Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC
With our first Cascadia victory firmly in sight, our 'Caps unfortunately came up short in a 3-2 defeat to the Sounders in front of 53,679 fans in Seattle.
So what did we learn?
This was another tough loss for our 'Caps and I’m sure they will look back on key moments in the game that could have been game changers. This team had another solid performance in front of a hostile environment and again found themselves in a winning position with chances to put the game away. We have found ourselves in a number of games a goal up or tied in the game late on and good chances to score and get a positive result.
This is not about individual errors or players not performing, but if we are to go to the next level and get what we deserve from our good performances then we have to put away these good opportunities that we create for ourselves.
There’s no doubt that players do not intend to miss these chances. If they can find the absolute focus necessary to score then they have a chance to be a hero, like Jordan Harvey and Kenny Miller in New York.
Saturday night with a 2-1 lead and again at 2-2, we created good scoring chances and were not able to convert.
Finding that killer instinct will save us a lot of grief.
Kenny Miller, Camilo, and Russell Teibert are forming a formidable partnership for the 'Caps up front and are becoming a worrying force for all defenders in Major League Soccer. What I love about this trio is how well they interchange during the game.
They are developing a really good understanding as they play more together and bring lots of exciting options as we attack. All three players bring different elements to the attack, and they really complement each other.
Their movement off the ball, hold up play, and penetrating runs into the box are becoming a nightmare for opposing defenders.
And they are only going to get better.
Stepping up to the plate
Seeing Andy O'Brien lying down on the field on Saturday probably had all Vancouver Whitecaps FC fans with their hearts in their mouths. He has been our leader on the field, our best defender all year long, and he has played the most minutes of anybody this season.
We can only hope that his hamstring injury is not a bad one, but until then it’s up to all of our defenders to step up their game and try and limit the loss of a big part of our team.
I know injuries are part of the game and every team has to deal with them. But make no mistake, in Jay DeMerit and Andy O'Brien we have lost the heart of our defence and you just don’t replace players of this calibre, and definitely not easily in a salary cap world.
It’s not just their play that we will miss but their inspirational presence that they have when they take the field of play. It’s going to take a huge effort from not just the defenders replacing them, but everybody on the field from forwards to the back to play great team defence.