VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC returned to training on Tuesday at UBC following a weekend defeat at Sporting KC. Here are some news and notes from the day:
MATTOCKS MOVES ON
The post-Darren Mattocks era has officially begun.
Asked why things didn’t quite work out for the Jamaican striker in Vancouver, Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson said he thought Mattocks did “very well” for the club over the past four years.
However, Robinson confirmed that Mattocks expressed a desire to be a number one striker and that’s something the ‘Caps coach couldn’t guarantee.
“He wanted to try and be a number one striker somewhere else and I was open to him moving,” Robinson told reporters. “That’s why I brought in Blas and Masato to complement Octavio … I’ll never stop any player wanting to go and play somewhere else. He made that known so we obviously came to an agreement with Portland.”
Robinson said he had no hesitation dealing with one Vancouver’s rivals. From his perspective, it was more about the return. The ‘Caps ended up acquiring targeted allocation money, general allocation money, and an international roster spot for the 2017 season.
“They get the player they wanted, we get the assets we wanted, and we move on,” Robinson said.
Moving forward, Robinson said he’s happy with the group of players on the roster, but that doesn’t mean he won’t look to strengthen it if there’s an opportunity.
“If I can add to it, then maybe I’ll look at it. If I can’t, then I’ll wait patiently until the summer.”
JACOBSON JOINS THE TEAM
New Whitecaps FC midfielder Andrew Jacobson participated in his first training session with the team on Tuesday. Jacobson, who went through a full preseason with NYCFC, said he feels “pretty close” to full fitness despite a little bit of time off recently.
“At the moment, we’re having one or two injuries issues in the middle of the field so he’ll bring a lot to the table for us,” Robinson said. “He didn’t look too bad today. Hopefully, he’ll be involved on the weekend at some point.”
Although the ‘Caps are 0W-2L-0D to start the season, they aren’t reaching for the panic button.
That was a common sentiment from the players and coaches alike on Tuesday. To a man, they each suggested that their first two losses were “self-inflicted” and preventable, which is why they’re confident they can turn things around.
“It’s frustrating that you’ve given up five goals,” Whitecaps FC left back Jordan Harvey told reporters. “Are they mistakes you can correct? Absolutely. That’s the non-frustrating part. You look back and think, yes, that can be fixed.”
“To panic now would be immature as a team,” Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted told reporters. “There are still eight months left, hopefully. That’s a long way to go. That’s a lot of games. As leadership group, we’ll be in the ear of the young guys, calming them down, and just making sure that we’re ready for Saturday.”
Whitecaps FC visit Seattle Sounders FC (0W-2L-0D) Saturday at Century Link Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT – TSN1 and TSN 1410 radio.
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