In a rarely seen situation, the Vancouver Whitecaps were hosting Real Salt lake at the opposition’s own stadium. With COVID numbers coming down and international travel loosening, the Whitecaps would have liked to have had a positive end to their tenure in the United States. Unfortunately, Real Salt Lake had other plans, and the Whitecaps endured their worst loss of the season.
- Conceding a goal within the first two minutes isn’t exactly a great way to start your 2021 debut, but after that Hasal was suitable in front of net. Definitely a far cry from his performances last season, but one could chalk it up to nerves. Time will tell whether Hasal holds the promise he showed last year or whether it was just a good performance in a really bad season. A strong save in the second half was immediately followed by an unfortunate goal, and so the rust may take a little longer to fully wear off. 4-0 was not an ideal result but it is onwards an upwards for this young keeper, as he could be the Whitecaps’ answer to a post Crepeau life.
- The team looked to be slowly growing into the game until the thirtieth minute, after which they began to attack the opposing net quite effectively, at least in the first half. The bulk of the plays were definitely built by the midfielders, as that is where the Whitecaps’ best players are located.
- Brian White looked more up to the task of filling in for the Whitecap’s sole DP, as he made some good runs to carry the ball in front of net. He was a threat where many feared that a liability would be. With the Gold Cup in full swing for the next month or so, improving performances by the former Red Bulls man will be a net positive for the Whitecaps, especially if they manage to get him some backup in the form of incoming transfers since the summer window has just opened.
- Despite the result, the Whitecaps coped with being a home team in a stadium full of away supporters. It was good to see them not take the foot off the gas after getting scored early, and keep the energy all the way through the ninety minutes. It would be easy for the Whitecaps to get complacent after such a long winless run, but they brought an energy that will be great to see once they get home or get a refresh.
- The theme of questionable subs continued from last game, as subs Raposo and Nerwinski came in for Teibert and Gutierrez respectively. The choice to take off Guti could be deemed questionable, as he wasn’t having a terrible game, and forcing Brown onto the left side leading to a penalty call. Owusu and Bair later came on for Alexandre and White and provided less than ideal output. Owusu was the brighter spark and looks to be an option for future games, while Bair will have to keep searching to find his role as a striker in the future.
Can’t say I’m happy with the result, but I will say I am optimistic. At this point it may seem like a fool’s errand, having said similar things to this many times before, but something tells me that maybe certain thoughts are running through the minds of certain people after seeing our neighbours out east TFC sack their coach after their franchise-worst result. Even if those same people try to ignore it, the Whitecaps and MLS faithful aren’t going to forget about that anytime soon.
Seems like we might be in the process of an early trademark Whitecaps offseason rebuild- which has been going on since the playoff team of 2017, and that may be fine. At the end of the day it was good to see the players themselves still feel passion for playing after being away from home for so long. One would naturally think to be hard on the players due to the results but it really is amazing how much physical and mental toll these players are handling. Let’s hope that there are brighter days ahead for them, and for the fanbase.
What did you think about today’s match? Sound off in the comments below.