VANCOUVER, BC – After a rare few days off, it’s back to business for Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The ‘Caps met with the media today ahead of Saturday’s tilt vs. New England Revolution (4 p.m. PT on TSN1 and TSN 1040 – tickets still available). Here are some news and notes from the day.
One of the big talking points today was the fact that Whitecaps FC will be without the services of three players on Saturday due to suspension. Pretty important ones, too, in centre back Kendall Waston, midfielder Pedro Morales, and striker Octavio Rivero.
“We need to tidy up on our discipline,” Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson told reporters. “We’re picking up stupid yellow cards and red cards. I’ve addressed that with the group. That needs to change.”
At the same time, Robinson confirmed that the club appealed the red card shown to Morales on May 28 against Houston. The appeal was denied by an independent review committee, which includes a representative from the Canadian Soccer Association, US Soccer, and PRO, not to be confused with the MLS Disciplinary Committee.
The federations are the governing body that can rescind cards.
“I accept it when it deserves to be a red card,” Robinson said. “For example, Kendall against Portland, it deserved to be a red card. With Pedro Morales ... it was relayed to me that he was sent off because he pushed him in the face. I wouldn’t condone that and I wouldn’t argue if that's what took place. But it didn’t happen and there was clear video evidence that it didn’t happen. That’s the disappointing thing.”
Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted, who is sitting on 99 consecutive MLS appearances including the playoffs, echoed Robinson's statements.
"We can’t allow ourselves to go down to 10 men, we can’t allow ourselves to have guys that we need out with suspensions all the time," he said. "Part of this is on us ... and part of it is hopefully helping the refs out to become even better. We’re in this together. Us, the referees, and MLS are in this together to evolve this league and hopefully make it better."
BACK IN THE FOLD
Midfielder Christian Bolaños has rejoined the team after appearing in all three of Costa Rica’s matches at the Copa America Centenario, including back-to-back starts to close out the group stage. Waston will be back tonight.
Both players played the full 90 minutes in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Colombia, with Bolaños picking up a second assist on the game-winner, but it wasn’t enough for Costa Rica to advance past the group stage after a loss to U.S. and draw with Paraguay.
“It was a good experience,” Bolaños said. “We have a good enough team to go through to the next round, but that’s football. We have to learn from it. I think we’ll be stronger for the World Cup qualification games. That’s important too.”
Bolaños had a light session on Tuesday but said he’ll be ready to go for the weekend. Waston isn’t eligible to return to MLS action until July 4 against LA Galaxy; however, he could play in the two-leg Amway Canadian Championship Final vs. Toronto FC on June 21 and June 29.
ROAD TO RECOVERY
There was a Masato Kudo sighting at training today.
The Japanese striker, who suffered a fractured jaw on May 11 against Chicago Fire, was all smiles as he did some light jogging on the sidelines. Kudo had the wire removed from his jaw last week.
“He hasn’t stopped smiling even though he’s been unable to smile,” Robinson said. “Now he’s able to speak a little bit better. Obviously, he’s got a little bit of catching up to do physically but it’s just nice to have him around. The guys love him, I love him to bits, and hopefully in the next week or so we’ll see him back [training].”
NEW FACE IN TRAINING
Trinidadian centre back Daneil Cyrus, 25, trained with the ‘Caps today and will continue to do so for the rest of the week. The 6-foot-3 Trinidadian international appeared in four matches with Chicago Fire last season while on loan from W Connection.
Robinson said “there will be a number of trialists” joining the team in the coming weeks.
On a more serious note, some of the 'Caps sent their thoughts and prayers to the community of Orlando in the wake of Sunday's fatal shooting at a nightclub.
"Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families of this horrendous attack," Ousted said. "These things have to stop."
"Just wanted to say, my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected in Orlando," added Erik Hurtado. "Hope you guys are doing alright."
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