Due to the fact that I basically forgot Real Salt Lake was a team, I didn’t sim that game last week and instead ran the upcoming Portland match through the simulation machinery. With that one out of the way, it’s time I focus on Vancouver and living somewhere other than this abandoned K-Mart. So let’s forget the fact that United somehow lost to the easiest team to not lose against and look ahead to a team that will have much less trouble beating them!
Eventually, people will start asking me why I keep sending out the same lineup when it doesn’t work. As was covered in the first edition of this piece, my yearlong vacation allowed the team to trade for many players not on the real life roster (Dwyer and Feilhaber to name a couple) and left me with very few bench options to mirror real life. I’ve considered reducing the bench to five players to keep non-Loon players from getting game time, but I decided that was monumentally stupid and stuck with the normal seven bench spots. And yes, that’s Demidov starting. I had no choice.
As is the theme with the simulated version of the team just as much as the real life version, the Loons came out and looked decent. They controlled possession for much of the early going and had a few good chances from Ibarra out wide. Vancouver eventually turned the tide, as all teams do against us, and it made me wonder if having the team perform Lucha Libre wrestling before the game was worth the publicity. In the 42nd minute, Vancouver was awarded a free kick near the left sideline and quite a few yards away from the goal. Marcel de Jong roped it into the box and found Andrew Jacobson’s forehead. Jacobson’s celebration was clearly blinking SOS in Morse Code as he’s been held north of the border against his will for quite some time now.
The first half came to a close with Kevin Molino forcing the Whitecaps keeper into a diving save. The ensuing corner was punched away, and the Loons went to the locker room with their heads hung as low as the prices of prescription medication in Ottawa.
Whether it was more bad luck or bad positioning in the box, de Jong was about to punish the Loons again right after halftime. He crossed the ball into the box as Fredy Montero somehow got higher than the two defenders marking him, sending the ball past a diving Alex Ferrell for a 2-0 lead.
Down by two with about 40 minutes to play, United finally started attacking with gusto, piling on two whole shots for their effort. That was the story of the second half. There was tons of movement around the top of Vancouver’s penalty area, but no one could seem to find a shot. Justin Davis and CRAM were subbed off in the 63rd and 81st minutes respectively, mostly because they were running as slow as the maple syrup in the veins of those Canadians. Kevin Venegas was hurt in the 90th minute, forcing the team to adopt a 3-5-2 shape for the last 3 minutes. It didn’t matter in the end, though. The Whitecaps rode their moose into the sunset with a 2-0 victory.
More bad times ahead for the Loons according to this sophisticated science. The fan in me wants surprise wins over the Timbers and the Whitecaps this week, but the extremely broke and problematic gambler in me really needs two losses so I can stop uploading these at the library.