Andy O'Brien media scrum
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Training report: Preparations for Houston underway

VANCOUVER, BC – Andy O’Brien may have summed up Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s back-to-back road draws best as the ‘Caps returned to training Tuesday at the University of British Columbia.

“Obviously we’d like to change those draws into wins,” he said, “but it’s important that we don’t lose.”

To come away with a point in New England in trying conditions after nine hours of travel was a “great result,” added Whitecaps FC assistant coach Martyn Pert.

“Not necessarily a great performance,” he said, “but a great result.”

Pert may have a point. The away team has only won three of 25 matches through three weeks of the 2014 Major League Soccer season.

“Statistically, away from home, teams don’t generally get as many points,” O’Brien said. “But we’ve remained unbeaten and we’re looking to continue that.”

The ‘Caps will hope to continue that on Saturday when they return to BC Place for a meeting with Eastern Conference leaders Houston Dynamo, who have outscored their opponents by a 5-0 margin in two matches this season.

As for Whitecaps FC, who have conceded just two goals in three matches, Pert said part of the focus this week in training will be to get back to playing a more possession-based style through the midfield.

“You have to remember that the team is very new … this is a process,” he said. “We have to build the style of play and get it into the team gradually. But you saw today in training that the players are really trying to grab hold of the concepts and move forward with it.”

Listen to the audio from Andy O'Brien's media scrum on Tuesday:

News and notes

- Retired defender Young-Pyo Lee, who will be honoured prior to kickoff on Saturday, took part in Tuesday’s training session. “This weekend is a very important game for our team,” Lee told reporters, adding that he still feels like he’s part of the team.

- Midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker didn’t participate in Tuesday’s training session, after taking a fall on Sunday and scraping his face. Pert said it’s unclear at this point whether Reo-Coker will miss any time. “The medics will assess whether he has a concussion or not,” he told reporters. “But the initial thing was to rest today and make sure he does the best things for him.”

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