Home > Match Preview, Match Review > Late post game – Home Opener Preview

Late post game – Home Opener Preview

Okay, this is real late.. I know. No matter, sorry for the 2 people who read this.

In an attempt at tweeting while at a bar, you can see, it didn’t work out very well… Neither did the glass 3/4’s full of Cider that ended up on the floor, but who’s noticing.  And because this is late, and I’ll be at the game tomorrow, this is commentary of last week’s game, and a preview for our Home Opener!

Who: Vancouver Whitecaps
Where: PPL Park – Beautiful downtown Chester
Time: 4:00 PM EDT

This is our test against an expansion team that you would not dare to call an expansion team.  Winning last week against Toronto 4 – 2 shows that the Whitecaps have one thing on their mind, scoring.  As last year, and last week has shown, we still need to work on that, scoring.  Not just scoring, but creating chances.  This includes possession.  We had a meager 31% possession time for the game, and that’s not good for any team trying to create something.  We were lucky that Houston wasn’t as well put together as they may have been made out to, but a more solidified central defense (Where the hell did Califf come from) and some lucky chances (See you in Chicago Oduro) we were able to come off with a win.  Needless to say, we should have had many more GOOD chances last week than the Sheanon superman throw-in.  With a shaky midfield of Migz and Naka that we are chalking up to just the start of the season, we need to control the ball more.  That means better mid-field play, better passing, and completing through balls.  It’s understood that our players, about 60% new may not be completely in sync as of yet, but pick up games have had better pass connections than the Union had last week.  If we’re going to win, we can’t take Vancouver lightly, nor allow them possession of the ball, since their primary goal is to..score a goal.  An attacking team is never one to take lightly, and I would expect our Midfield and Defensive line to be tested by constant counter attacks and a pressing defense.

Speaking of our defensive line being tested, at the moment it seems as though its depthe will be. as of the writing of this blog Danny “I should have been this good last year” Califf is questionable with a problem with his knee and Gonzalez is listed as probable with a problem with his hip.  As i expect Califf to play since there has been no other word other than a bigsoccer.com list, it does call into question – what are we going to do if they can’t play?  Califf and Valdes were our strong central defense last week, if Califf is out – and Gonzalez being on the maybe list, what exactly are we going to do?  We have enough problems as of now worrying of Williams will be out of position, or if Harvey will be caught flatfooted on the sides.  We can’t afford a weak center.

As depth of our backline is our only problem (in depth) Vancouver is something to snicker about.  They have 2 players out for National Team call ups with Jay Demerit and Michael Boxall, with 3 other guaranteed players out due to injury, one being Shea Salinas who will have to wait another year before a return to Philadelphia (unless we see them in the playoffs).  They also have Thorrington listed as doubtful, and Teibert is Questionable.  That is a total of  7 players on their roster.  How much this will effect them, one may not know, but we will see.

Our midfield seems to be a slight issue.  As Mapp played a consistent game, Naka and Migs played… well, up to their par.  Naka didn’t have any good set pieces to strike, and the one that he did was awful.  As he is pressing and working for the consistent Mid Starting position, as the Union feel good articles present, his play when pressed almost begs to differ.  Better control of the ball and sight of the play needs to be present, and please don’t dribble the ball more when a player comes after you.  Migs on the other hand was consistent… to last year… which isn’t saying much.  It was shocking someone found a picture of him on the pitch during the game because it was almost as if he didn’t have any effect on the game (I’m not trying to knock on the guy, but I noticed everyone in my drunken stupor on Saturday except for him).  Carroll, on the other hand, seems to have had an okay game, but may be having trouble with just getting into the flow of the team.  This is something that will probably improve as time goes on, and lineups switch.

Ruiz and Le Toux up top need better services.  As their skill is in no question, when pressing on goal, the ball needs to get to them for chances to be made.  Last week, this didn’t happen often and when it did, there was either miscommunication or lack of awareness on either end.  Again, something that should actually improve as time goes on.  One thing to note is that Ruiz may have to watch out for being set up into cheap foul calls on him, like the elbow last week.  As the elbow to the face is a legitimate yellow card, 95% of the time (meaning most of the time) the defender in that situation will jump for the ball or move out of the way.  The fact that the defender just stood there was either through idiocy, or intelligence, and resulted in a yellow on Ruiz, and even for Dynamo fans calling for a red.  Aside from that, Ruiz seems to be able to hold his own, and just need to get more in sync with any through balls for him.

This should be a good match through and through, which I will be enjoying in section 121 tomorrow.  I’ll see you all there.

Prediction – 2-1… either way.  I myself am picking the Union.

Dan K.

  1. Not Your Non-Blogging Co-Worker Who Also Enjoys Soccer
    March 25, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Nice recap. So what’s the word on any taunts or funny variations on the name “white caps”?

  2. Not Dave
    March 26, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    What a beautiful set up for Ruiz….Choooooo…I mean Pescadito!

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