What we learned from 2nd leg vs. FC Edmonton
With a spot in the Amway Canadian Championship final on the line, our 'Caps finished the job with a 2-0 second leg win at BC Place on Wednesday, and 5-2 aggregate series victory to book a battle with Montreal Impact. The first leg will be in Montreal on May 15 before the 'Caps host the decisive final game here at BC Place on May 29.
Highlights: Whitecaps FC 2-0 FC Edmonton
So what did we learn?
Life of a striker
It was a tale of two strikers on the night, and it shows just how tough a position this is.
Darren Mattocks, coming off a fantastic first season where he could not miss, is now snake bitten as it seems he can't catch a break and nothing will go in for him. Just like Saturday, he worked very hard and hit the post against FC Edmonton with his best chance of the night, but he could not find the back of the net and was substituted at halftime.
We all know that Darren will hit his stride this season. He has predator instincts, he just has to work even harder on his game and be ready when called upon.
This is what Cory Hertzog has done since preseason. He had to be patient early on and then was given a chance, which he took by scoring on his debut. He hit a stumbling block when he got a concussion, but last night he seized his opportunity again with a cracking goal and a hard working battling display.
A striker lives on the edge and by their goals, and we have a couple of beauties that Martin Rennie can call on to get goals for the rest of the season.
Not for the first time, our match was on the same night and at the same time as a Vancouver Canucks playoff game. Another Canucks playoff run is exciting for our city, but of course, many were wondering if we would have to rent a crowd for the evening!
But yet again our fans came through and showed that there is plenty of room to support all of Vancouver's teams. Time after time you've proved that we have the best fans in Major League Soccer. Not only did we get a crowd of nearly 15,000, but they were loud and brilliant on the night. We have a hardcore following of fans and you all deserve a pat on the back for the support you showed the boys last night.
I’m sure there was a little concern not to see Nigel Reo-Cocker in the lineup when the team entered the field against FC Edmonton, me being one of them. The English midfielder has been a rock for the 'Caps of late, almost single handily carrying the team on his back at times.
But as soon as the whistle went that was put to rest. We came out fired up, playing a high tempo game (which I've often noted as important), pressing all over the field and attacking with intent at every opportunity. Led by Russell Teibert, we had players that were working hard to influence the game and put to bed a very stubborn Edmonton team.
The thing that impressed me about Russell’s performance was even when a play did not come off, it never affected him, he still demanded the ball and wanted to make another play. He was all over the field: passing, shooting, crossing, and tackling and it sure reminded me of a certain someone who has taken Teibert under his wing.