Whitecaps Looking to Do Some Diamond Crushing in Salt Lake


by Michael McColl on Apr.25.2014
  1. Disruption and focus have been the two key points of attention for Vancouver Whitecaps at training this week ahead of this weekend's road trip to Real Salt Lake.


    RSL are a hard team to beat at home. Vancouver know they need to unsettle the midfield, whilst limiting chances in the process. It's no easy task but the Whitecaps think they have found the way to do it.


    Disrupting Real's 4-4-2 diamond formation by taking control of the wings and being solid in front of their own penalty area looks to be the game plan.

  2. "That's twice now that we didn't defend second phases very well. We haven't given up many goals, but the goals we have given up have been avoidable. So it's something we need to work on"

    -Carl robinson-

  3. "Real Salt Lake have had the diamond formation in their make up for a number of years now" Caps coach Carl Robinson told reporters. "I think it gives you options. Obviously you have to give up something, whether it's down the middle or out wide, and they tend to give up the width, but they focus on their strength down the middle of the park."


    Whilst the game may be won and lost in that crowded midfield area, a lot of the attention is going to be focussed on what the visitors do defensively.

  4. RSL are a hard team to beat at home. Vancouver know they need to unsettle the midfield, whilst limiting chances in the process. It's no easy task but the Whitecaps think they have found the way to do it.

  5. Vancouver have been switching off. Regularly, and it's been costing them. Not for long parts of the action but brief lapses of concentration that have been punished by goals.


    The initial defending of attacks has been solid, but the secondary parts of many plays have seen Whitecaps' defenders leave too many gaps and too many unmarked players in the box, with the midfielders tracking back not pressing and closing down early enough. They've been ball watching.


    The stats of 8 goals conceded in their 7 games may not look the worst defensive figures in MLS, but it is enough to concern the Whitecaps' management team, with the issues on the second phase of play particularly irritating for Robinson.


    "That's twice now that we didn't defend second phases very well. We haven't given up many goals, but the goals we have given up have been avoidable. So it's something we need to work on."

  6. It's been addressed in training all week and it will be addressed in the lineup Robinson puts out on Saturday with the main casualty looking to be captain Jay DeMerit, although he is far from being the only player at fault.


    The former American international has struggled at times this season and the signs are that Vancouver's central defensive pairing is about to get a bit younger with the inclusion of 24-year-old Johnny Leveron.


    The Honduran international is expected to line up alongside Andy O'Brien and will bring a lot more mobility to the middle of the defence for any long Real Salt Lake balls forward, whilst bolstering the solidity behind a two man defensive midfield shield in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

  7. The stats of 8 goals conceded in their 7 games may not look the worst defensive figures in MLS, but it is enough to concern the Whitecaps' management team, with the issues on the second phase of play particularly irritating for Robinson

  8. That may not be the only change. Robinson has stated he wants to get his young players experience in situations. He saw that through in LA and may go with a younger team in the altitude of Salt Lake.


    If Vancouver want to control the wings, then young, dynamic players will be the way to do that and Robinson has those in abundance.


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