Just when increasingly beleaguered Vancouver Whitecaps manager Martin Rennie had made some progress in winning over a few believers, this Cascadia thing bites him right in the Scottish backside.
A week ago Rennie and his Whitecaps shook off domestic cup disappointment to beat New York along the East Coast. Coming off a highly dispiriting – and certainly maddening for the fans – loss in the Amway Canadian Championship, finding a way in New Jersey was looking like a signature win. It had the feel of “turning point.”
Losing to rivals is always a toughie for fans. But Saturday’s setback in Seattle, a 3-2 loss, has a little extra sting in the tail.
First, it’s the latest kick in the teeth in a series of them. A whole Cascadia Cup series. While Portland and Seattle have taken their bites from the Cascadia apple, the Whitecaps have seen precious little joy in the competition between Pacific Northwest combatants.
The Whitecaps, in fact, are winless now in 12 matches against Portland or Seattle. And you know that hurts a lot for anyone who has ever paid a ticket around BC Place.
And there are additional helpings of consternation in this case for last week’s trade, which sent defender Alain Rochat to D.C. United for … well, for not much.
The timing of the trade seemed odd anyway, leaving the Whitecaps fairly thin in the back. When steady Vancouver center back Andy O’Brien left injured in the second half, the nightmare scenario was flying into fruition.
When O’Brien left, highly inexperienced defender Greg Klazura was on the spot – which soon left Vancouver’s decider with egg on their face. Sure enough, is was Klazura whose clumsy tackle presented Seattle with the equalizing penalty kick.