VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC were back at training Tuesday morning following their big 4-0 win over FC Dallas. The ‘Caps will travel to Colorado to take on the Rapids on Saturday in another Western Conference showdown (7 p.m. PT on TSN1 and TSN 1040).
Here are some news and notes from today’s session.
Account for the altitude
The ‘Caps are still buzzing after defeating FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium for the first time in club history. They now head to Colorado and face a club that – despite their standing – are tough at home.
The Rapids are 6W-4L-1D at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park this season.
One of those losses, however, came at the hands of Vancouver, who walked away with a 1-0 win thanks to a late goal from Brek Shea back in May.
“You’re playing in altitude, something we’re not used to,” said Whitecaps FC midfielder Tony Tchani. “Twenty minutes into the game, your throat is feeling dry, and you get a little bit tired. Those are things you have to fight against.”
The cherry on top of Saturday’s victory was Nicolas Mezquida’s bicycle kick, nutmeg goal late in the match. It was an amazing effort from the Uruguayan midfielder and is rightfully up for MLS Goal of the Week honours.
Although it may have come as a surprise to fans at home, Tchani was not at all shocked with the attempt or the result.
“It was a little bit crazy because out of every guy on the team I feel like Nico is the only one that can try something like that,” he said. “Even in training he tries some things and you turn your head and go ‘wow’ or ‘oh my God, why did you do that?’ So that didn’t shock anybody because knowing Nico in my time here I feel like he’s somebody that can try things like that.”
Video review begins this Saturday
After years of planning, Major League Soccer will implement the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) program in league matches beginning Saturday. The VAR will be eligible to review four game-changing situations: goals, penalty decisions, red cards, and cases of mistaken identity.
“Anything that will help make those decisions will be beneficial, especially in these key moments of the games when there is a lot of pressure, everyone’s jobs are on the line,” said Whitecaps FC assistant coach Gordon Forrest. “Anything that can help the officials, and can help us in games we welcome it.”
Alphonso Davies was forced to pull out of Tuesday’s MLS Homegrown game due to an adductor injury and his status for Saturday’s match is still unclear. Forrest said Davies worked with the club’s medical staff today and it’s still too early to tell if he will be fit for Colorado.
“We’ll keep a close eye on him,” Forrest said. “As you know, our medical team are top class so they’ll do everything possible to get him fit as soon as possible.”
Brett Levis, meanwhile, trained in full with Whitecaps FC 2 as he continues to work back from a torn ACL suffered in last season’s MLS regular season finale vs. Portland Timbers.