'Incredible' fans make the difference for Whitecaps FC

Team praises unwavering support

If ever fans needed evidence of the difference that they can make in a game, they got it at Empire Field on Saturday.

“It was all through the game,” Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson said of the support during a dramatic 3-3 draw against Sporting Kansas City. “The end was maybe more exciting than the beginning, but the spectators were behind us all the way, from the first minute to the last, and that is absolutely fantastic to have.”

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Vancouver dominated much of the first half, but were denied time after time by Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. That didn’t sour the crowd, and neither did falling behind 1-0 at the break or 3-0 with roughly 20 minutes left on the clock.

“The support was incredible because normally [down] 3-0 after 70 minutes, the supporters start to go home,” said midfielder Davide Chiumiento, who was subbed on just in time to start the rally. “It was a big help from them.”

Not only did they stay, but they chanted and they cheered every hustle play and every last effort by their side, even when it looked a certain loss.

“That is so important in a situation like [Saturday], where we were three-nil down,” emphasized Thordarson. “If the spectators wouldn’t have supported us, I don’t think we would have gotten the extra kick that we needed in the end.”

While their opponents wore down, the ‘Caps kept the pace high, playing their hearts out to please their adoring supporters.

“The fans could see it, too,” said winger Wes Knight. “The momentum continued to slowly build and once we scored that second goal, the third goal came purely off momentum.”

Added Thordarson, “I think the guys gave the spectators something to be happy about, and that’s the way I like to have it."

Whitecaps FC will host New England Revolution on Wednesday night at Empire Field (7 p.m. PT, TSN in Canada, Direct Kick and MatchDay Live in US).

“We had an atmosphere in the first game that was unbelievable,” Thordarson said. “I was thinking about, ‘How is it going to be next time, will it be the same?’ And what we had here [Saturday] was just amazing again. I can’t wait to see everyone out again on Wednesday.”

Whitecaps FC return to Empire this Wednesday to host MLS Eastern Conference side New England Revolution beginning at 7 p.m. PT. Individual match tickets start at $20, plus applicable service charges, and are available at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centres, online at ticketmaster.ca, and Charge-by Phone at 1.855.6.GO-CAPS (1.855.646.2277). Visit whitecapsfc.com for more information on individual match tickets for our inaugural MLS season.

Whitecaps FC Major League Soccer 2011 season tickets are still available at a pro-rated price. To secure a seat and for additional information about Whitecaps FC MLS season tickets, suites, and loge boxes, call 604.669.9283 or visit whitecapsfc.com.