Positives remain despite Whitecaps slump
Whitecaps' Steven Beitashour (left) and Galaxy's Robbie Keane fight for the ball last Saturday. The two teams meet again this weekend at BC Place. (REUTERS)
Six matches into the Major League Soccer season, many are trying to figure out whether Vancouver Whitecaps FC are a good team or a bad team.
Two weeks ago, you would have said they were on top of the world. Undefeated through four matches, the team posted an impeccable BC Place record, scored six goals in two home matches, and showed that the Whitecaps could get points on the road.
A couple of weeks later, the Whitecaps have dropped two matches in a row to Western Conference teams and scored a grand total of one goal. They were also shut out in a loss at home, the first defeat at BC Place since Sept. 28, 2013.
So which Vancouver team can fans expect to see moving forward?
On the negative side of things, you can look at Vancouver’s lack of a scoring punch. Kenny Miller leads the team with three goals, but two of those are from the penalty spot. While the ‘Caps scored four times in their first match, they are averaging less than a goal a match in their last five games. Not quite good enough to continually post winning results.
Road woes are still an issue, with no wins yet through three matches in 2014, including being unable to beat a 10-man Chivas USA side.
The Whitecaps do have plenty of positives to draw from. Through the first 45-minutes against the Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday, they were able to defend and keep the Galaxy attack at bay. They’ve also been able to get points on the road against Chivas and New England Revolution, something foreign to them in years past.
Defensively, Vancouver has been solid, averaging just one goal against. David Ousted is showing he is capable of being a strong goalkeeper.
Whitecaps first-year head coach Carl Robinson is also a positive factor. While the team has struggled recently, the 37-year-old manager hasn’t overreacted to the two-match slide. He also didn’t get over-confident when the Whitecaps achieved early-season success.
For me, the positives outweigh the negatives. If Vancouver can find some consistent scoring, they will certainly be a tough team to play against whether at home or on the road. Despite some negatives, expect exciting things on the horizon.