Changes no help as Whitecaps sink further 0
It was another loss this past weekend in Los Angeles for Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the fourth consecutive defeat in a disastrous summer where the club has realized a mere three victories in their last 14 matches.
Is it too many changes to the lineup? The wrong mix? Is this team actually going to make the playoffs?
Valid questions all about a 'Caps team that appears to be trending in the wrong direction at a very crucial part of the year. The one thing that could in fact be on Vancouver's side is a two-week layoff between games to forget about the problems it's currently facing.
The blue and white, and occasionally brown, have gone through many changes in the summer months. Perhaps too many for the liking of many fans, but the fact remains that Davide Chiumiento decided he wanted to leave. In addition, Eric Hassli wasn't doing anything brilliant before his departure (and still isn't in Toronto), and Sebastien Le Toux hasn't done any better in New York.
Despite the departures, and new arrivals, you can't argue that the 'Caps won more games with those players than without them.
Perhaps then the mixture of the new arrivals and the current players just isn't right. Many point to the fact that newcomers Barry Robson, Kenny Miller, Dane Richards and Andy O'Brien all arrived to a team and league in midseason and were far from ready to play. It took Robson at least four matches before we saw a brilliant performance. We're still waiting for a repeat of his dominant showing in the home tie against L.A.
However, many have seen Robson wave his arms, yell at teammates and been generally boisterous on the field in a more negative than positive way. That's what people have talked about thus far.
We also still haven't seen the best of Miller; the Richards-for-Le Toux move has been a relatively even swap for the teams, and while O'Brien has fit in nicely, he isn't in a position that can propel Vancouver to offensive glory, something the 'Caps have struggled with.
It's primarily been the same back line and goalkeeper for the Whitecaps through the summer, but it clearly isn't the same team that started the season with an MLS clean-sheet record of 427 minutes, and have now given up 21 goals in their last 13 matches.
Whatever the problems, whatever the players, Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie needs to get things in order and needs to do it soon. With FC Dallas hot on their heals, Vancouver needs to make sure they get a positive result when the two teams meet Sept. 15, otherwise the season might end with the 'Caps missing out on a trip to the post-season.
Listen to Tyler Green on TEAM 1040 every Sunday at 9 p.m. He also co-hosts the Whitecaps pre- and post-game shows. Follow him on Twitter @tylergreen1040.