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424 Words on the Whitecaps

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Victor Decolongon

We should probably wait until tomorrow, when our blood has cooled and our buzzes have worn off, to really hit the Vancouver Whitecaps' 2012 post-mortem.

Tonight, Vancouver did well most of the way. A shots-on-goal total of Los Angeles 7, Vancouver 4 was the Whitecaps' second-best performance away to the Galaxy ever. Some fans are railing at chances missed by Kenny Miller and John Thorrington, but the Galaxy certainly missed more than two opportunities to make us irrelevant. While the Whitecaps, particularly Brad Knighton, Jordan Harvey, and Andy O'Brien, played as well as we could have hoped, the Galaxy played well also. And the Galaxy are a better team so naturally they had the balance of the play.

Yeah, Silviu Petrescu gave the Galaxy the lead in the second half, but the way Los Angeles was playing they probably would have gotten it sooner or later anyway. And we all knew we'd have to overcome the famously incompetent Petrescu to get anything out of this game; he was as sure a factor in the result as Landon Donovan or David Beckham. This isn't to say the game was fixed or any sort of conspiracy, just that Petrescu (like all professional Canadian referees except Carol-Ann Chenard) is a complete incompetent who I wouldn't want calling my old house league games and who ruins games more often than not. Galaxy fans may want to say they were robbed of big calls, to which the only possible reply is "I know, Petrescu is shit."

I dunno. I just can't be that angry at this result. I can't. When the Whitecaps lost in extra time to Puerto Rico two years ago, I couldn't speak about the game for days: the Whitecaps could have won, should have won, before a passionate Swangard crowd, and didn't. Instead, the underdog Whitecaps played a gallant game against all the odds, came up short, but even in defeat did both themselves and their city proud.

On Twitter, on the message boards, I see the blame game has already begun. Fuck that. The worst team in MLS in 2010 improved to a just-below-average team in 2011, made the playoffs, and did everything but beat a far superior Galaxy team on the road. If you're not happy with that then you haven't been watching the same team as me for the past five years.

There's more work to do. There's always more work to do. But for tonight I say bravo, Whitecaps: for once, you have given me nothing to complain about.