As the leaves begin to turn, from deep greens, to 50 shades of yellow and red, the Whitecaps try to hold on to the brilliance that made their summer so memorable.
The last two weeks of September didn’t go as planned for the Whitecaps. A 3-0 lost to Seattle on the 19th means that, unfortunately, the Whitecaps will no longer progress in the CONCACAF Champions League. It’s only the first time the ‘Caps have had to represent Canada in this tournament, but I think reaching the next round was doable. A bit unlucky to have Morales and Mezquida injured, but with all the talk around the depth of this squad, it would have been nice to see a bit more. The ‘Caps, however, won the Amway Championship against Montreal, so they already have a place booked in next year’s Champions League.
Last week, the Whitecaps played NYFC, and with the likes of Villa, Lampard and Pirlo on their roster, this was a match every ‘Caps fan was excited for. By beating New York, the ‘Caps would have a play off berth guaranteed. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out for the Whitecaps. Lampard scored the first goal of the game, and it wasn’t until an injured Morales came on, that we’d see an equalizer in the 88th minute of play. However, the celebration of drawing level was short-lived. A few plays later, after a controversial call, 2010 FIFA World Cup winner, David Villa, scored the game winner from 12 yards out. In addition to the controversial penalty, a spectacular display from NY keeper, Josh Saunders was enough to see the team from the Big Apple take all three points.
With only six points separating the 1st and 7th placed team in the Western Conference, the ‘Caps were hoping to start October by finally clinching a spot in the playoffs.
On October 3rd, the ‘Caps headed to San Jose to play the ‘Quakes in the newly built Avaya Stadium. Techera, was able to get the Whitecaps’ first goal, and add to his overall tally, which now sits at 7 for the season. Unfortunately, a close range shot from Cordell Cato in the 62nd minute, resulted in a rebound that was finished by, US international, Chris Wondolowski.
There are still three games left until the end of the regular season, but it won’t be easy. Two out of the three games are against first place FC Dallas and the last is against the Houston Dynamo. With only four goals scored for and eight against in the last five games, the ‘Caps will have to start hitting the back of the net if they don’t want to see their playoff chances disappear.