Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cup Dreams Washed Away By Weather

The Vancouver Whitecaps were thirty minutes away from accomplishing one their main goals entering into this season.  Thirty minutes away from erasing the memories of the 2009 debacle when the Caps were waiting in Stade Saputo to accept the Voyageur’s Cup.  That day it was the Impact who let them down and everyone thought that it would be different this time as it was in their control.  Unfortunately this time it was the weather who let them down as lightning strikes delayed the match and then the rain made the pitch unplayable forcing an abandonment of the second leg.

The Whitecaps pushed their attack right off the opening kickoff as they looked for the early lead by controlling the tempo.  It did not take long for the Caps to get their first chance as Hassli slipped a nice through ball to Camilo into the box who unleashed a shot that beat Frei but missed the net by a couple of feet.  Unlike last week it did not take long for the Whitecaps to capitalize as great work by Hassli forced Cann to spill the ball.  It came to Salinas who slid it to Hassli and the Frenchman unleashed a shot which after a deflection off of de Guzman’s leg found the back of the net.

It was at this moment that the rain started coming down harder sometimes enough to obscure the view of the camera with rain.  The first half continued with both teams trading chances but the Caps controlling the game with their possession.  The problems started during half time when there were lightning strikes in the area which caused a delay of about thirty minutes to start of the second half.  Once the players were on the field it was clear that the field was affected as there were puddles collecting on the field causing the ball to come to a complete stop at times. 

The second half only lasted 15 minutes when the match was delayed once again as the pitch was in bad shape but the lightning had returned as well.  The field was checked multiple times by the CSA officials and the coaches for both teams before the game was finally called off at about eleven o’clock eastern.  The initial plans were to play the game over again the next morning but when they realized that the overnight rain did not help the situation with the pitch those plans were abandoned as well.

The second leg will now be replayed on July 2nd which will be three days after the teams meet each other for a league match at BMO Field.  Prior to their 'double header' both teams will play a match on the road the weekend before as TFC will head west to face Real Salt Lake while Vancouver will be in Kansas City.  The Whitecaps will now return home to empty handed to face the New York Red Bulls as they were able to handle TFC but not Mother Nature.

1 comment:

  1. The Nutralite Championship is a farce, the only team that seems to take it seriously in Vancouver and we continue to miss out. The fact that we lose the 1-0 lead and must start from scratch (unlike other tournaments) just shows the CSA continues its sub standard approach that has kept Canada out of teh workd cup for a generation. I hope the Caps send teh reserves to the game in July and focus on the MLS season.