After five weeks without a match at BC Place, Vancouver Whitecaps FC are eager to get their first win from four attempts when they return to their home ground on Saturday against Real Salt Lake.
Road life hasn’t given the side much joy over the last three matches, with just one point claimed from a possible nine.
And even that point looked a bit fortuitous, with Young-Pyo Lee making a block from close range in the dying moments and Joe Cannon making a last-ditch reflex save in stoppage time.
So the team is grateful to return home, where it has a perfect record after two home wins to start the campaign.
“Five weeks is a long time,” head coach Martin Rennie said this week after a training session. “It’s amazing at the start of the season that we’ve been away that much from home. Especially when you go preseason, you’re on the road all the time for preseason almost, and then you get back and you’re gone again.
“So it’s actually quite a tricky start to the season for us, but I feel like we’ve managed it well. I feel like we’ve played well in all of the games we’ve played, and I think that we’ve had chances to win every game that we’ve played.
“Now we want to build on the last home game, which was one of our best performances against Columbus Crew, and we really want to take it to Salt Lake.”
Over the last few seasons, Real has been one of Major League Soccer’s top sides, even excelling in continental competition. Still, Andy O’Brien feels MLS is a league where not much divides perennial contenders from the rest of the pack.
“I don’t think there’s a massive difference between any of the teams really,” O’Brien said. “It was my first experience playing against Houston [a couple of weeks ago]. I don’t think we were a million miles behind them, because they are regarded as one of the best teams in the league.
“I think it’s a matter of getting good results. It builds confidence and hopefully it becomes a habit, be it home or away.”