Notes and quotes: VWFC RSL

Hear from Rennie and Rochat

NOTES

  • Whitecaps FC finished the 2012 regular season fifth overall in the Western Conference with a record of 11W-13L-10D for 43 points - 15 points better than 2011 (2011 MLS regular season record 6W-18L-10D for 28 points)
  • The 15-point improvement is only topped by San Jose Earthquakes (+28) and D.C. United (+19)
  • Whitecaps FC finish higher in the MLS standings than their Canadian rivals - Montreal Impact on 42 points and Toronto FC on 23 points - and earned the top seed in next year's Amway Canadian Championship
  • 43 points are the most ever points by a Canadian club in an MLS regular season
  • After not winning a match on the road during the 2011 MLS regular season, Whitecaps FC won three in 2012
  • Vancouver earned seven more clean sheets this season with 12 compared to the five in 2011
  • 12 shutouts is tied for third most in MLS with Houston Dynamo and Seattle Sounders FC. Only Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake have more
  • Brad Knighton has posted three shutouts in his last four matches
  • Philadelphia finished 15th overall, which means Whitecaps FC will have a fifth and a 10th or higher (will depend on the MLS Cup Playoffs) pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. Whitecaps FC acquired the Union's first-round pick, as well as allocation money, for the top spot in the allocation order. The Union used the top spot to add Bakary Soumare
 

WHITECAPS FC – QUOTES

HEAD COACH MARTIN RENNIE
On what he can take from tonight’s game…
“Quite a lot. I think it’s a great point for us. It obviously finishes us ahead of Montreal and I think that that is important in terms of being the number one team in Canada. It’s very important to us and it also gives us the best seeding for the Canadian Cup for next season. It was our 12th clean sheet this season, I think, so that puts us at third in the league. I think it was a disciplined performance away from home. When you come on the road that is how you have to play; be hard to beat, be hard to play against and if you get your chance, take it.”

On the game opening up in the second half for Vancouver…
“We were moving the ball a little bit quicker and I think that Salt Lake were throwing a few more players forward and that gave us some gaps to exploit.”

On if Vancouver saw the way forward for the next game against LA…
“I think we saw the determination that we are going to require, the hunger, the belief that we are going to require, so I think we saw that. We also saw a few things that we are going to need to adjust and change for the game against LA. Tonight was a good end to our regular season. It’s been a long season. Coming into it as the last place team we find ourselves coming out of it much improved. I feel that we have improved the most, if not then in the top three, out of the teams in MLS this season. That is something really positive that we can hang our hat to. We should feel good about what we have been able to do this season and the best part of the season starts on Thursday.”

On if they can lay back defensively as much in the first half against LA and still expect the same result…
“Possibly. Espindola and Saborio are very dangerous strikers. Salt Lake has very good players like Beckerman so we’ll see. We will take care of Thursday when it comes along, but I think we can, yeah.”

On Mattocks’ goal called offsides…
“I haven’t seen the replay yet but I heard it was close. It had to be close because when the ball is that close the ball becomes the line. It seems like the ball would have been very close to the endline, unless he was standing in the goal. It must have been close.”
 
MIDFIELDER ALAIN ROCHAT
On how Vancouver can look at this season…
“We are in the playoffs. That is obviously better than last season but I still feel we can improve in some things. We will need a lot of focus for the playoffs.”

On what Vancouver is focusing on going into LA…
“We have never had a real good result down there so our main focus will be to change that. We are going to try to create the perfect game when we are there.”

On how the RSL match prepared them for the playoff with LA…
“I think both teams have the same style. The way we have to move the ball and the how we have to keep our shape during the game in order to be competitive. Now we need to rest a little and give the same kind of performance against LA. If we have the same spirit and a little bit more of confidence to create some more dangerous situations then anything is possible.””
 

REAL SALT LAKE – QUOTES

HEAD COACH JASON KREIS
On saving the goals for the Playoffs…
“Yeah, Yeah absolutely. We put them in the bank here in these last three games and decided we will save them up for the first round of the playoffs.”

On resting players this game…
“We didn’t rest as many guys as people think. It wasn’t a conscious decision for a lot of the guys to be rested. One decision I think clearly felt like we wanted to get a guy a rest was Will Johnson, but the last 24 hours or so I had a very clear plan of what the lineup was going to look like, and it changed drastically. With guys just having knocks, and Javier getting sick this morning with the flu, the only decision I think that we made that was clearly a resting situation was Will Johnson. Everybody else had an injury or something that we needed to consider, whether we were willing to take that risk of further injuring in the last match and having them unavailable in the playoffs.”

On Nat Borchers not appearing vs. Vancouver…
“Borchers had a lingering quadriceps injury. As of yesterday he was on the board and in the lineup, then while talking to him over the last 24 hours, we made a collective decision that it was a silly thing for him to continue on with what’s a slight strain in his quadriceps which could put us in the exact same situation we were in last year, so we were just unwilling to take that risk.”

On Kyle Beckerman’s performance…
“I thought Kyle served in a lot of really good balls tonight. Impressive display from him on corner kicks, and on free kicks he put a lot of things in the exact right area it need to be in. We need to work on that. I have said that earlier this year and I truly believe it, we need to be a bit more dangerous on dead ball situations.”

On performance of players that are not usually in the lineup…
“Look at the back four plus one; we had one player playing out of position, we had another player who hadn’t played in the last month and who’s still a very young center back. We had Kenny Mansally playing left back and he hasn’t played in a couple of months in a real game, we had Kyle Reynish playing goalkeeper who hasn’t played a game in I can’t remember when, and I think all of them performed very, very well tonight.”

On Ned Grabavoy returning from injury…
“I was really pleased with what he was able to give us. That was our decision to bring him out, I think he probably would have preferred to go a little bit longer, but we just weren’t going to do it, and I think it was a positive contribution and showed that he should be ready come next week.”

On not scoring in three matches…
“I am going to take the ‘glass half-full’ approach, for sure. Cause for me, just a little thing here or there is better, and if we don’t have three ties in our last matches, we have three wins. Literally, I think that is just six inches this way or that way with some of the passes, or the final touches, or somebody just calms down to make a little bit better decision when on the attacking third, then were talking about all these wins we stacked up. But I also think that it can be a positive thing to have a little disappointment in our minds heading into the playoffs to give us a little bit of an extra edge.”

On next week’s game vs. Seattle…
“We will see where the game is, if the game is played here then we will approach it as we do every single home game, and I think you even saw even tonight that in the first 15 minutes we are all over them, and if not, we will have to consider a different approach.”

On Olave’s health…
“I think he was close, I think he was close; but in the end he is still feeling a little bit of pain in his hamstring, and I was never going to play a player who tells you he has still got a little bit of pain in his hamstring. With all the injury issues he has had this year, I’m not going to play him in this last game, and hopefully with another week of rehab he will be ready.”

On support of the fans…
“It’s gigantic, it’s huge. Saw that out there tonight, we can never give them enough ‘thank-you’. We truly do believe that they are part of our family, and we hope in turn that we are part of their family. We think it’s a very symbiotic relationship. We think we need them here early, they were here a little late tonight, we need them here early rooting us on for that first playoff game, so when that whistle blows we can get after it.”

MIDFIELDER KYLE BECKERMAN
On overall thoughts on tonight’s game…
“It wasn’t what we were looking for. I felt like they were coming in looking for a tie. Seeing the way that the game went, it was just one of those stop and start, whistle, whistle, whistle. We couldn’t really get too much of into a flow. There is some good stuff, and some things we can get better at, so we will just take the positives and work this week for next week.”

On heading into the playoff with clean sheets…
“I think that is a positive thing that we will take from this game and the past couple. We will continue to work on that and keep it solid and work on some scoring this week.”

On the chemistry with new faces…
“A lot of guys are getting some experience and some playing time, so it’s always good for their confidence. We will try and build on it.”

On taking the corner kicks in the absence of Javi…
“It is similar to last year when Javier went down, I had to take a bunch of them. It’s fine. I enjoy it.  We just got to be ready.”

On not scoring in 3 games…
“It’s a little bit concerning, so we will try and work on it, but if we can’t fix it then I guess we better practice penalty kicks, because that’s what we’re looking for if we finish zero to zero. I know the guys can score. I know they’re trying. Sabo and Espindola have plenty more goals to come. We will be counting on them to score some for us.”

On playing Seattle second year in a row in the playoffs…
“We knew it was going to be a tough game no matter who we played. We’re excited to be in the position that we’re in and we know we have a big challenge ahead of us, but we feel confident and we feel like we have every right and every chance to go ahead in the tournament.”

DEFENDER CHRIS WINGERT
On heading into next week’s matches…
“Yeah, it would be nice if we have a full squad and get a couple of these center backs healthy.”

On getting the shutout tonight…
“Yeah, stay positive. It’s good that we’ve been getting some shutouts and if we continue to do that we should have some success going into the playoffs. I thought another good effort from the guys tonight and similar to Tuesday a little unlucky not to get one.”

Overall thoughts on the regular season…
“What do we have 17 wins? I mean, I think that’s a franchise record. We’re a little disappointed that we couldn’t finish in a better spot in terms of possibly going to Champions League for next year but yeah, I thought we did well. It might have been harder to take if we were real close to winning the Supporters’ Shield, but obviously we weren’t when it really came down to it.  It’s always disappointing not to win a trophy up until this point, but we got the big one still left and we’re going to do our best to make a run at it again.”

On playing Seattle in playoffs…
“It’s going to be tough. I think anybody from the West I can see going to the championship. I think a lot of teams are in real good form right now, especially the top four teams have all been in real good form. So it’s going to be a huge challenge for us to play Seattle, just like it was last year. We had one of our best performances that I can remember at home, and they were all over us afterwards and we were fortunate to get through. So it’s going to be a huge challenge for us but we’re looking forward to it. I think no matter who we would have played in that first round would be tough.”

On being encouraged of securing three shutouts versus not scoring in three matches…
“In any other game besides Tuesday I would say yes. I mean on Tuesday, we knew we had to win so that’s a huge disappointment for the club not to get through; but in the other games, yeah, absolutely. I think there are a lot of positives to take out of it.”