Being a supporter of the Vancouver Whitecaps is an emotional roller-coaster to say the least. The Whitecaps wrapped up arguably the most difficult stage of their 2014 campaign on Saturday as they battled Real Salt Lake to a 1-1 draw. Grabbing a point at Rio Tinto is an impressive feat for any team in this league. However, after seeing how well the Whitecaps can play, watching them repeatedly miss golden opportunities to take all 3 points game after game is driving me crazy.
In the fiercely competitive Western Conference every point dropped could be the difference maker. Since joining MLS the Whitecaps have been downright dreadful on the road. This year under Carl Robinson we have seen a drastic improvement. Such an improvement that supporters now expect to see their team picking up 3 points at Rio Tinto. This is why I say being a fan of the Whitecaps is a roller-coaster. Vancouver supporters now have high expectations and are quick to forget that earning a point on the road against Real Salt Lake is something that is impressive even for the likes of LA Galaxy and Sporting KC.
Darren Mattocks scored his second goal in as many games from the penalty spot to give Vancouver the slim lead over RSL in the 73rd. The foul that gave Vancouver the penalty kick was dubious. Ref Edvin Jurisevic never had control of the game and bad blood brewed between the teams as 7 yellow cards were issued. Real Salt Lake turned on the pressure and they scored the equalizing goal in the 81st minute thanks to some nifty skills by Joao Plata.
No question that earning a road point against RSL and the new and improved Toronto FC in less than a week isn’t too bad for Vancouver. The painful bit is realizing how many chances the Whitecaps had to grab some road wins. Youth dominates the Whitecaps roster from top to bottom. This is great news for Vancouver but there is one massive problem which is currently putting Vancouver’s post season aspirations in jeopardy. Vancouver desperately needs a striker who can put the ball in the net. Vancouver’s youthful strikers have speed but they lack composure in front of goal and it’s spelling doom for the Whitecaps. Vancouver are still in a strong position to win a playoff spot but if they don’t sign a striker in the next few weeks I can’t see them participating in the post season.