Canada's call ruins Whitecap glory story - Vancouver Sun


Richmond's Robinson misses final games

BY IAN WALKER

It had all the makings of a great story. Really, it did.

Young woman scores at least once in each of her past four games to help vault her team into a fierce playoff race in the United Soccer Leagues W-League.

Better yet, the offensive outburst comes shortly after a tete-a-tete with the Canadian national women's team head coach at a training camp early last month -- the fiery Italian expecting more consistency and better work from the technically talented 20-year-old forward from Richmond.

But then, just as the conversation was about to end, Vancouver Whitecaps women's team head coach Alan Koch had to go and ruin it.

Not that it's his fault that Jodi Ann Robinson will miss the Whitecaps' final two games of the regular season due to national team commitments. But still. Talk about building someone up only to tear them down. Someone tell this guy that's the media's job.

"It's just a shame we probably won't have her for our last two games," said Koch, who may or may not have heard the phone drop on the other end. "Canada's playing the Americans right about that time and I'm pretty certain she'll be with them and not us."

Robinson opened the scoring with her seventh goal in 10 games in a 2-1 victoy over the Real Colorado Cougars on Sunday to keep the Whitecaps' post-season aspirations alive. The Whitecaps improved to 3-2-5 on the season, one point back of second-place Seattle, who at 3-0-6 hold one game in hand. Defending W-League champion Pali Blues lead the Western Conference with a record of 7-0-3.

Vancouver's final two regular-season games will be played on the road, with the Whitecaps needing to win both Colorado contests to have a chance of advancing to the playoffs.

"We said a couple of games ago we needed to win out and so far that's what we've done," said Koch. "We've really stepped up and taken care of business. It's going to be an exciting final weekend."

With or without the team's brightest star.

iwalker@vancouversun.com

www.twitter.com/WalkerBig Talker

NEXT GAME

July 17 vs. Colorado Force

6 p.m. at Fort Collins

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