It’s the last road game of the season, and the Whitecaps came in with a lot to play for. A win would guarantee them a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2017, a loss would make things much harder. The result of this game ended up neither, as both teams shared a point which fares better for Vancouver than it does LA. It’s not over, but it definitely is leading to the most thrilling ending to a Whitecaps season in a very long time. Before the photo finish this weekend, let’s dive into the match that transpired on Tuesday night.
- As was seen for most of the game, counter attacks looked to be the Whitecaps best strategy, in a way that looked to be with a plan rather than it just being the only chances they get. The formation set up played to this advantage, as the defenders easily absorb the attack and the midfielders are quickly able to send long balls up the field.
- Speaking of long balls, Dajome and White both looked dangerous in positioning when receiving them, with multiple opportunities presenting themselves. Each player did their job to split the defense, while the other ran into open area and received the pass. This didn’t always work, but it was enough to get LAFC overthinking, and through that the goal that put the Whitecaps up ahead.
- Defensive intelligence was something also seen at the beginning of the match, and looked to be promising. Unfortunately after the Whitecaps scored, LAFC took on most of the attacking business themselves, registering 25 shots to the Whitecaps’ 5. Pressure built on the Whitecaps and the defense was tested for most of the match, and there were many opportunities that could have stopped the trajectory of the Whitecaps’ playoff push.
- The main factor in that not being the case was arguably the Whitecaps’ man of the match, Crepeau, saving the team through their defense instability. There were many times when a surefire goal looked to be going in but was intercepted by the Whitecaps shot-stopper. At a point in time where everyone is looking at Brian White, Ryan Gauld, and Cristian Dajome as the Whitecaps 2021 MVP, Crepeau has now put himself in the running for claiming that prize as his own.
- Unfortunate miss by Caicedo near the death of the match that could have been the game decider. Three points this game would have been amazing, clinching a playoff spot for the Whitecaps, but alas it wasn’t meant to be. The missed opportunity calls into question what the Colombian had in mind for his strategy, as it looked like he thought a little too much and was caught out by the keeper.
Well this is it, the final trip away from home of the 2021 MLS Season. It certainly has been a long one, feeling quite exhausting at times, as the Whitecaps went through multiple identity changes. For a majority of this season, the Whitecaps weren’t able to play at home, so now being able to say that it is over and done with must be as amazing for the players as it is for the fans. The Whitecaps are a long way from where I predicted them to be at the start of the season, and they have the potential to do even more! Sure, a win would have been amazing, but so far the Whitecaps’ season should be looked back on as a success, no matter what the result ends up being on Sunday.
What do you think of the result? Satisfied? Think the Whitecaps could have gone for more? Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts.