Was a new rivalry born Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium? Carl Robinson thinks so
Vancouver Whitecaps FC earned their second road draw in four days in a feisty 1-1 affair at Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening.
It was a game that had a series of flashpoints, saw seven players booked, and continued the intensity of recent meetings between the two sides.
"Someone asked me who's our new rival," Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson told Vancouver's TEAM 1410 radio after the game. "Listen, we've got a rivalry against Salt Lake now, which is great for not just the team but also the supporters."
"We want as many rivalries as we can. We really do, because that means we're competitive. I want to get a competitive edge in this squad. I don't want my team to like losing. I think you saw today, we're not going to give an inch. If you're going to beat us, you'll have to earn it and deserve it. Today, I don't think they deserved to beat us, they might disagree."
Robinson said he was relatively pleased with his team's performance against both Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC, considering they're two tough home teams. What has been most frustrating for the 'Caps manager is that his side were ahead in both matches, in addition to last week's 3-1 loss to Chivas USA, only to see their lead blown in each game.
"That's probably the most disappointing thing going back to the two [away] games," Robinson mused. "To get our noses ahead twice and obviously then we give up goals. We're evolving, we're a work in progress with a young group and a very good, deep squad. I wanted to give players a chance to today and they certainly took their chance."
Robinson continued with his squad rotation for the busy spell of games in July, making six changes from the team that started in Toronto on Wednesday.
Questions had been asked of the Whitecaps in recent seasons around the depth of their squad but with 17 different players starting over the two road games, Robinson is happy that he not only has a number of options available to him but that that his side are proving to be competitive no matter who is in the lineup.
"What it showed me today was that we have character in our squad," Robinson said. "We've come to two very difficult places, with difficult travel plans and we've managed to fight and scrap and that's what I like about the team."
"I know we've got technical ability," he continued. "Today was a different type of game, it was tactical in relation to being in the game with maybe half an hour to go. We weren't in the game really the last time we played them because we were 2-0 down after 15 minutes. We set the team up correctly and I think it worked. Yeah, there were one or two hairy moments, but [when] you're away from home you've got to expect that."
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