Whitecaps Game Day: Men @ Toronto, 4:30 PM PDT

Fireworks exploding in the distance.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
 
TORONTO FC
(2-8-7, 9th West)
vs.
(2-9-7, 9th East)
Leading Scorer: Eric Hassli (6)
 
Leading Scorer: Maicon Santos (6)
Opponents' Blog: Waking the Red
4:30 PM PDT, BMO Field, Toronto, ON
Live on TSN

Unfortunately, time is desperately short for me so I can say only a little.

I'm not sure I've ever been as pessimistic about the Vancouver Whitecaps as I find myself today. By releasing Mouloud Akloul, the Whitecaps have gotten noticeably worse, whereas on the same day our fellows in hapless Canadian soccer suckdom have signed two significant players of international reputation. Toronto's two new designated players Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans won't be playing today (or on the weekend, for that matter) but Toronto is moving decisively to try and improve the team. Meanwhile, the Whitecaps cut useful players and respond to the incompetence of the man who built their team by giving him more power and more opportunity to shape it.

Again, none of that matters today. Akloul was unlikely to play tonight thanks to his hamstring injury. Koevermans and Frings are both almost a month away from featuring in Toronto FC's starting eleven. It's a question of attitude: I like Toronto FC's, even if they're having a rough season, and I don't like Vancouver's. I get the impression that next year Toronto will be noticeably better, but I don't get that from the Whitecaps.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring, of course? Maybe Tom Soehn will sign Owen Hargreaves and damage the team still further, or maybe he'll sign somebody excellent like he did when he snatched Eric Hassli out of nowhere. Meanwhile, the Whitecaps head into Toronto on something like equal terms with a team that has hope but also a series of lousy results that, if anything, make them look even worse than Vancouver.

The Whitecaps have a shot at their first road win of the season, although I think a draw is more likely. I hope they come out and kick some ass, though. It's been a while since I could feel good about the Whitecaps' present and future: seeing them pound the FCs would be a balm for the soul.

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