Somehow, we’re three(ish) weeks into the MLS season. The Vancouver Whitecaps visited the New England Revolution and concluded in the anti-American style, a draw. The result gives the Revolution their first point of the season, while the Caps now have 5 points, which puts them among the top 5 teams in the West.
New England hasn’t yet scored a goal through three games. They came close to scoring a few times, the first being a deflected header towards goal, but Caps keeper David Ousted luckily flailed his arm in the right direction and time.
What most Revs fans will be glad to hear was that defender Jose Goncalves was in the starting lineup. There’s been talk that Goncalves is unhappy with his current contract. He won the 2013 MLS Defender of the Year and wants to be paid like it, and sat out last week in Philadelphia in an attempt to prove his point. There’s little doubt that New England’s better off with him in the lineup, and it was one of the reasons the game ended in a 0-0 scoreline. Also midfielder Kelyn Rowe started the game who sat out due to injury last week.
Vancouver has developed a solid start to the season, surprising a few by beating New York 4-1 in Week One. Since that offense explosion, they’ve only scored one goal in two games, so the question I raise is whether Vancouver is in a slight scoring drought, or if New York’s defender Jamison Olave is that important (he missed the Vancouver match). I’m not quite ready to say though that they lack scorers, but they just aren’t getting the opportunities — they only had 2 shots on goal even though they had the slight advantage on possession (52%).
Generally, scoring opportunities were rare in this game. Weather played a small part, wind and rain made cameos throughout, but neither team was making the completions that were needed. Both teams will need to work on the attacking connection in upcoming weeks if they want to win again (Vancouver), or at all (New England).
Both teams play next Saturday when New England travels to the San Jose Earthquakes, while Vancouver welcomes the league-leading Houston Dynamo.