With BC Place’s roof open on a rainy wednesday evening, the Vancouver Whitecaps took on MLS Champions Atlanta United.
The match started off looking pretty equal with not many chances, until Lass Bangoura made a clumsy challenge on Josef Martinez, which resulted in last year’s Golden Boot winner perfectly converting a 29th penalty. At this point, the Whitecaps were leading possession by 64% after 30 mins. This was promising for them, but they couldn’t seem to generate much going forward. Ali Adnan was doing well on the left side – seems to be the only Whitecaps player that might be a threat to Atlanta. At the end of the first half, the Whitecaps maintained 56% possession, and the match was still up for grabs.
The second half saw old Whitecap Brek Shea have a golden shot opportunity, and Maxime Crepeau making a ridiculous superhuman triple save which got the fans on their feet. Ali Adnan had a massive chance at the end of what would have been an outrageous golazo. The best Whitecaps chance of the match came from a great Crepeau save, and then a counter attack got sprung through Ali Adnan, who made an amazing run up the pitch, and a long ball to Venuto, who slipped it in for Montero, who couldn’t quite round the keeper. Another big chance came from a great ball from Venuto, and Ardaiz almost got on the end of it. The Whitecaps did have their fair share of chances late in this match, but they couldn’t convert.
The Whitecaps seem to have all the right pieces of the puzzle to do some damage, but can’t seem to get things working properly in order to make the magic happen, especially in the attacking side of things. Over the last 3 or 4 games, Inbeom Hwang has seemed a bit quieter than he did at the start of the season. Especially in this match during Atlanta United, he didn’t seem to be taking many risks, which he must do as a number 10. We know the talent Inbeom has, but I wonder how the Whitecaps can use him best.
The best performances of this match have to go to Maxime Crepeau and Doneil Henry once again. Henry once again made numerous big challenges defensively, and Crepeau obviously kept the Whitecaps in this one more than one time. Ali Adnan can be included in the best performances of the day for his work going forward, and Venuto as well, for the two biggest Whitecaps chances of the match which he played a part in generating.
BTS Player to Watch : Inbeom Hwang
We will be looking at Inbeom Hwang for the next Whitecaps game, and see if he can get back into that start of season form that he was in at the start of the season. He seems to have lost some of that confidence, or perhaps it’s possible that some fatigue has come to him, but hopefully he’s able to overcome any burdens and conjure up some MOTM performances.
This one is a no-brainer. Maxime Crépeau. It would have been nice to see the Whitecaps get at least a point out of this match, as Crépeau’s game-saving stops gave the Whitecaps and fans some much needed energy, and they should have paid him back for well, saving them.