If you recall, my review of the Whitecaps/Earthquake match repeated one word an awful lot: luck. I felt the Whitecaps were incredibly lucky to escape with one point, a disappointing notion considering they were shut out in their previous two road matches. 1 point in three winnable matches isn't exactly encouraging, but that negativity will be saved for another post. (I'm sure you're all excited for that)
What irked me more was Head Coach Martin Rennie's reaction to the match; he was actually pretty content with it. Rennie basically said the Earthquakes started strong, the Whitecaps pushed back, and then San Jose carried play until the final whistle. Did anyone else really see it that way?
For my money, San Jose carried play for most of the damn match, and the Whitecaps push back wasn't more of a weak, left handed slap than a shove. The defense managed to re-inflate a little bit, and the Earthquakes didn't get as many chances as before. What about the attack though? The attacking unit, made up largely of new comers, barely scratched the surface of the San Jose defence, almost refusing to push forward with any form of creativity.
Hell, when they did break through and score their goal, it was only because the 'Quakes were 2 men down! Think about it; the 'Caps had an 11 on 9 advantage for nearly two minutes, and it took a lucky deflection off a Daigo Kobayashi shot to tie everything up. Surely that can't be one of the things Rennie hopes to build on, is it? Truly, Rennie should be reflecting on how poor his boys attack was, and make adjustments accordingly. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like he agrees, as he had the same 11 training together at team practice today according to a Marc Weber tweet, save Darren Mattocks in for the sick Corey Hertzog. If Kenny Miller is ready to go this weekend, then he will obviously be inserted into the lineup; however, with the team winless in three matches that shouldn't be the only change he makes. This club is screaming for all guns to be firing, but it's tough to do that when Rennie keeps giving minutes to rookies who clearly aren't ready to carry this team. I love what Erik Hurtado can bring to this club in the future, but starting him over Camilo frequently isn't doing anybody any favors. I don't really care if Camilo is in Martin Rennie's dog house, he's an upgrade over what was paraded out on the weekend.
In other news...
I'm quite surprised at the minor controversy surrounding Nigel Reo-Coker and his challenge on Sam Cronin on the weekend, which the always subtle british media were quick to dub a 'horror' tackle. Seriously? Reo-Coker had his spikes down, and got all ball with his foot. How is that anything but a clean tackle? Cronin jumping up in the freaking air probably didn't help the situation, as he made it look much, much worse than it really was. Credit to the official for making the right call, and heck, credit to Adam Shergold for giving us all another reason to shake our heads and laugh at the level of hyperbole that runs rampant throughout soccer journalism. Cheers.