VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC were back to training on Tuesday following a 4-1 road defeat to Atlanta United FC. Here are some news and notes from the day.
‘CAPS APPEAL WASTON RED CARD
Whitecaps FC confirmed today that the club has requested a review of the controversial red card shown to Kendall Waston in the 13th minute of Saturday’s match. Waston was sent off following a video review, which is in place to alert the head referee “to potential clear and obvious errors or serious missed incidents.”
Vancouver’s appeal, which has been supported by the Major League Soccer Players Association, is now in the hands of the independent panel comprised of one member of US Soccer, one member of Canada Soccer, and one member of the Professional Referee Organization.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson reiterated to media that he didn’t agree with the decision to send off his captain, suggesting that Atlanta’s Leandro Gonzalez Pirez initiated the contact from Waston’s blindside and should have been called for a foul himself.
If that’s a penalty on Waston, Robinson added, then “there will be a penalty every game.”
“I had a very good conversation with [PRO general manager] Howard Webb over the weekend,” Robinson told reporters. “I told him what I thought about it, he gave me his thoughts, and it was a very positive conversation. So we’ll appeal, go through the independent panel, and hopefully common sense comes out.”
If the appeal is successful, Waston’s red card will be rescinded and Whitecaps FC will retain their two appeals for 2018. If the appeal is rejected, the Costa Rican centre back will serve a suspension upon return from international duty and the 'Caps will have lost one of their two appeals.
Waston, who has joined the Costa Rian national team for a pair of friendlies in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, was not shown a red card in all of 2017.
BACK TO TRAINING
The ‘Caps had a full complement of players taking part in today’s training session, including striker Kei Kamara (groin) who did not make the trip to Atlanta. Though Kamara said it was tough to watch his teammates from afar, he gave full credit to the squad for their work rate and compete level and to Robinson for the decision to leave him behind.
“It was a great call from the coach telling me to rest it because as a player, I’m greedy, I want to be in there, I want to go,” Kamara said. “He’s smarter than I am … coming to training today, I’m feeling a lot better and hopefully it stays that way heading into the weekend.”
Also training in full on Tuesday were Aly Ghazal (hamstring), Doneil Henry (hamstring), and Marcel de Jong (chest contusion), who spoke for the first time about what exactly happened in Houston.
“I just jumped up to block a cross, nothing weird happened, basically I just got a ball in the chest and I was fine,” de Jong said. “I coughed for a second, but I got back up and kept on playing for a minute and a half or two minutes, but all of a sudden blood was coming up and that was the thing that kind of freaked me out … luckily everything is good now and I’m ready to rock and roll.”
‘NO EASY GAMES’
Although disappointed with what transpired over the weekend, the ‘Caps have now shifted their focus to Saturday’s match vs. LA Galaxy (7 p.m. PT at BC Place on TSN1 and TSN 1040 – limited tickets available).
LA will be missing a number of players on Saturday, including Mexican internationals Giovani dos Santos and Jonathan dos Santos, who are both nursing injuries, and striker Ola Kamara, who has been called up to the Norwegian national team.
But don’t tell that to Robinson.
“I don’t get fooled by that nonsense,” he told reporters. “I remember RSL came here when Martin was here, they made 11 changes, people said that it was an easy game, and we lost 1-0. I don’t buy into all that nonsense, missing players and all that lot. No game in this league is easy.”
Whitecaps FC are unbeaten in 10 MLS matches at BC Place.