Saturday, July 16, 2011

Another Washout For The Whitecaps

For the second time this year the weather has affected a match which the Whitecaps were involved as their match with Real Salt Lake was postponed by MLS to a later day.  The temporary grass field, which was laid over the artificial turf, was unable to handle a freak summer storm as the lack of drainage caused the field to deemed unplayable.  Sod was placed at Empire because of the international friendly scheduled with EPL side Manchester City on Monday night.

The postponement of the match has forced the Vancouver Whitecaps organization to take lumps in the MLS world with the majority of RSL and neutral fans claiming the home side should forfiet the game as they were unable to provide a proper playing surface.  While those fans may have a case, this would not have been an issue if the MLS did not mandate the World Football Challenge and push clubs to schedule a friendly against the glamour teams of Europe.  The refusal of those teams to play on anything but natural grass is also a cause of today's problems.

While the Whitecaps may have to accept the backlash from the football community, the rainout may actually be a blessing in disguise.  The match against RSL would have been the first of three games in five days for the Caps including a trip to San Jose for Wednesday.  Now the schedule has two matches in three days which will be followed by a ten day break before the LA Galaxy comes to Empire.

It also gives time to the walking wounded, like Hassli and Chuimiento, to get a little bit healthier as most would not be able handle the fixture congestion.  Also it gives more time for training for new designated player Mustapha Jarju as he continues to get into game shape.  When you just look at the match up with RSL, the thought of upgrading the Whitecaps roster will give Vancouver a better chance to win in the rescheduled match.

The issues with the pitch may also affect the friendly against EPL's Manchester City and more will be known by early Monday.  There was very little chance that the Whitecaps were going to beat and while the delay has hurt the organization's reputaion, their chances to pick up three points have improved.

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