Kudos to Martin Rennie for making the move, especially in light of Wednesday's 2nd leg match-up versus Edmonton in the Canadian Championships. And a big bravo to the Whitecaps players themselves for demonstrating that they do have the character to fight back against a team that's very good when they remain upright.
I came out pretty harshly the week previous, when I ranted about the Caps' team selection and play in Frisco. The criticism was as honest as it was warranted. But it would be remiss by the same token not to applaud the return to a solid starting XI.
Based on his play in the past two matches, Tom Heinemann has presented himself as a viable option up front - maybe not a Miller or Mattocks, but a serviceable replacement to complement Corey Hertzog on the attack.
We've seen the possible emergence of Kekuta Manneh (or Ketuka Manneh, if you're visiting from the Dallas SB Nation site) as an attacker, and the continuation of Nigel Reo-Coker as a dominant force in our midfield.
Now... what about our defending? Set pieces have more often than not been a thorn in the Whitecaps' side for a couple seasons now. With a pair of OGs while defending corners in our last two MLS matches, Vancouver clearly still has much work to do - both in terms of tactics and communication. Depth at the back remains a constant worry. Johnny Leveron can spell off at CB if needed, but RB still remains an Achilles heel. Y. P. Lee is supposed to be getting some rest on the Eastern swings, and this particular juror still remains undecided as to Greg Klazura's ability to fill those shoes.
Attacking set pieces, especially corners, have also been a problem for the 2013 Whitecaps. Have we scored off a corner since Jay Demerit scored against Chivas early last season? We must have, but don't recall it.
As mentioned, we've got Edmonton at home tomorrow, and then it's another quick turnaround for an away match at Salt Lake three days later. Balancing resources is going to be a tricky exercise for Martin Rennie, but as we've more or less reached the 1/4 pole of the season, I trust that Rennie now knows which of his assets are capable of playing through it, and which ones are capable of stepping up to play when needed.
The season's a marathon, and not a sprint. I just hope the Caps can pull it off without having to resort to Plan C again.