Sunday will not be a match that Vancouver Whitecaps FC fans will want to think about for too long. The 3-1 defeat in Houston could be considered a fair scoreline for the Dynamo, who looked full of energy and keen to secure their first win of the season. Even the statistics confirmed that the right team took the points in Space City.
Yet, what the Blue and White can take from their weekend loss in Texas is some encouraging performances from players that are sure to factor into Teitur Thordarson's squad in the very near future. One player that will have drawn a lot from facing the MLS Eastern Conference club was 2011 SuperDraft pick Jeb Brovsky.
The University of Notre Dame product enjoyed a solid preseason with the 'Caps, but the opportunity to make his competitive debut as a professional was still a big moment for the 22-year-old. "Of course, you always want to get a win on your debut, but I felt I got into the rhythm of the game pretty quickly," Brovsky said after Sunday's loss. "I had Alain (Rochat) and Jay (DeMerit) helping me throughout the game, so all in all, I felt pretty good about my performance today."
Both Brovsky and Davide Chiumiento played a full 90 minutes on Sunday, which will be important for the pair's match fitness, as MLS and upcoming Nutrilite Canadian Championship games beckon for the 'Caps. With captain Jay DeMerit suffering more issues with his groin in Houston, the availability of a fit-again Mouloud Akloul could prove timely for the 'Caps in the weeks ahead.
Though the colourful Frenchman made his MLS debut in central midfield versus the Dynamo, Akloul is sure to become an important option at centre back for Thordarson. "As the game went on, I wanted to give Mouloud a chance to get some minutes and get a feel for the level of MLS, as I thought it was important for him," said the Icelandic coach. "I thought he did well when he came on."
Another intriguing component to the Whitecaps FC squad is the amount of young talent it possesses. Recent U-20 international duty meant Residency product Russell Teibert was unavailable again until Sunday, with the Canadian youth international playing the second half in Houston. The more notable debut was that of USA U-20 international Omar Salgado, who took to the pitch in MLS for the first time this past weekend.
Though his substitute appearance was brief, the El Paso, Texas, native was delighted to make his competitive MLS debut in front of his family at Houston's Robertson Stadium. "It was a little disappointing to make my debut in a loss, but nonetheless, it was great to play today," the 17-year-old striker said. "It was nice for me to come on and play in front of my family. They came from El Paso to Houston on very short notice, so it was great to have them here today."
There may not have been many smiles after the Houston defeat, but the future still offers plenty of encouragement for Whitecaps FC, with so much of this inaugural MLS season still to unfold.