Saturday, July 30, 2011

Galaxy Make Caps Pay For Missed Chances

While the Vancouver Whitecaps weren’t as bad as the score line indicated, they still lacked quality as the home side were thrashed by the league leading LA Galaxy 4-0 in front of the biggest gathering this season at Empire Field.  Similar to the majority of defeats and some draws, it was a storyline of the Whitecaps unable to finish early chances and succumbing to silly mistakes which allowed the team to lose points.  It was the first time the Caps allowed four goals this season but while it was the team’s worst defeat of the year, by goal margin, it was not their worst performance.

This match saw a new formation on display by the Caps as they rolled out a 4-4-2(diamond) setup with Chiumiento playing as the attacking midfielder and Koffie playing as the holding midfielder.  It was working for thirty plus minutes as the Whitecaps brought wave after wave of attack with the chances falling to new acquisition Mustapha Jarju.  Unfortunately for the home team those opportunities consistently missed the mark either wide of the post or sailing over the net.  It was then the Whitecaps turn to survive as the Galaxy had three glorious chances to take the lead in a span of three minutes but Joe Cannon was able to stop of two of them and the third just missed the net.

The first fifteen minutes of the second half saw both teams trade chances to take the lead but each time it was either missed or the shot forced both goalkeepers to make spectacular saves.  Two minutes after Salinas hit the inside of the post, the Galaxy made the Whitecaps pay as Donovan, with help from a Boxall slip, was alone on Cannon and made no mistake giving the Galaxy a one goal lead.  Camilo had a chance to even the score from a free kick but was denied and again two minutes later Henry was called for a hand ball in the box which led to penalty kick converted again by Donovan. 

The Whitecaps went for an all-out attack as they took Leathers and brought in Vagenas making it a three man backline.  However once again Davide Chiumiento had a chance to score, from inside the box, for the Caps but missed the net high over the bar and the Galaxy responded with their third two minutes later as Donovan found Sean Franklin streaking to the net.  With two minutes to go Camilo had a chance to score from a free kick but was thwarted by Saunders and two minutes later the lead was stretched to four. 

Like many games before the Whitecaps were unable to find that last pass as well as the net on numerous chances.  This match saw the opposition make the Caps pay dearly for those missed opportunities as the Galaxy capitalized on their attacks time and time again.  This was accomplished by the top team in MLS despite missing a number of players due to either injury or suspension.

The goals allowed by the still shaky backline, despite the returns of Rochat and Harvey, were due to bad luck, and bad decisions.  Boxall’s slip on the turf allowed Donovan an easy one on one goal while Harvey’s ill-advised hand ball in the box.  The third and fourth goals were with the Caps playing three in the back which playing against the Galaxy was a surprise decision by Tom Soehn.

While there seemed to be an improvement in the movement when approaching the box and more chances in close were created, there was still a lack of quality finish.  An expansion team can’t afford to miss those chances if they want to pick up results and unfortunately for the Caps it has been the main storyline.  The Whitecaps will look once again to find their next victory against another struggling team as they face the Chicago Fire next Sunday at Empire Field.

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