It was ‘Soccer Sunday’ on Bell Pitch, and what a way to wrap up a busy week for Whitecaps FC at BC Place.
Martin Rennie’s side have two more Sunday games at home this season. The win over San Jose was not only their second-straight 2-1 result over the Earthquakes, it was Vancouver’s second league victory on a Sunday afternoon in 2012.
Like any win, this hard-fought triumph over Frank Yallop’s MLS high-flyers was vital in terms of the three points taken, and the morale boost it provides the Blue and White.
To take six points off the favourites for the 2012 Supporters’ Shield (top club in the MLS regular season) is a huge building block to achieve. It was also the perfect tonic for a club that has been through an eventful recent spell.
Among those events have been several notable roster moves that have left supporters looking at their match day programs to familiarize themselves with the new faces. Of course, that familiarization is made easier if the new faces can make an immediate impact. This week, Dane Richards and Barry Robson did just that.
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for Richards following his move west from New York Red Bulls. The Jamaican international has already made three appearances for the ‘Caps, but his efforts on Sunday will be remembered fondly.
Richards’ ability to out-pace defenders on the right flank is a real asset for Vancouver. The Caribbean midfielder not only found the scoresheet, he also tormented an MLS All-Star in Earthquakes left fullback Justin Morrow.
With Camilo Sanvezzo and Darren Mattocks also causing San Jose headaches, the speed and skill of the ‘Caps attack is sure to cause concern for Vancouver’s future opponents.
As for Robson, the midfielder’s integration with Whitecaps FC is improving by each match. The passionate Scot battled throughout Sunday’s clash - fully aware of the importance of the occasion.
His passing and distribution drew regular applause from supporters, while his efforts to win possession in midfield were very important during the spells that produced Whitecaps FC’s two goals on Sunday.
He also showed his striking power when he converted Vancouver’s lone penalty of the season so far. By the late stages, Robson’s name was chanted in praise throughout BC Place.
If Richards and Robson generated a large amount of excitement, the reaction new signing Kenny Miller received when he substituted late on for his MLS debut was also a highlight of the day.
Apart from almost making a sensational start with a chance at goal, the Scottish international striker did what he could to help his new club to victory in the final few minutes. His Whitecaps FC moments will surely come soon enough…
The Sunday dinner or BBQ will be a bit more satisfying for ‘Caps fans this July 22, 2012. With a dozen more matches left in the regular season, supporters will be hoping for a feast of satisfying results to consume on between now and late October.
Until Friday night!