By the numbers: 'Caps continue sound defensive play
VANCOUVER, BC – Defensively, "excellent." Offensively, "average."
That’s how Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson described his team’s performance in a scoreless draw with Chivas USA Saturday night in Carson, California.
It was Vancouver’s third straight clean sheet – they've now gone 321 minutes without conceding a goal. However, it was also the second time in three matches they’ve been held off the scoresheet.
After some early season concerns, the ‘Caps have now established a solid foundation at the back – as evidenced by the numbers below. If they can now rekindle their attacking form, it should make for an exciting final third of the season.
One of the bright spots on Saturday was the play of right back Steven Beitashour, who didn’t appear to put a foot wrong all match. In the build-up to the game, Beitashour said the ‘Caps need to “show up, fight and scrap, and do all the little things.” And that’s exactly what he did.
Beitashour won a game-high eight duels, defined as a “50-50 contest between two players of opposing sides.” By contrast, he only lost three of them.
On Saturday, the centre back duo combined for 19 clearances and interceptions. Those numbers aren’t abnormally high, but they’re more impressive considering the ‘Caps controlled 58 per cent of possession – meaning the time they spent defending wouldn’t have been significant.
Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted picked up his seventh clean sheet of the season on Saturday, putting him in a five-way tie for the league lead.
Ousted, the only ‘Caps player to have played every minute of every match this season, wasn’t overly busy against the Goats, but he was solid when called upon and came up with an important kick save late.
The ‘Caps have had some ups and downs this season, but the Danish shot-stopper has been a steady presence through it all.
* Statistics courtesy of Opta Sports
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