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Power Outage for Whitecaps Youngsters

Where have all the goals gone?

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

First, the good news. Pedro Morales sure has been as advertised, hasn't he? The highest paid Whitecap and most heralded off-season acquisition, Morales leads the club in virtually every offensive category. Though he's had the odd 'off' match, he's the pulse of the offense. Of course, given that the offense has seemingly flatlined for the Whitecaps over the past few matches, that might not be a compliment. The Whitecaps have scored two goals in their last four matches, winning outright just once. However, how much of that is the fault of Morales? The fleet-footed youngsters up front are supposed to provide some offense, and yet, they've been held off the scoresheet regularly for quite some time.

Erik Hurtado, after his wonderful goal streak last month, has gone goalless for the last four outings. He's started each of those matches, and was held shotless in two of them. Hurtado has shown he has the ability to finish, but have opposing teams simply figured him out?

Kekuta Manneh has three goals on the season, however, he hasn't put the ball in the net since May 3rd versus the San Jose Earthquake. That's a period of eight matches, and he was used in six of them. To his credit, Manneh does generate shots even when he doesn't score, but he still needs to start finishing if the 'Caps are going to regain their swagger. (I hate that word)

Darren Mattocks hasn't scored since the Galaxy match in April, although he's fought injuries and lost time to national team duty. He was looking so good at the beginning of the season, but can he get back to that level? Then there's Sebastian Fernandez with his three goals thus far this year, but he himself just recently snapped a seven-match goalless drought.

So, how do the Whitecaps bump the slump? A new body would make sense, although it doesn't necessarily have to come from outside the organization. There's Omar Salgado, healthy and on the Whitecaps roster. The Whitecaps could just try and wait the problem out, see if the kids can work through their growing pains and bring back the high-octane attack the Whitecaps boasted just weeks ago. When Erik Hurtado was scoring a goal a match, it looked like the only hole left to plug on the club was a solid CB. However, now that the problem hasn't solved itself, and given how quickly the 'Caps have fallen, Robinson may be too tempted to go shopping for a shiny new toy during the next few weeks.