The Vancouver Whitecaps returned home to play yet another struggling team. After their win against the listless LA Galaxy on Wednesday they hosted the Portland Timbers, who were ravaged by injury and suspension and have been struggling to win games themselves. Only, it was the ‘Caps who put in the listless performance, losing 2-1 on Sunday.
Portland put themselves on the scoreboard first with a 14’ goal by Jereme Ebobisse off a corner kick.
The ‘Caps seemed to have something possibly brewing up to that point. As they were passing the ball well in the midfield and all that was missing was the final pass. Unfortunately, after the goal the first half continued in the same way, as they found it difficult to spring anyone open in the final third.
Christian Bolaños had a good look at goal, only to watch his header off a Jordan Harvey cross go over.
Andrew Jacobson finally tied the game off a corner kick, helped on by a flick by Tim Parker, that he knocked into the net off the side of his foot.
The second half began the same as the first, they were able to keep possession at times, but completely unable to make anything happen in the offensive end. Portland quickly took over the game with their second goal. Sebastian Blanco ran past the Vancouver defense, found a quick one-two with Ebobisse in the box and placed the ball in the corner of the net.
The first 60’ minutes of the game felt like a waiting game for Yordy Reyna to come on change the tide. The ‘Caps desperately needed someone who could create something, anything. And soon after Alphonso Davies returned to the line up after his impressive run at the Gold Cup for Canada, and surely, the sparks would finally begin to fly. Reyna got on the ball a few times but didn’t make much of an impact, and Davies looked like an extremely talented 16 year-old by repeatedly dribbling himself into thicker and thicker defensive coverage. It is impressive how long he can keep the ball against such odds, but inevitably he would lose the ball without finding a teammate. Brek Shea had the best chance to tie things up in the final minutes with a blast from the box that was just a little too close to Gleeson, the Portland keeper.
It was a dismal performance, so what went wrong? Was it the fact the players like Cristian Techera, who has been so dynamic of late couldn’t connect on his passes. Or was it the return of the 4-2-3-1. Yes, the very same formation that won the game in LA. But on this afternoon it reminded us of the form the ‘Caps showed early in the season, where there just weren’t enough attacking options up front to create offensively. Even Yordy Reyna couldn’t overcome that.