First things first; Yes, I was incredibly frustrated with the Whitecaps match on the weekend. It wasn't just the fact that the 'Caps lost, but it was the manner in which it happened. Simply, I have a big problem with the way that match was coached. Yes, I'm not going to pretend that I know the game any better than Martin Rennie, but I find his motives behind his peculiar starting 11 to be, well, unknown.
Everyone seems to think that Rennie sat his big guns in Camilo and Darren Mattocks because he was resting them for tomorrow's match against Edmonton. Err, forgive me if I'm wrong, but how, in any way shape or form, are Mattocks and Camilo even the least bit tired from this season? Camilo has started two, yes just two matches this season, and Darren Mattocks hasn't started in three weeks. So what, are they such delicate flowers that they're gassed from getting backup player minutes?
If Rennie was truly going to 'rest' any players against FC Dallas, wouldn't it make far more sense to sit one of his four backliners? I mean, he did say YP Lee was going to get more rest this season, which hasn't happened in the slightest. Hell, none of the starting four have gotten any sort of rest. Alain Rochat has struggled the past two weeks, and looked like he could have used a day off, but it didn't happen. Strange, because Jordan Harvey was on the bench, and that was his spot last season. You're telling me, even with a heel contusion, that Harvey couldn't have played a few minutes? Even Brad Rusin, an unknown at the start of the season hasn't had any rest, and you can bet your ass that Jay Demerit would be in the same boat if he hadn't gone down in the first match.
I'm not buying that excuse, so that leaves few other reasons. Maybe Rennie really has zero confidence in this bunch and decided to throw out depth guys simply for playing time. If that is true, then the Whitecaps should just tank this season and pray for a high draft pick. However, I should say I really don't think that is the case.
I think more likely, Rennie has a few players in the doghouse, and he's too stubborn to put them back in. Camilo looked fantastic against RSL, yet finds himself on the bench a week later. What? Erik Hurtado looks awful in his previous two matches, and yet Rennie throws him out against the top ranked team in the Western Conference. Are you freaking kidding me?
Finally, I get that Darren Mattocks hasn't looked like his old self this season, but playing him 20 minutes a match isn't going to change a damn thing. When your players struggle, you can sit them for a match or two, but then you have to give them a chance to win your trust back. Mattocks is arguably your most dynamic player, he's too valuable to sit. This shouldn't be that hard to understand, but clearly Rennie can't comprehend that.
Hey, maybe I am wrong. Maybe Rennie did just want his strikers fresh for the Amway Canadian Championship. If that is true, then the 'Caps had better win this season, because that means they sacrificed a possible three league points to get there. Furthermore, if Rennie needs to rest his players to get ready for Edmonton, then this team is in worse shape than we thought.
EDIT: According to this, Rennie did knowingly rest his starters for the Edmonton match. Once again, I believe that was a boneheaded move, and the guys that did need rest (defenders) didn't get it.