Vancouver Whitecaps lack killer instinct
Vancouver Whitecaps midfield Pedro Morales needs to bring more energy to every game. (REUTERS)
The consensus is the Vancouver Whitecaps FC effort in a 1-1 draw against an undermanned Chivas USA — down to 10 men for more than 75 minutes on Sunday — was simply not good enough.
For fans of this Vancouver club, it shouldn’t be good enough — supporters should demand more from their team. Throughout the match against Chivas, Vancouver looked lethargic, uninterested and just plain bad.
Against a short-handed team, the Whitecaps weren’t able to successfully put a shot on target until substitute Kekuta Manneh hit the net. That’s almost an hour of playing with an extra man after Agustin Pelletieri was sent off for Chivas. That’s just not acceptable.
What’s even more troubling is that Vancouver was playing with their so-called offensively charged lineup — one that included new designated player Pedro Morales as a starter, Kenny Miller, who scored two goals in the season opener, and Sebastian Fernandez, another bright spot for the Whitecaps.
After week one of the season, the Whitecaps looked solid, creative and entertaining in a 4-1 win against the New York Red Bulls.
But let’s remember, while it was a tremendous performance, Vancouver played against a New York team that lacked punch with Thierry Henry and solid defender Jamison Olave missing. New York also featured a jet-lagged Tim Cahill.
In the end, Sunday’s loss was a single match in a long season, but the Whitecaps lacked quality and didn’t manage to up the tempo against a team that was playing short-handed.
Vancouver needs its designated players to be the best players on the field — that means Morales and Miller need to step up every match.
It also means Nigel Reo-Coker needs to improve his performances.
So far, he’s been disappointing, in terms of both fitness and performance.
If the ‘Caps want to become a premier team in Major League Soccer, matches like the one against Chivas are the types Vancouver should win.
Over the last few years, teams like Sporting Kansas City and L.A. Galaxy have been the best teams in MLS by taking advantage of squads like a 10-man Chivas.
Vancouver needs to get up to that level, otherwise instead of being a contender, Vancouver will also be considered pretenders.