Whitecaps get zero shots on target in loss to Galaxy By Steven Sandor Posted on September 2, 2012 2 0 565 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Brad Knighton PHOTO: JOHANY JUTRAS/CANADA SOCCER Zero. Those are the number of saves that Los Angeles Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders was forced to make as his team beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 Saturday night. The Whitecaps did not put one shot on goal as the team crashed to its fourth straight loss. A Dane Richards cross that was badly mishit that it drifted near Saunders’ back post was Vancouver’s most dangerous offering of the evening. Actually, the Whitecaps offered danger only to the fans who suffered through a match where two wonder strikes — from the Galaxy’s Juninho and David Beckham — acted as lipstick on a pig of a game that was dreadful on the eyes. Juninho scored from outside the box with a swerving drive that gave ‘Caps keeper Brad Knighton no chance, while Beckham put the game out of reach with a second-half swerving free kick that, well, gave Knighton no chance. The Whitecaps stay five points ahead of FC Dallas for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. FCD plays Seattle on Sunday, and then hosts the Whitecaps in two weeks time. And there could be no better time to face Vancouver — because, if you were to compile power rankings based on the last three weeks of MLS action, the Whitecaps would be a no-contest last-place squad. As Martin Rennie’s Carolina RailHawks did last season in the NASL, the Whitecaps are sputtering when the games matter most after a fantastic start to the season. These Whitecaps were remade halfway through the season. It’s hard to imagine any team that was as comfortably in a playoff position — in any league — that has received such an overhaul. Strikers Sebastien Le Toux and Eric Hassli were dispatched. Davide Chiumneto left for Switzerland. Barry Robson, as planned, arrives in July. Fellow Scot Kenny Miller came in, as did Jamaican winger Richards, who will leave Vancouver at the end of the year for Burnley. Today, Miller was nothing short of invisible. Richards was static and was subbed off. Yes, striker Darren Martocks was lost to suspension and Camilo began the game on the bench. But you could argue that the Galaxy were hurting a lot more by not having U.S. soccer poster boy Landon Donovan available due to a bad hamstring. Canadian Russell Teibert drew into the midfield, as did former RailHawk Matt Watson, as Rennie tried to shake the ‘Caps out of their doldrums. But there was no spark, no invention. And that has been the case throughout the losing streak. The Whitecaps have been transformed from a team that initiated offensive thrusts to being a team that lays back and simply tries to be disruptive, hoping for a break. But when the breaks do come, the team simply doesn’t commit the numbers forward to threaten anyone. This is a club that looks like it is in the the preseason, not the drive for the playoffs. But this is what happens when a roster is remade so late into the year. The Whitecaps haven’t simply tinkered with the lineup; the club has reinvented itself. And, fans can only hope that this lineup gels, that it finds some sort of chemistry, before it is looking up at FCD in the standings rather than down. In the meantime, the Whitecaps aren’t only frustrating to watch, they are offering little in terms of entertainment.