The Whitecaps reign as the sole club atop the MLS Standings is over, as they now share that distinction with three other clubs, all tied at 17 points. The team managed to snag a point against the Timbers over the weekend, but failed to score a goal, the second time in their past 4 matches that's happened. In fact, when you look at the Whitecaps roster as a whole, they've scored just 11 goals in the first 10 matches of the season; Not exactly awe inspiring numbers considering the club is supposedly stacked to the gills with players that can put the ball in the net.
Octavio Rivero has been good, and while he hasn't scored in four matches, he's still creating chances for himself and working his butt off on the pitch. He gets a pass. Besides Rivero, however, there is only one Whitecap that has scored more than one goal on the year and that's Darren Mattocks with two. Pedro Morales had 10 last year, he has one so far. Kekuta Manneh has scored once despite starting 5 matches and playing in 8 overall, and Erik Hurtado hasn't done much of anything due to a lack of playing time.
Then there's the veteran Robert Earnshaw; He has a goal on the year (a match winner to boot), but hasn't seen action since a substitution appearance against Columbus on April 8th.
With just two goals in their last four matches, the Whitecaps clearly need to shuffle up their attacking rotation and try some new formulas for success. If Darren Mattocks and Kekuta Manneh aren't producing as much as they should, why not give Robert Earnshaw a crack at some actual minutes? How about Cristian Techera? Sure, he's new to the squad and trying to find his way, but he really hasn't gotten a good chance to show his stuff. He was a second half sub when the 'Caps were down to 10 men against DC United, and he wasn't used at all during the Portland match. Perhaps his time is coming, as the Whitecaps obviously didn't bring him over here to sit on the bench.
It's not time for the Whitecaps to worry yet for a few basic reasons; It's early in the season, they have plenty of talent, and I believe Carl Robinson is a good coach that can get more out of this club. The sky isn't falling just because Octavio Rivero isn't scoring at a goal a game clip anymore, but it sure would be nice to see the same swagger and confidence the attack seemed to have earlier this season.