I was watching hockey.
It seemed like after the first few counters didn’t work, they were content with kicking it downfield and just resting while the Galaxy worked the ball back up the pitch. And…
2. When, on the rare occasion, they did bring men forward trying to create, they couldn’t. The long ball game just wasn’t the Whitecaps friend tonight and they missed poorly on some passes.
I could sit here all day and talk about things that I’m happy about with this season, thing’s to look forward to and thing’s to improve. But there is unfortunately a sad realization we as fans are going to come to very soon; it’s over. No long days heading to BC Place.
No marches from Doolin’s Pub with the Southsiders. No singing, no chanting, no ‘You Fat Bastard!-ing’.
None of the things that make US the best fans in the MLS, until March.
The ‘Caps may not be in BC Place this winter, but we’ll be here for you at NWSB. We’ll be a (virtual) shoulder to cry on and we’ll give you your Whitecaps FC fix.
So stay tuned.
Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie comments after 2-1 loss to L.A. Galaxy