What we learned vs. FC Edmonton
Our Vancouver Whitecaps FC had a battle on their hands as they had to come from behind from a 2-1 deficit at half to win the match 3-2, so what did we learn?
Big time players
Last night was a very important game for our boys. Not only was it the first match of the Amway Canadian Championship, which the club is determined to win and put the heartbreak of past challenges behind us but also this team needed a win at all costs. This is when you hope you big players step up to the plate and they did just that. I thought Nigel Reo-Cocker was fantastic especially in the second half as we found ourselves 2-1 down. Time and time again he ran at the Edmonton defence trying to find a way to get us back in the game. He drove us forward and came up with a big play with his tremendous cross that won the game for us. Camilo was also a big player for us as he kept prying and probing the defence all night. You could see Edmonton on their heels every time Camilo got the ball and he was rewarded with two big goals on the night that helped the ’Caps avoid a big upset on the night.
The Romance of the Cup
As the game entered its final stages, FC Edmonton fans must have been dreaming of a famous victory over their MLS rivals. And that is what cup play is all about. Their team on the night ran themselves into the ground and contested every ball to put them into a winning position. As underdogs often do in cup play they raised their level of play and they certainly did not look like a second division side for most of the night.
Most of the games we play in are going to be hard fought and close games. Sometimes the other team plays better than you and deserves to win but it can be demoralizing to your team if you give goals away from set plays. You usually have time to organize yourself make sure every opposition player is picked up and then attack the ball and clear the danger. When that does not happen, it feels like you have gifted the other team a goal. Against FC Edmonton, we gave up both goals from set plays and that’s what they would have been be relying on. It has been our Achilles heel this year and I’m sure Martin Rennie and the players will want to put a stop to this right away.