VANCOUVER, B.C. — Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Terry Dunfield lined up in a more advanced position for the second leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship final on Saturday, and there were signals at practice Monday that the role could continue.
Head coach Tom Soehn was forced into making an adjustment to his usual formation due to the hamstring injury suffered by Davide Chiumiento on June 25 against Sporting Kansas City.
“We had a sort of triangle of three in midfield and I was at the top of it,” Dunfield explained. “We rotated around and at times it worked well, and at times it didn’t.”
Dunfield admitted he hadn’t played that sort of position since his time with the Manchester City youth team. Speaking with MLSsoccer.com, Soehn explained his thinking behind the tactic.
“We had a triangle and some freedom between the three to move and make things less predictable, and having guys come from deeper spots to join in,” Soehn said. “We missed Davide in that hole. We’ll reassess and see what we do for Wednesday [against Columbus]."
Soehn’s plans for Wednesday’s match against the Columbus Crew will also be impacted by the adductor injury which forced defender Jay DeMerit to leave the game on Saturday.
“It’s just a kind of recurring thing,” DeMerit explained. “I had a good run of games there, but groins are always tricky. All it takes is one little slip or one little time where you tweak your injury and it’s back. It’s not as serious as it was the first time, which is positive.”
The Whitecaps captain was visibly upset when leaving the field in Saturday’s match against Toronto FC.
“I was more unhappy with our performance, not necessarily what was going on in my groin,” DeMerit said. “There was huge frustration from all of us on Saturday along the lines of what we expect from each other, and what the fans expect from all of us.
"I think there was a massive disappointment, but now it’s about staying positive and making sure these types of things don’t keep happening," he added. "It’s been a long road already this season with ups and downs, but ultimately you just have to keep the right mentality.”