At long last, First Kick has come and gone, and like last year, the Whitecaps have come out with 3 points to start the season. Lets hope the parallels between the two seasons end there.
Before I reveal my thumbs for this week, I must say that I may have taken on too much with this weekly article. I'm sure this week I'll be okay, but if the Whitecaps continue to impress, I'll have a hard time finding things to give thumbs down to. I suppose if that's the biggest problem I have, I won't have much to complain about.
Anyway, on to the week 1 edition of Two Up, Two Down.
THUMBS UP: Southsider's March to the Match
Due to Doolin's being absolutely packed, as well as conflicting priorities (read: hunger,) I had to skip out on the pre-game festivities, but managed to pick a spot that was on the march route. It was my first time joining into the march from Doolin's, and it was quite the experience. With camera phones from every onlooker, and every shop-keeper walking out their door to see what was the ruckus, the Southsider's march must produce heaps of awareness for both the group as well as the club. My favourite moment was walking by a nail salon and seeing the cute young ladies inside completely stop what they were doing, looking like they were frozen in time as they looked out window and try to figure out what was going on around them, smiles slowly building on their faces.
THUMBS UP: Camilo's Early Candidate for Year's Best Goal
I doubt Camilo's goal will even be nominated for MLS Goal of the Year, as the finish was clinical, but nothing that wont be seen every week. What was truly world class was the build up. Much like Alan Rochat's cracker from last season, the goal came after a good defensive effort and a quick counter-attack with some wonderful passing.
Chiumiento, after moving forward with the ball, moved the ball wide to LeToux, who made a short pass into space. Hassli, with a wonderful dummy, allowed Chiumiento to run onto the ball and place a perfectly weighted through ball for Camilo. There was no doubt after that, as Camilo, as he often does, beat two defenders and tucked the ball in front of a third and behind Ricketts.
A classy first goal of the year for Camilo, and a good omen for Whitecaps fans who should be able to see beautiful soccer this season.
THUMBS DOWN: Same old Impact, always cheating.
I'm not sure I should be surprised, but you'd think that with a new manager and a fully revamped lineup, that some of the vitriol shown between the two teams would disappear. It did not, as the Impact spent much of the game hacking down anyone in a white jersey. Felipe could have been red carded for his foul on Rochat; it was from behind, late, and there was no apparent play on the ball, just a kick to the side of Rochat's leg. Meanwhile, Camilo and Chiumiento, who both went down easily at times, were continuously fouled throughout the match, and during the build up to Camilo's goal, Hassli, who dummied the ball, was hammered from behind by Ferrari and likely should have earned a yellow.
Salazar didn't have a terrible game, but he allowed a lot of tough challenges go without even a foul call, and even more harsh fouls without cards. Either way, Impact showed they're not only not a good team, but they're also low on class. Same ol' story.
THUMBS DOWN: Weather
Well, that's how good of a day it was in Whitecap land. Sure, it wasn't a perfect match, and Martin Rennie still has much work to do, but I'll take it. I just wish the roof could have been open. I'm not sure why they can't open it up, even with rain threatening, but I wonder if it has something to do with the giant television in the middle of the roof, and perhaps that some of the seats would get wet.
At least we're not Impact fans. The weather would be the least of my worries.