It was like Groundhog Day all over again for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the 1-1 tie with Chivas USA on Wednesday.
Slow start to a road game? Check.
Gradual improvement as the game went on? Check.
Needless goal conceded? Check.
Brave fightback? Check.
Eric Hassli sent off? Check.
Clinging on for a point that on another day could have been three? Check.
Everybody predicted that new coach Tommy Soehn would make changes, and pretty much everybody predicted that these would include putting Joe Cannon in goal and moving Davide Chiumiento into the middle, and whilst both of these took place very few predicted that Camilo would start on the left wing or that Bilal Duckett and Alex Morfaw would both get starts.
The players seemed equally surprised and they spent the first half hour trying to adjust to the new system, but after that things improved only to be undone by a sloppy goal conceded straight after the kick off for the second half (defenders backing off, Cannon slow to get down to the shot) leaving Vancouver once again in for a fight.
To their credit they struck back almost immediately through a Camilo goal after great work by Salinas and Hassli, but then Hassli went into a rash challenge that should have been just a yellow card, but referees seem to judge the big Frenchman by a different standard, and a straight red was issued.
After that it was backs to the wall with Cannon redeeming himself with a couple of great saves near the end. They stay at the bottom of the Western Conference still in a state of limbo between hope and despair.
Verdict on the new coach and the new system? Well if it hadn’t been for the sending off then maybe the team could have gone on to win the game. Sound familiar?Tags: World soccer