Sports Soccer

Time for Whitecaps coach to right the ship

By Tyler Green, 24 hours Vancouver, soccer columnist

Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson.
REUTERS

Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. REUTERS

Two matches in and Vancouver Whitecaps FC have yet to win a game this Major League Soccer season. The ‘Caps did extremely well in 2015 and expectations for this season are high amongst the fanbase, but Vancouver – at the moment – is failing to live up to those expectations.

Granted, the season has just begun, but it would appear the Whitecaps made a few tactical errors in the offseason.

The most glaring issue is at right back. Fraser Aird and Jordan Smith are both – at this point – experiments and neither are doing well in the position they’ve taken over from Steven Beitashour after he was traded to Toronto FC in the offseason.

Beitashour wanted to get paid; Vancouver balked at the price and subsequently traded him away. Early in the season, it looks as if Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson either made a mistake in getting rid of Beitashour or over-valued Smith and Aird’s talents as a replacement. Whichever the case, the ‘Caps are worse off for it.

Vancouver’s other offseason move was trading midfielder Gershon Koffie. The move was required due to salary issues; the Whitecaps haven’t yet found a suitable replacement. Russell Teibert has been battling injuries to start the season.

Kianz Froese did relatively well in the first match, but Robinson made the decision to replace him in the second game with Deybi Flores. That decision resulted in Sporting Kansas City’s first goal after Flores gifted SKC forward Dominic Dwyer a glorious chance. Newly acquired midfielder Andrew Jacobson may however, be the answer the ‘Caps need. Which can only held defensive midfielder Matias Laba, who is struggling a bit to find his form in 2016.

Vancouver has another issue on the field that need sorting, namely – Pedro Morales.

Morales is supposed to be Vancouver’s best player, yet, each and every game, we’re reminded that he’s not. According to Opta, MLS’s statisticians, the Chilean completed 65% of his passes in the first two matches, but of those, only four were key passes, defined as “the final pass or pass-cum-shot leading to the recipient of the ball having an attempt at goal without scoring”.

It’s early, but the Whitecaps have issues and if they want to right the ship, they’ll need to sort it out quickly before the season gets away from them.

Tyler hosts SOCCER TALK presented by Metrotown Physio, podcasting each week on iTunes, Stitcher and at www.soccertalkvan.libsyn.com. Follow Tyler on twitter at @tylergreenFC and at www.facebook.com/soccertalkvan