Is the glass half full or half empty?

'Caps hail defensive strength amid concerns over goalscoring

Carl Robinson Chicago 2014

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images

VANCOUVER, BC – There are two ways you can look at Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s recent record. Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Chivas USA made them unbeaten in six, but also with just one win in their last seven matches.

No matter what slant you want to take on the ‘Caps current form, the key fact is that they now have a two-point cushion in the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, having just recorded their third straight clean sheet.

“Defensively, excellent,” was Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson’s take on his side’s latest draw, their 12th of the season. “Third clean sheet in a row, so defensively we were right on point. Attacking wise, okay, it’s average, not what we’re used to.”

“This season, we got sloppy on certain things and let ourselves down at crucial times in games,” he continued. “We put our big focus on concentration. I made the guys aware that it was going to be a very difficult game [against Chivas] because they are very physical and they get about you and they try to upset your rhythm. We matched that, but we just didn’t have enough power.”

With the goals lacking at the moment – at least on the road, as the 'Caps bagged a pair of goals and created a number of chances in each of their last two home matches – it’s that solid defensive play that the team took as one of the few positives from Saturday’s result.

“We’ve got a good team, I think the main thing is that we’re not losing,” Whitecaps FC defender Steven Beitashour told reporters after the Chivas game. “It’s helping keep a good mentality in our locker room. We’re a little frustrated with the offensive performance, but defensively we’re doing a great job and sticking together, working hard.”

“I think we did a good job trying to keep possession, trying to counter when they sent guys forward and most importantly, keeping that clean sheet,” he said. “I think that was our third one in a row. Any time you get a clean sheet it’s a good night."

Vancouver have already acknowledged that they can’t draw their way into the postseason but finding the right attacking mix is proving to be difficult. That said, winger/striker Omar Salgado said the team remains confident heading into the final third of the season.

“We really want to make a push for the playoffs and I think we can push very strongly in the last 11 games that are left,” said Salgado, who hailed the strong defensive play of centre backs Johnny Leveron and Andy O’Brien. “We’re coming back confident here against Galaxy and hopefully we can get a win.”

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