After the Vancouver Whitecaps defeated the Seattle Sounders by a score of 0-3 at CenturyLink Field last Saturday night in MLS action, fans of both clubs were hoping they would be treated to another evening of classic Cascadia soccer at BC Place on Wednesday evening. What they witnessed, in fact, was a somewhat disappointing reserve match between the Caps and Sounders.
There were, however, a couple of interesting items to take away from this match:
1. Rookie Tim Parker has already exceeded expectations - I'll be the first to admit that I value developing your own players starting at a young age via an academy program rather than drafting older college players that have come through someone else's system(s), but Parker has proved that there is talent to be found via the SuperDraft if you're willing to go and look for it. Parker has continually impressed in matches for WFC2 and limited MLS minutes this season, and would be a solid choice to be a starter next to Kendall Waston if Pa Modou Kah does not return to Vancouver for another year.
2. Robbo still isn't afraid to play the kids - out of the XI that Carl Robinson chose to start Wednesday night's match, six of the players on the pitch were aged twenty-two or less. Sam Adekugbe and Marco Bustos, who came on as second half substitutes are just twenty and nineteen years of age respectively. With young players like Adekugbe, Bustos, Parker, Teibert and more impressing for the Caps, the future looks bright with plenty of homegrown talent.
3. Is the CONCACAF Champion's League a priority? - with both Carl Robinson and Sigi Schmid fielding sides that bore little resemblance to the league match last weekend, one has to wonder how much of a priority the CCL is for the Whitecaps and Sounders. Are they both hoping that they can advance out of a very tough group by playing their depth players, and then playing their "A squads" in subsequent rounds? Even though there has only been one match played in Group F, it's advantage CD Olimpia for the moment after the Cascadia teams effectively canceled each other out on Wednesday evening. Both teams basically fielded reserve sides, but will that approach will work when either of these teams face CD Olimpia when the time comes? Probably not.
Robbo admitted after the match that the Whitecaps didn't play "champagne football", but there is little doubt the underwhelming product on the pitch left the nearly twenty thousand fans in attendance with a bitter taste in their mouths. A single point from the first match isn't all doom and gloom, and the Whitecaps have the opportunity to field a stronger side for the next match when Olimpia comes to Vancouver on September 16th.
And now it's your turn - if you would like to add your voice to the discussion then please leave a comment in the section below.