That's more like it; 'Caps draw with FC Dallas
By Jonathan Szekeres
For a while, it looked like the Vancouver Whitecaps were going to experience some deja vu; another 2-0 loss at the hands of Western Conference rival FC Dallas. It was a completely different match than last weekend, as it was the Whitecaps controlling play, getting chances and putting Dallas on the ropes. However, at the half, the Whitecaps still found themselves in a two goal hole, with nothing to show for their strong play.
Then it all changed.
You know how the second half played out; Kekutah Manneh and Camilo found the back of the net in the waning minutes, and the match ended in a well-fought draw. Hell, the 'Caps would've actually won the match, had Darren Mattocks actually managed to convert on one of his hundred and fifty chances.
How did the 'Caps rebound so well? (Awkward transition here...)
The Lineup was Strong
It's no secret that Head Coach Martin Rennie took plenty of heat for his questionable lineup decision last weekend. There was no such controversy this time, as Rennie played all of his regulars for the first time in a while. Darren Mattocks started up front, with Camilo and Gershon Koffie both finding themselves in the starting 11.
Lo' and behold, the Whitecaps were competitive! Shocking isn't it? When you field a lineup of MLS players, and not borderline backups, it turns out that we're actually pretty decent.
The Attack was Unrelenting
A lot has been made of Darren Mattocks and all of his missed chances against FC Dallas. True, the young Jamaican was hair-pulling-out frustrating to watch, but think of the positives instead. It takes a talented player to get that many chances, and Mattocks was getting TONS of them. Sooner or later, (I'm betting on sooner) he'll score a nice one, and the floodgates will open.
Past Mattocks, Camilo and substitute Kekutah Manneh both had great matches. Manneh showed that he doesn't have the best first touch in the world, but he more than made up for it with his tenacity and nose for the goal. He was the one that started the comeback by taking a rebound and placing it perfectly in the net for his first career MLS goal. Then there's Nigel Reo-Coker. He teased us with his talent level in the Toronto FC match, and he hasn't quite lived up to it since then. Against FC Dallas, he was a man on a mission; it was clear that he really wanted to score and create chances for the 'Caps, and he could've easily had three assists had Darren Mattocks been able to score.
Camilo, Camilo, Camilo
It's hard to believe that the crafty Brazilian has had to fight for his playing time this season, considering he's been the one clear offensive threat in almost every match he's been in. Once again, it was Camilo at the center of the second half surge for the Whitecaps, as it was his rebound that led to Manneh's goal. Shortly after, it was Camilo that slotted home the second goal to knot everything up at 2.
I understand that Martin Rennie likes juggling his lineup, and I understand his desire to get young players minutes. That shouldn't matter anymore; Camilo might not have the gaudy stats, but he is a gigantic part of this offense. You could say that while Nigel Reo-Coker is the pulse of the club, Camilo is the straw that stirs the drink. Hey, right now, the dude is the only one that can finish. He better not be on the bench from here on out.