In two games at home the Whitecaps have scored seven goals, including three goals late in the stunning comeback against Sporting KC. When setting up a game plan to attack the opposition the typical fan assumes that the most important passer would be a central midfielder. This is not the case for the Whitecaps as all their goals have been set up by either the right or left midfielders. The reason the assits are coming from these positions is the team is very quick to spread the defense by creating width. In addition the strikers are good at locating the open spaces in the box. Let’s look at Camilo’s first goal of injury time to see an example of how the Whitecaps spread out the defenders.
The first frame shows Khalfan with the ball on the left side of the pitch. As you can see Sporting KC is defending the left side with 7 players. The only Sporting players out of scene are Besler (CB), Espinoza (LB) and Sapong (F) defending Harris and Chiumiento. Now Khalfan could make the easy pass to Whitecap closest to him but instead sends the ball to Terry Dunfield.
Now once he collects the ball Stephane Auvray releases Koffie and charges Dunfield. Birahim Diop is unable to make to move laterally to cover Koffie. The left back, Espinoza, has a choice to make. Either he remains on the backline or goes and cuts off the sensible pass to Koffie. Dunfield and Chiumiento must have seen this as he makes the long pass to the streaking winger in the box as there was no way Sapong was going to cover Chiumiento.
Chiumiento is free in the box within five seconds of the initial pass from Khalfan. Espinoza is nowhere to be found and Sapong is not going to be able to make up the ground to catch the Swiss midfielder which makes it a 3 on 2 break in the box. Besler will have to move over and cover Chiumiento with the ball. Now Chiumineto has one of two choices, take the shot or find a teammate to pass too. Also note where Camilo is located, he is on the left side of the box being covered by second half sub Shavar Thomas.
Atiba Harris moves straight forward and sets up high in the box but not Camilo who has a striker’s mentality. He doesn’t move forward but moves across the box, towards Chiumiento, to give the passer a better look. As you can see Thomas and Besler are watching the ball and assume Camilo will make a straight run to the net and because of this Thomas isn’t marking anyone. Besler isn't doing any better as he isn't blocking the pass from getting to the open man or charging Chiumiento. That is how within 10 seconds and 2 passes the Whitecaps moved the ball from the left side of the field to the right side in the box and converted the opportunity to pull within one.
This goal swung the momentum completely towards the Whitecaps favour and in another minute they were able to complete the comeback to earn the draw. The tying goal started on the right side as Jonathan Leathers passed the ball long to the left side where Harris was able to receive the pass and setup Khlafan to complete a cross to Camilo. The Whitecaps are using width to create space, spread the defenders and manufacture scoring opportunities. If they continue this attack, the fans should expect more goals to be scored at Empire Field as long as they can convert the chances into goals.
--With his two goals, Camilo was named player of the week for MLS and made history as the first player to earn the title in the franchise history.
--A story on the Whitecaps being very close to confirming a friendly with a high profile European club this summer
--The documentary Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story was screened on Monday night in Vancouver. The film is complete and is looking for funding and distribution. Inquiries can be with Truth2Life Productions @ (619)318-9996. Take a look at the trailer.