Whitecaps Begin Long Road To Promised Land With 1-0 Win Over Union

June 19, 2011

The Vancouver Whitecaps started the long road to the postseason with a commanding 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union at the picturesque Empire Fields in beautiful Vancouver last Saturday.

The Caps not only avenged an ugly defeat  a few weeks ago in the City of Brotherly Love in which they played with 10 men, but this time, thoroughly outplayed the Philadelphia Union, as the score line did not reflect the chances created by both sides, particularly the Whitecaps.

The Caps are gradually improving in one key area -- ball possession -- and over the last few games, signs of that are evident on the pitch.

Newly-appointed Coach Tommy Soehn’s change in team strategy has included the deployment of Davide Chiumiento in a different role -- a move that worked very well against Philadelphia.

That change led to a breathtaking goal by Alain Rochat in the 12th minute, courtesy of a masterful work of artistry and a maestro-like type of play by Davide Chiumiento, and an eye-catching passing game with Eric Hassli.

The play of Chiumiento, Rochat, and Hassli, plus Gershon Koffie coming off the bench, were instrumental in the Caps long overdue and very deserving victory. The play of the above-mentioned group is going to be vital for the Caps' postseason ambitions, as not many expansion teams make it to postseason play, especially in their first year.

It is obvious to Whitecaps observers that we are witnessing the development of a new on-field connection between Chiumiento and Hassli at Empire Fields.

The Caps fluffed two other sitters later in the game, when their two imports from the Swiss League set the table for Jeb Browsky, only to be denied by the artistry of the Union gloves man in the 57th minute.

The Caps attack continued relentlessly, with the bruising Hassli leading the charge. His non-stop run at the Union center backs was worth the price of admission all by itself.

The Caps last onslaught came in the 85th minute, the playmaker Chiumiento again putting the bruising Hassli through, only for the striker to be let down at the worst moment by his not-so-gentle touch.

That miscue notwithstanding, the Philadelphia back line surely was relieved when the referee blew the final whistle. It is just one victory in a long season, but Caps lovers can finally see the team developing from game to game.

By Kwenu Turkson
Contributing Writer for TheDailySportsHerald.com

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