Vancouver Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit says the second leg of the Canadian Championship final deteriorated to a tight, scrappy match, which didn't suit his team.
It was a chance for the Vancouver Whitecaps to capture their first piece of meaningful silverware as a Major League Soccer team.
Instead, the second leg of the Canadian Championship final against Toronto FC at BMO Field didn’t go according to plan.
Unable to score throughout 90 minutes, they were defeated on the night by an 83rd minute goal from TFC's Reggie Lambe, but would have lost the tie anyway due to Toronto’s away goal in last Wednesday’s first leg 1-1 draw at BC Place.
“It’s gut wrenching,” Joe Cannon told Vancouver radio station TEAM 1410 after the match. “You have these visualizations, these ideas, these hopes and dreams – it’s pretty deflating, to be honest.”
Vancouver never seemed to get ticking, especially in midfield, and the game quickly degenerated to a scrappy affair, culminating in Julian de Guzman and Sebastien Le Toux both getting dismissed following incidents in the 56th minute. De Guzman was sent off with a straight red for slapping Jun Marques Davidson in the face, and Le Toux saw his second yellow for apparently stamping on a Toronto player.
“It’s hard sometimes when things get disrupted,” captain Jay DeMerit told TEAM 1410. “When guys are going at you for no reason, and guys are picking up cards for no reason, necessarily. It’s a tough pill to swallow when it comes to things like that, and it’s a shame the game turned into that because once that stuff starts to happen, the game becomes different, and it did play into their hands because they didn’t need a goal.
“We needed one and we needed the game to open up a bit and settle down, but it didn’t do that for us.”
The match had nine cards in all, and wasn’t the prettiest display of the beautiful game. Davidson’s dive after de Guzman’s slap and encouragement from Toronto players to get referee Silviu Petrescu to give Le Toux a second yellow took away from what should have been the showpiece of Canadian soccer.
DeMerit didn’t name the incident specifically, but was disappointed the game deteriorated to that point.
“When games go like that, soccer becomes something different,” DeMerit said. “It becomes a chippy, chappy, purse-throwing game. It’s ridiculous. It’s disappointing sometimes things like that get out of hand, whether it’s down to reffing or personalities, or letting the game get out of control.
“But we certainly try to play a more pure game of soccer, like the [2-2 draw with Seattle] on Saturday, but it sometimes does happen in our sport and sometimes you have to take it on the chin and make sure it doesn’t keep happening.”