Head coach Martin Rennie came to Vancouver with a reputation for being ambitious, and his comments following last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC perhaps best summed up the new mentality he’s trying to bring to the club.
“I was very frustrated,” Rennie told reporters. “But at the same time, if someone had said to me in January, ‘You’ll have the preseason that you’re going to have, unbeaten, winning the tournament, you’re going to be in the final of the Canadian Cup with a game to go all squared up, you’re going to be fourth in the west and right there with the best teams’ – then would you accept that in January when you’re taking over the worst team in MLS? Then yes, you’d grab that with both hands.
"It’s definitely not all doom and gloom, but I just want to be making strides faster than we are.
“Today was a chance for us to make that stride and Wednesday is as well," Rennie added. “We need to let the disappointment of today burn enough that Wednesday [against Toronto in the Amway Canadian Championship final, second leg] gives us that feeling of winning.”
While Fredy Montero’s 90th-minute equalizer led to understandable disappointment – Joe Cannon went as far as to say we “let down the city” by conceding that goal – others focused on the performance beyond the scoreline.
“I was happy to play again,” Davide Chiumiento told MLSsoccer.com of his performance against Seattle. “It was a good game. From our side maybe one of the best games, football-wise.”
Pulling the strings in the middle of the park in a playmaking role, Chiumiento is hoping his improved form over the last few matches will earn him a spot in the line-up against Toronto, and a chance to make a difference in the ACC final (5 p.m. PT, Sportsnet ONE, and TEAM 1410 radio).
“We have to [be confident],” Chiumiento said. “I saw Toronto and I know what we can do. It’s one game and we have to have a better game than we did [in the first leg]. It’s a final, so it would be nice to see where we’re at and what we can do.”
Martin MacMahon covers Vancouver Whitecaps FC for MLSsoccer.com.