Lo mejor o nada.
Were we actually worried about this? Vancouver is tall, really? This is what this hack was worried about before the game? The Whitecaps are 66 feet tall, but if there were 66 of them that were 1 foot tall they couldn’t have been a bigger challenge for Atlanta United.
The Five Stripes faced yet another team that didn’t quite have the defensive pieces to sit back and absorb pressure and sure wasn’t going to press. The result was a familiar one - Atlanta put Vancouver on their heels, forced the defense to make a silly mistake and was up a player at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Atlanta United went ahead thanks to a penalty despite their opponents standing heads and shoulders above them.
The game ended 4-1 but it seemed like Atlanta United should have had more heading into half time. In addition, the comedy goal given up when both Michael Parkhurst and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez should have been able to cover Hurtado on a one on two wasn’t great. Still, the highlight of the night was Andrew Carleton putting in the assist to give Josef Martinez his 4th MLS hat trick.
Anyway, here’s how it looked on the stats sheets...
Yeah, so after the game, Brad Guzan looked like he was about to invent a new WWE move to make Felipe that he had manners. If you are able to read lips you can probably make out Guzan roaring at him “BLESS YOUR HEART” (I can’t read lips).
The team stats told another story...
The Vancouver Whitecaps were the no. 3 team in the Western Conference last year.
What exactly is Carl Robinson trying to accomplish with a 3-5-2? He put out a really defensive lineup with three center backs, Felipe, Juarez, and Nerwinski. Obviously it failed completely and he ended up changing the team’s shape at half time taking out Nicolas Mezquida for Brek Shea. But it seemed like he had no plan for the game other than clog up the midfield and hope something good happens. The three best Vancouver players started this game on the bench - Yordi Reyna and Cristian Techera. Ryena made an impact as a sub and almost brought Vancouver a second goal when his shot hit the post late in the match. The Whitecaps will probably still finish 3rd in the West again, but they’ll do it without an identity led by a manager who can’t adapt his team to beat better teams in the league without a lot of luck.