Post Match: Whitecaps Kings of Cascadia (So Far)

Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers came to town on Saturday looking to pick the bones of a dejected Vancouver Whitecaps, who were coming off of a humiliating loss to LAFC in the CCL.

Expectations were low coming into the game, with Sartini’s magic running short after the whiplash of winning 5-0 to losing 3-0 soon after. While Portland has had a poorer start to their season, the Whitecaps’ history of being unable to take care of opponents of an equal or lower caliber did not have me feeling optimistic.

Thankfully for the Whitecaps, they were able to bump the trend. Gio Savarese’s team did not look up to the challenge on Saturday, as the Whitecaps immediately took to attacking Portland’s net. Crosses flew and Laborda looked dangerous on headers as the Whitecaps took the majority of opportunities offered to them in the first half. Portland’s defense remained strong though, and the Whitecaps were met with interceptions to many seeming clear-cut chances. 

No Whitecap felt this more than Ranko Veselinovic today, as the Serbian centre back had two goals called back. One for a rightful offside call and another off of a dubious push in the box that made sure that the score remained 0-0 late into the game. You could sense the Whitecaps’ frustration as their attempts to build something positive continued to be quashed by Portland. Not to mention, early on Cubas had to be subbed off for Sebastian Berhalter, with the former looking to have suffered an injury on his shoulder. Luckily, the young American relished playing in his natural defensive position and the Whitecaps didn’t miss a beat. 

A lot of players took their opportunities, the most notable of which being Ali Ahmed, Laborda, and Julian Gressel alongside Berhalter. The midfield was clicking, and the defense was able to provide support through passing lanes and occasionally joining the attack. Much lauded Simon Becher didn’t get too many opportunities during this game, and failed to have an impact of any sort. His replacement in the form of Brian White finally broke the deadlock as a cross to the American from Julian Gressel led to an almost goalline tap in. The ref looked to threaten another goal annulment due to a previous play but it stood and the Whitecaps went ahead to finish the game. 

A quick analysis of the game shows a Whitecaps team that both played well and got lucky. While yes, there was a synergy and control of the game that was admirable, the same problems of not having a proper goalscorer plagued them. They insisted on a lot of aerial balls as well, with rather little success. The Whitecaps’ attacking focused players mostly don’t fit the archetype of players who are strong in the air so it was frustrating to see them continue to attempt it even when it clearly wasn’t working. Nevertheless, their resilience is to be commended and a victory is a victory. It’s difficult to say what can be taken away from these performances, so we’ll have to cautiously monitor where this team goes from here. 

(Image Credit: Vancouver Whitecaps)

17 thoughts on “Post Match: Whitecaps Kings of Cascadia (So Far)

  1. Anyone who believes they are “bleeding money” needs to buy my swampland in Florida. if you count operations ONLY, day to day on the club, sure, they are at a loss. Attendance is way down, ad revenues would likely be down as well. HOWEVER, the media (cough JJ Adams cough) seem to keep refusing to report the other revenues an MLS owner gets; expansion money, franchise value appeciation, and SUM money. As I have explained in other comments, this amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars during Kerfoot’s tenure as owner. So, you know, let’s just be honest about why he owns the club and the money he has made. If I lose 10 million in one pocket and gain 50 million in the other, i am making money. Pretty simple concept.

  2. Yes, this ownership-is-bleeding-money-because-Forbes-says-so narrative is tedious and needs to stop. However, much success in this league can be tracked to how well you spend your Garber bucks on your overall team.

  3. Kerfoot isn’t going to sell anytime soon. There is more expansion money on the way. Also, if the league does bag Messi, expansion fees will go up and SUM revenues will skyrocket. He is making a lot of cash on this even if the day to day operations of the Whitecaps itself struggles due to the attendances and ad revenues. With this being such a lucrative 12 years for him, there is no reason for him to bail out.

  4. having new ambitious and engaged owners is the only thing that would make the Whitecaps a significant MLS team year-after-year– but thats a pipe dream

    i was shocked that Vanni took off becher for white– i would have had the 2 players on the field as i sense a good chemistry– would have taken off Vite

  5. Price and Dolan are at the game. Luke and Steve are in Toronto. Luke drifts off topic way too much for me. I think Dolan has become a very good colour commentator. He’s very accurate and objective with his comments. Not a lot to quibble about with this game. The Caps play is trending upwards. Sartini deserves credit for transforming the way the team plays now. If and when the Caps become better in the opposing penalty area then they will be a very good team. One worry is our lack of depth at centre back but for now I guess we’re ok. We’ve got good, interchangeable players on this team with Berhalter being a very pleasant surprise filling in for Cubas. Every game is going to need at least 14 players contributing with subs 4 and 5 probably needed as well. I do hope we see, as we did against Montreal, White and Becher on the field together. I know it’s too early to judge precisely but I think Becher will be more effective with White out there creating more space and openings for Becher. Looking forward to seeing the rest of our squad against LAFC. I’ll be happy if we can just hold our own…..

  6. Ali is an amazing player. He just keeps attacking but knows when to stop and pass backwards (like when you are surrounded by 5-6 players and have nobody ahead of beside to pass to).
    He also drew about 2 yellow cards on Portland plus other fouls creating scoring opportunities.

  7. Don’t really agree with the assessment of Becher not having any impact. Dude was running in and giving the defense all kinds of hassles, hustling when needed to be and winning challenges. It was nice actually watching a forward attack the make runs instead of just being a body in the box.

  8. Got the points but when are we going to go out and get the 2 / 3 class players we need?…..also watched the Seattle game…37,000 and tremendous atmosphere!……and Whitecaps have 12,000? I think we are losing fans every year? TIME FOR NEW OWNERS?

    1. And what would new owners do? The age old criticism of not spending money doesn’t really hold anymore and they aren’t responsible for the fact that PavCo are terrible landlords and that the Southsiders are an embarrassment of a supporters’ group. Would you rather have human slime like the Aquilini’s?

      1. If the Whitecaps weren’t in BC Place, that stadium would be a huge white elephant for PavCo and, by extension, the gov’t and taxpayers.

      2. “not spending money” does hold very strongly. They only have one DP that is at the salary level that has impact (Gauld at just a tad over 2 million). The other DPS are not costing the owner anything other than a tiny bit depending on how they apply MLS monies to it. he won’t invest in 3 impact level DP players and never has (you need a Gauld level salary to get that level of player). Don’t let transfer fees dazzle and con you. Those are accumulated by selling other players (the big Davies one and others since then) and again, are not coming out of the owners direct pocket. The owner also has made a few hundred million on his share of expansion fees and SUM money (the marketing company that does rights for US Soccer), and so yeah; not spending money out of the owners pocket IS a problem. They have changed all the chairs from front office to coaches to players and can not go above a mediocre level; the one thing that has not changed is the owner. If he even invested a sliver of the money he has made from expansion fees this could have been a contender many times. It doesn’t take a 7 million dollar mega player to build a winning club.

  9. Was it just my feed or does Apple TV really suck that bad? The lighting was constantly dark to the point I was wondering if the lights in the stadium were off. Then it would brighten up. Then go dark. LOL.

    1. Switched to TSN..Apple not got it right?..


      .prefer old fashioned “play by play”…rather than listen to totally irrelevant stories on
      going don’t think the commentators even know the players?

      1. The ATV commentators are Price and Dolan … think they know the players as does Caldwell on TSN. However, on ATV, you can switch the audio to radio broadcast if you prefer.

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