Wanderers Recap: Back To Regularly Scheduled Programming
After an abhorrent performance against York United, the Wanderers travelled to Vancouver Island with the hope of exorcising their demons and finding gold out west. While the game against York ripped up the typical script for the season, the match against Pacific seemed like a resumption of regularly scheduled programming with a few new additions that were certainly noticeable.
Much like most of the season, the Wanderers were unbelievably solid, compact and switched on for about 89 minutes. But, for the one minute where they lacked composure and focus, they were undone in a painfully simple manner. In this case, it was Andre Rampersad who made the mistake, which led to Adonijah Reid sneaking one past Yann Fillion in the 32nd minute.
While Rampersad has already solidified himself as a Wanderers legend, his adjustment to his new role under Patrice Gheisar has been less than smooth.
So far, it has seemed as if he is unsure of what role he is supposed to take on, and this uncertainty has led to a few simple mistakes that we had not seen when he was rock solid for four straight seasons. I have full confidence that as this new team gels together, Rampersad will also find his footing and return to the CPL All-Star level.
Staying within the midfield is the gem that the Wanderers have found with Tomas Giraldo. Sure, he has only played 113 minutes for them, but all of the hype and praise for this boy’s potential seems warranted: while his age showed in moments, and he could have been more selfish in the final third, his aggression and work rate are exactly what is desired in modern midfielders. His technical skills are excellent while also having bite in his tackles. Hopefully, Giraldo can stay fit (which has been his issue in the past) and finally live up to the potential that led to him being named as one to watch within the CF Montreal academy.
Going back to the actual match, two players were subbed on for the Wanderers who made a huge difference – one in terms of work rate and another in terms of capitalizing on chances. Tiago Coimbra came on, and it was immediately apparent that he was going to press and kill for every attacking ball that he could find. His tenacity paid off with a solid assist on the game-tying goal. Daniels, the other sub that came in and was crucial, did a great job finishing the goal. He is now up to three goal contributions for the season and is now the active goal-scoring leader for the Wanderers (not including Joao Morelli).
While the Wanderers drew another game, this one feels like they stole a point, whereas past games felt like losing points. Hopefully, this reframing of mindset can jumpstart the Wanderers’ season and get them their first win of the season in week eight against Atletico Ottawa.
Speaking of Atletico Ottawa, they are now in the current pole position for the Wooden Spoon, as with that draw the Wanderers moved past them into seventh place (while only being a win away from fourth). The standings are still quite close, and the fight for the lower-seeded playoff spots is fully up in the air with 21 more matchdays to come.
As mentioned above, Aidan Daniels’ goal moves him into first place for active goal scorers on the Wanderers. He now has three in all competitions.
Tomas Giraldo made his first start for the Wanderers and will be crucial for the U-21 Canadian minutes threshold.
Tiago Coimbra had his first professional goal involvement with his assist to Aidan Daniels.
Header Image Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League