VANCOUVER, B.C. — Sweet, sweet relief. At long last, the Vancouver Whitecaps' offense finally exploded and the seven-game winless streak is now past.
The Whitecaps attack found their scoring boots and poured on the goals — and the defense kept the clean sheet — in a 4-0 shutout victory over Western Conference bottom-feeders Chivas USA. This after Vancouver had scored just three times during that winless spell.
“It’s been the performance we’ve been waiting for for a long time,” captain Jay DeMerit told reporters following the match. “It takes a certain effort from a lot of guys to do performances like tonight. For once we put a performance together — the defenders defended well, and the goalscorers went and scored goals.
Full Highlights: VAN 4, CHV 0
“At the end of the day, it comes down to pretty simple things and pretty simple jobs. It’s just a matter of guys taking responsibility to do them.”
Things started early on, as Gershon Koffie scored a cracking effort from the edge of the area after Kenny Miller teed him up after holding the ball up well in the build-up.
“It helps when you get an early goal, and it’s fun when you win and score goals,” DeMerit said. “When guys are taking responsibility for their jobs, then you can sit back and enjoy it, because that’s what we’re here to do, we’re here to enjoy it.
“We haven’t been enjoying it lately. Sometimes it’s a grind. Sometimes you got to do what you don’t want to do to win games. But I think it all came together tonight and now that has to continue.”
Having four different goalscorers — Koffie, Dane Richards, Camilo and Barry Robson — will also be a boost for a club that’s generally struggled to score this season, especially over its winless skid.
“We’ve been working on it a lot — midfielders bursting into the box more,” Robson said. “This last few weeks, we’ve been working a lot on players breaking into the box and I think we’ve seen that tonight. We’re flooding the box with players, and you see, you get goals from it.”
The match also marked the club’s second clean sheet on the hop. Despite Chivas USA dominating possession with 67.8 percent of the ball, Vancouver allowed little in the way of meaningful opportunities for the Goats and didn’t allow a single shot on target.
“If we can put it together, if we can come together as a team and continue to build, then there’s no reason why we can’t go to the postseason,” DeMerit said. “And once you get to the postseason, anything can happen.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.