The Vancouver Whitecaps play very exciting soccer.
But as exciting as they are, they can be frustrating. They have played a ton of frustrating games this season and they deserved to win many of those. Perhaps no Whitecaps game from this season was as frustrating as Sunday’s 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes at BC Place.
That game was the prime example of FIFA in real life: So many chances and possession but the opponent wins 1-0 with their only shot on target.
The loss was a huge punch in the gut. The Whitecaps performance was great and they literally did everything right…except score a goal. Once again, the ball was too good for it’s home. The result was as disappointing than the new Avenged Sevenfold album.
The Whitecaps will not play in the friendly confines of BC Place until September 30 when Wayne Rooney and former Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson come to town. It is seven straight games on the road beginning in Portland on Saturday.
The Timbers are coming off a 5-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo on Sunday. On Monday, they announced the have fired head coach Giovanni Savarese and assistant coach Miles Joseph will take over as interim.
“It’s a big question mark because when you face a team that changes the coach, you don’t know what the reaction will be,” said Sartini on the upcoming game at Tuesday’s training session. “They can have a strong reaction and rebound or they can be sometimes still be in a little bit of confusion.”
Providence Park is one of the toughest places to play for a visitor in MLS. The Whitecaps had numerous defeats there in their MLS era including a 3-1 loss on May 13. They have a 3-6-9 record in Portland in their MLS era and have scored 21 goals and conceded 32.
“I think the easiest thing to do is focus on us, focus on the things we are doing well,” said Sartini. I think the last seven games…I think we played well. We need to keep playing that that kind of soccer, and I’m still convinced that if we play like we played on Sunday, I think the chances to win in Portland are really high.”
The Whitecaps, of course, need to find ways to put the ball in the net. But they also need to find not get careless while defending, especially when the opponents counter attack. That burned them badly against San Jose.
Road Woerriors need to become Road Warriors
The Whitecaps are 1-3-5 away from BC Place this season. The lone win came on June 24 which was a 3-2 win over LAFC which saw Ryan Gauld get a goal and two assists.
After Portland, they play in Chicago, New York City, Toronto, Houston, Salt Lake City, and Commerce City, Colorado.
Vancouver currently sits in eighth in the Western Conference with 31 points (Also the name number of points as Minnesota United) That is good enough for one of the two play-in spots.
But given the talent of this Whitecaps squad, the play-in round isn’t good enough. The standards have been raised. After all, the Whitecaps are only five points behind the Seattle Sounders, who are in fourth place.
The Whitecaps all know just making the playoffs isn’t good enough and they want to have home playoff games.
The loss against San Jose really stung and the Whitecaps have not been a good road team the past couple of seasons. But Ryan Raposo believes the team can turn their road woes into wins.
“I’m confident that we will,” (win on the road) said Raposo after the loss to the Earthquakes. “Like I’ve always said this year, it’s a great of group guys. We’re all pushing in the same direction, so I think we’ll get it done.”
This road trip will make or break the Whitecaps season. It is time for them to show who they really are. Are they the team that can’t get it done or the team that will surprise people? We shall see.