VANCOUVER, BC – Keeping it in context.
That’s the name of the game for Vancouver Whitecaps FC after Saturday’s opening day 2-0 win over Canadian rivals Montreal Impact.
“[The players] realize it’s three points, which is excellent, but that’s all it is,” head coach Martin Rennie said after the win. “It’s one win, and that doesn’t get you very far in the end, so we’ve got a lot of work to do and we know that, and we’re willing to put the effort in.”
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
The explosive start to the 2012 season mirrors that of the club’s opening day 4-2 win over Toronto FC in 2011 on a number of fronts.
An opening goal by a new French striker. A win over a Canadian rival. And all in front of a sellout crowd of more than 20,000.
But the post-match atmosphere in the dressing room told a different story: no audible singing coming from the showers and no blaring music drowning out the media scrums.
“It’s definitely more somber if I’m honest,” captain Jay DeMerit said of the atmosphere on Saturday. “Guys aren’t going crazy, guys aren’t yelping and yelling.
“We had a job to do and we did it, and there’s no reason to get overexcited about that.”
The more toned-down atmosphere is understandable given the club’s 14-game MLS winless streak that followed last season’s opening day victory.
“I can’t say enough [about the team’s performance],” goalkeeper Joe Cannon said. “It was good to see, but we have to keep it in perspective. Last year, with what happened – I think we all thought we were going straight to the cup after our first win. This year it’s a lot different.
“We know this is just about building brick by brick – this is just a small part of what we have to do, and I’m glad we gave the fans what they wanted.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.