I’m going to be honest – I underestimated the Vancouver Whitecaps. I still feel like FC Dallas keeper Jimmy Maurer cost us at least one point in that match with his play at the end of the match. Maybe three. He should have done better with that ball on the end-line. There should never have been a PK. And maybe he should have gotten a hand on that header. But Vancouver hung in better than I expected without Ryan Gauld.
|5/25||Cavalry||1 (3) - 1 (5)||Vancouver|
Vancouver is 4W-1L-0D in their last five matches in all competitions – 5W-7L-2D overall and 10th overall in the West. They play Seattle on Tuesday, but I will be away... so I give you want I can, friends. But they could climb as high as 7th. Keep in mind, though, that they’re 4-1-2 at home. 1-6-0 on the road. And the road win was against SKC.
EDIT NOTE: Seattle hammered the Whitecaps on Tuesday night, beating them 4-0.
While I’m thinking about Ryan Gauld, let me note that he played the final half hour against RSL (he scored the winner in stoppage time on a PK when Luis Martins was wiped out in the box) and had a start against Cavalry (he didn’t feature against SKC). I’m still uncertain what’s going on with him. I saw a note about hamstring tightness, and this seems to be a nagging, ongoing problem.
After scoring ten goals in their first ten matches, Vancouver has scored seven goals in their last five. It’s not great. Indeed, it’s just marginally better. Especially since they seem to be getting some lucky breaks from teams fouling them in the box – they’ve got two PKs in the last three MLS matches and three in their last five. But they’re winning because they’ve only allowed five goals in that span which is a radical defensive improvement for a team that was giving up two per game in the first ten matches.
The formation they played against RSL was a 3-3-2-2. Florian Jungwirth (formerly a center back at San Jose) was playing the six role but frequently he and the wingbacks dropped into what looked like a six-man back line or at times two rows of three defenders. Either way, it’s a lot of bodies in front of the goal, and the team is sitting back waiting to strike on the counter. The counter is how they drew PKs against RSL and SKC.
Saturday, June 18th, 8:00 PM at Toyota Stadium in Frisco... I expect it will be hot. But at least the game starts at 8:00.
Availability (as of 6/8):
OUT: Cristian Dájome (right hamstring strain), Thomas Hasal (left hand), Russell Teibert (right eye)
QUESTIONABLE: Ryan Gauld (right hamstring tightness)