– As Vancouver Whitecaps FC head into the offseason, they look back on a season of great improvement and great promise, but ultimately a season that ended in disappointment.
Like the end of any season, the reaction from fans has been widely varied. Many have looked back positively, remembering a team that far surpassed preseason predictions. Others have come with harsh criticism, focusing on the crushing ending in Seattle.
For Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson, that’s part and parcel of the job, and that passion is one of the reasons he loves being the coach of this club.
“The reason I love this city is because people care. They’re entitled to their opinions, good and bad, and you have to accept it. But they care about the game.”
Many of those opinions have zeroed in on a lack of goalscoring opportunities against Seattle – only one shot on target over two games.
It’s something that’s not been lost on Robinson. With key attackers
nursing injuries, Robinson weighed a season’s worth of performances from two of his most important players, versus their present state. In the end, neither player was able to show the quality that made them so valuable during the season.
“It’s easy in hindsight,” Robinson told media. “As a manager and a coach you’ve got to learn from your mistakes. I could have maybe played [Nicolas] Mezquida in the first leg rather than Nosa [Igiebor], but I thought Nosa over two games was arguably one of our best players. In the second leg, maybe I shouldn’t have started Reyna – he didn’t show the sharpness and the brightness that he should have …neither did Techera… No excuse, we weren’t good enough.”
At the end of the day, Robinson was proud to see how far his team had come from preseason through the end of the year. But like his critics, it will be those two games against Seattle that stick in his mind as his squad takes aim at MLS Cup in 2018.
“We weren’t as sharp as we should have been, not just on Thursday but [in the first leg] on Sunday,” acknowledged the gaffer. “If you’re honest enough and you go back to the drawing board and you try to get better in certain areas, and we will, then we’ll be better in the long run.”
“No excuse, we weren’t good enough.” Robinson reflects on Seattle series