VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC central defender Carlyle Mitchell has had to play the waiting game, but his patience and hard work is starting to pay off.
The 26-year-old is in his fourth year with Whitecaps FC after joining the club in the late summer of their inaugural MLS season. He’s had a long wait, but Mitchell now has his first MLS goal, scoring in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Chivas USA.
“It's a great feeling getting my first goal, but unfortunately we didn't get the result,” Mitchell told reporters after Saturday’ game. “The other team beat us, but that's water under the bridge. We have to go back out and get a win”
“I had been getting close and I said, 'One day, it will be in,'” he continued. “It was a great cross by Pedro [Morales] and I was able to finish. They say sometimes you have to make your own luck and that's what I did.”
It’s also a case of seizing your opportunities for Mitchell. Playing time hasn’t come easy for the Trinidad and Tobago international, with only 1,960 minutes to date over his four seasons.
After the ‘Caps suffered a spate of centre back injuries last year, Mitchell was recalled from a loan spell with NASL side FC Edmonton and got his longest run in the team so far, making 15 appearances and forming a solid pairing at the back with Honduran Johnny Leveron.
Mitchell gets to rekindle that partnership this year and with regular starters Jay DeMerit and Andy O’Brien both out to injury; he has played the last four matches for Vancouver since their return to action from the World Cup break.
“I think he's done great,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “He did very well last week against Seattle. Getting a goal is always nice. We needed a goal from somewhere and Carlyle took his chance.”
Robinson was also pleased with Mitchell’s composure after he picked up a yellow card within the first minute of the match. There was a moment of concern, though, in stoppage time when Mitchell had to be helped from the field after taking a knock to his ankle as Vancouver frantically pushed for an equalizer.
It looked at first as if the injury bug had struck again, but Mitchell doesn’t think it will be much of a concern ahead of Vancouver’s next match against Toronto on Wednesday.
“It's not that bad, I rolled my ankle at the end of the game,” Mitchell said. “It's okay now, but I just have to see the doctor and start therapy on my ankle. By Wednesday, I should be fine.”
It’s not too late to participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including prorated season tickets, 5-packs, student season tickets, and a youth soccer half-season ticket. Single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.