Okay, the season didn't exactly end the way we all wanted, but that doesn't mean the ride wasn't fun. Today is the first installation of the Top 10 best moments from the Vancouver Whitecaps 2011-2012 MLS season.
NUMBER TEN: THE FIRST ROAD WIN
2011 was a season of futility in many, many, MANY ways, but one of the most embarrassing was that the Vancouver Whitecaps couldn't even find a way to win a road match. The roster wasn't that great, but an 0-12-5 mark was inexcusable, and it was one of the major story lines heading into the 2012 campaign. With a revamped roster, and a new young coach, could the new-look Whitecaps succeed where the earlier version had failed miserably? Martin Rennie's squad put that query to bed early, scratching and clawing their way to an ugly 1-0 win versus Chivas USA in their first road match, and second match overall of the season. It was a game for firsts, as Captain Jay Demerit scored his first goal as a Whitecap, heading home the lone marker from Camilo at the 68th minute. It was just what the doctor ordered for the previously maligned squad; first road match of the season, first road win in the MLS. Talk about getting a gigantic monkey off your back. (Clip Courtesy of YouTube)
NUMBER NINE: THE PENALTY SHOT SAVE
He was inserted into the starting lineup for a couple of reasons. First, starting goalkeeper Joe Cannon had a few shaky contests in a row, leading many to believe he was over worked, or tired. Plus, Martin Rennie wanted to shake up his squad a little bit, as they were feeling the mid season doldrums. So, in went Brad Knighton on September 1st to play against the LA Galaxy. The 'Caps lost their fourth straight that night, 2-0, but Knighton played well enough and earned another start. This time, it was against FC Dallas. Though the Whitecaps would lose again, Brad Knighton established himself as the number one goalkeeper on the team after playing a great match. His best save came in the fifteenth minute, with Dallas FC sniper David Ferreira taking a penalty shot. (Clip Courtesy of FCDallas.com)
Knightons penalty shot save would prove to Whitecaps fans everywhere that he had the stuff to compete in the MLS, and it would be the moment the keys to the goalkeeping position were handed over to him.
UP NEXT TIME: Numbers eight and seven! Any moments you think deserve to be enshrined in this list? Let me know in the comments!