THE Vancouver Whitecaps were shutout for the fourth straight game as they played to a nil-nil draw with D.C. United in town on Saturday. The Whitecaps had a plethora of chances in the other end of the pitch, with Darren Mattocks leading the way with five shots and two on target. They weren’t from far out either as the Caps had all but 2 of their 14 chances from inside the box. Considering they were playing against the top team in the east and one that had scored 10 goals in their last five games, the defensive game performance was something to be proud of.
In just his second start with Vancouver, Kendall Waston proved to be a giant on the backend as there just seemed to be no beating the 6’5” defender. The defense held United to just nine shots in total with Ousted saving the three that made it by. At the end, the defense made up for the offensive’s shortcomings but fans don’t pay to see draws. Offense wins fans, defense wins games.
Winning games is something the Whitecaps need the most now if ever this season. With just eight games to go and a point separating them and Portland for the final playoff spot this year, Wednesday’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes is a must win for the boys in blue.
These two squads last saw each other in May as Morales scored twice with Manneh getting one past the keeper for the 3-2 victory but will Vancouver be able to turn on the offense this time? The Earthquakes goals for and against are nearly similar to Vancouver’s, give or take a few, which could prove to be another draw for the Caps or maybe this will be what sparks the boots up front.
Following the San Jose match Vancouver has five straight games against teams currently in playoff position, including Saturday in Dallas. On paper, this will be the most “favourable” match for the Whitecaps as they continue to try and pass Portland in the playoff race. If there was ever a time for Carl Robinson’s squad to flip the script on the offense, tonight is the night.
– NICK BASRAN