What did our beloved Claret and Cobalt do the evening of March, 10th? They did what they trained for. They did what they most wanted. They did what they are capable of. They “came to score” (The Aggrolites).
Well, that wraps up the regular season. A goalless draw to end it all — it's almost fitting, isn't it? Anyhow, parting is such sweet sorrow and all that, but we're only saying goodbye to the regular season in order to see its evolved form: the playoffs.
That's really the one we want to win, so while I wish we'd won the Supporters Shield, I'm not too stressed about it. (On another note, how pandering is the "Supporters Shield"? Is the implication that only supporters care about it?) We've got bigger things to worry about, anyway.
But first, I'd like to touch on some of the highlights of the Vancouver match. A normal match report hardly does anything justice, as there just wasn't much action. So, without further ado, some notes.
Sebastian Velasquez looked absolutely fantastic when he came on, cutting inside, cutting outside, driving into the box — doing exactly what it is we needed from a late-game substitute. On another day, he scores, or he grabs an assist, or something. It was a nice effort and he showed so much skill on the ball, it'll be hard to overlook him when next season rolls around, or even the playoffs. Where'd we find this kid, again? (Rhetorical, sorry. You're welcome to tell me, but there'll be no news there.)
Kwame Watson-Siriboe again looked immense. He's big, strong and fast — I mean, he's not as strong or fast as Jamison Olave, of course, but so few are. This kid's got a good brain on him, too, and I never really get too frightened when he's on the ball. His partnership with Chris Wingert was surprisingly solid, too — Chris is clearly not a center back by trade, but I thought this was a hugely improved match from last season's end, when we saw him as a center back as well.
While we struggled to put things away, we were creating our fair bit on Saturday. A plethora of shots, though few on target, would seem to speak to that. In the playoffs, we'll want to see much more in front of goal, but for now, we can be pleased that nobody's come out injured in any substantial way. I hope. Knock on wood.
Finally, a word about our defending in general these past weeks. In our last 11 matches, we've conceded only three goals. Sure, we've failed to put together a great goalscoring run, but I'm lifted by our defensive improvement. Considering we were simply leaking goals earlier in the season, there are few things better than seeing that fixed. It speaks really quite well as we move into the playoffs, but I wouldn't be surprised if it led to some penalties.
Still, we're facing devoted competition. It'll be fascinating.