Let’s face it, winning at LAFC’s BMO Stadium is tough for the Vancouver Whitecaps. In fact, any other team in MLS would feel the same way.

Heading into Saturday’s match, LAFC were undefeated at home with a 4-2-0 record. Vancouver on the other hand, were undefeated on the road with a 3-1-0 record. An unstoppable force was colliding with an inmovable object.

While it was a big ask for the Whitecaps to get three points at BMO Stadium, it was possible. It was because of their road form and the fact that they won their before, a thrilling 3-2 victory last season.

But like Marvel flicks nowadays, the Whitecaps flopped. If you are an LAFC fan, it was a box office worthy performance. Fair play to them. For the Whitecaps, this was easily the worst performance of the season so far.

Sometimes, you have a bad day, Where was the moment the Whitecaps need the most? They kicked up the leaves and the magic is lost.

What we learned

Right from opening kick off, LAFC were ready. The Whitecaps didn’t look ready.

The home side were all over Vancouver. They were cutting through the Whitecaps midfield and back line like they were Leatherface with his chainsaw.

In the first 10 to 15 minutes, LAFC had at least four or five shots. Fortunately, Yohei Takaoka was up to the task. He made some great saves but unfortunately, nothing lasts forever.

Denis Bounga is one of the best players in MLS. After all, he won the Golden Boot last season. On Saturday, he was all about assisting.

Tristan Blackmon lost track of Cristian Olivera and he fired home Bounga’s cross. Takaoka denied Olivera twice before the goal but felt inevitable he would get on the scoresheet.

Dread it, run from it, Bounga and his abilties still arrive. He connected with Olivera again on the second goal. It was a really rough night for pretty much every player on the Whitecaps but it was especially rough for Mathias Laborda. He was getting skinned pretty easily and Bounga made him look silly here. Also, Vancouver left Olivera all alone. No way he was missing that one because if he did, he would have never heard the end of it.

Bounga had the Whitecaps like a person would have a dog on a chain. He basically owned them. The third goal was a swift LAFC counter and Vancouver couldn’t keep up. Easy finish for Mateusz Bogusz who also was a thorn in the side for the Whitecaps.

While the attack slowly looked better, (especially with Luis Martins, Levonte Johnson and Pedro Vite coming on as second half substitutes) it was pretty toothless. Hugo Lloris’s saves didn’t really trouble him. Brian White and Ryan Gauld looked invisible as did Fafa Picault and Ali Ahmed.

The passes were sloppier than my attempts at making roast beef. The first touches were also pretty poor as well. The ball looked like it was bouncing off a trampoline.

Overall, that performance reeked. It was bad. There is no sugarcoating it. But sometimes, you step in…you know what. After all, it happens and you just have to move forward. Hopefully, this is just a blip and not a reaccuring thing. After all, it is a long season.

Stat of the match

Bounga’s three assists takes this category. When he plays the Whitecaps, he goes prime R9 mode.

What was said

“I don’t know why we weren’t able to get out with the ball and we were like kind of overwhelmed,” said Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini after the game. “In Italian, we say ‘the Frittata is already done, the egg is already broken’, because the first half was really bad…So you can lose sometimes away. But the performance of the first half was actually bad, so that’s the thing that makes me pissed off.”

Gauld was the only player to speak to the media.

“I think we were just beat by the better team on the night, that’s as simple as it gets,” he said. “We didn’t start off well, they were beating us every second ball. I think they could have even had a couple more goals in the first half. So, at this point in performance, I would say it’s a good wake-up call for us.”

“When you get beat the way we did tonight, you want to get back out into a game as soon as possible. We’ve got a tough one on Wednesday, but we’ve got the chance to try and turn things around straight away and don’t have a long week of training to dwell on tonight’s results.”

Best of Twitter

Best sitter

I’m pretty sure nearly every goal the Whitecaps conceded was a tap-in. All three LAFC goals on Saturday night were. I’m pretty sure Charlotte’s Iuri Tavares’ goal in the opening game of the season was from distance as was Alexandro Katranis’ go ahead goal in Real Salt Lake’s 2-1 win at BC Place on March 23.

If there was a stat for tap-in goals against, I’m sure the Whitecaps would be first or close to first.

Best glad I missed this game

If you also missed the game, I’m sure you were glad you did. It was a painful 90 plus minutes. This was a game of nightmares for Whitecaps fans.

Best bet

Well at least was just 77 cents! It could’ve been worse! The Whitecaps were rightfully underdogs heading into the game. Hope no one lost their life savings on this much.

Best ghosts of the past

You killed the man but not the idea. I’m sure Whitecaps fans like Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglu during their match against Chelsea last week: irritated by the number of backwards passes.

Best facing reality

LAFC are on a different level. Despite their slow (by their standards) start, they are still one of the elites of MLS. They will surely bulk up in the summer transfer window, especially with Olivier Giroud confirmed to be joining after the Euros.

While LAFC are on the top floor, the Whitecaps are on the floor below it. They are trying to open the door to get into the elite club. And they are actually close, very close.

Saturday night showed there is still a gap in quality between these two teams but the gap is smaller than it was in years past. Yes, it was a poor performance, an off night from Vancouver. But with the summer transfer window around the corner, there is no reason to think the Whitecaps will bulk up as well. They just need to find the right players.

But first the Whitecaps will need to learn to smile as they kill, if they want to be like the folks on the hill. This could be a special year for this club. But improvements are still needed. Losses like this will happen but bouncing back will be key.


Well, that performance was stinky. But there isn’t much time to clean up the stench. Vancouver is back at it on Wednesday in Commerce City as they take on the Colorado Rapids. Kickoff is at 6:30 pm Pacific.