Home Uncategorized California snoozing: Whitecaps, Chivas go scoreless

California snoozing: Whitecaps, Chivas go scoreless

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Davide Chiumiento
The Vancouver Whitecaps earned a point. Or, more likely, any fans who made it through 90 minutes plus of negative soccer should have earned something after the Caps and Chivas USA played to a dire 0-0 draw at the Home Depot Center. From the visitors’ perspective, the most thrilling moment of the game came in the second half, when a through ball from Lee-Young Pyo found Davide Chiumiento — and the Whitecaps forward flashed over the bar. But the lineseman’s flag was up in the air on the play for a fairly clear offside. So, the prettiest Whitecaps chance of the game was nothing more than a moot point. Well — that’s what happens when two teams crowd the midfield and offer little space for either to build up momentum. Whitecaps’ keeper Joe Cannon was called in to make a couple of saves of note, diving to block a curling second-half free kick from the Goats’ Paolo Cardozo. And he made a couple of touches in a late goal-mouth scramble as the Goats finally committed men forward as the game crept towards stoppage time. Chivas’s Ben Zemanski also had a late chance to tap home a cross from James Riley, but he totally fluffed his first touch. Chivas is a team that struggles at home, and the Whitecaps are in the midst of a four-games-in-11-days stretch, so it would have taken a brave person to predict that Saturday’s 0-0 draw would be anything but dire. After snatching three points in the smoke and thin air in Commerce City, Colo. on Wednesday, the Caps made one change to the lineup, putting Sebastien Le Toux into the attack for Darren Mattocks, scored the deciding goal against the Rapids. Le Toux enjoyed the best, ahem, chance of the first half, after he was played well int the area by Eric Hassli. But Le Toux’s first touch was poor, taking him away from the goal and Goats’ keeper Dan Kennedy — and the chance fizzled. Of note, Hassli picked up his fifth yellow card on an aerial challenge, and will be suspended for Wednesday’s match at Toronto FC. And, in his second appearance as a Cap, Designated Player Barry Robson played a full 90. After playing 55 at altitude on Wednesday, we’ll have to wait and see how many minutes he could go in Toronto. Like the win against the Rapids, this game was marked by hard work and conservative play, not flair. But, as you begin to get used to the July schedule in MLS, where so many games are packed into a short amount of time in punishing temperatures, you will see the smart teams play for results and now how to conserve energy. And, the Whitecaps have four points in their first two games out of this stretch of four road matches. It’s not pretty, but effective. You have to suit your style of play to the rigors of the schedule. In fact, there were many 0-0 draws across MLS today, likely a product of the sweltering weather that has descended across North America. Nothing like 35 C temperatures to slow any soccer match down to a crawl. RELATED: Whitecaps play smart, not beautiful, and earn win in thin, smoky air (CLICK) Robson: No guarantees I’ll walk into the Whitecaps starting XI (CLICK)

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