VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC returned to training on Tuesday at UBC after a weekend defeat at Portland Timbers. Here are some news and notes from the day.
That’s what Sunday’s 4-2 loss to Portland came down to, head coach Carl Robinson emphasized on Tuesday. Robinson acknowledged that Portland were the better team in the first half, but he felt that each of their goals could have been prevented.
“If you look at all the four goals, we actually maybe gifted them," he told reporters. "We haven’t made them work hard enough and it’s cost us in the end. We dug ourselves a hole in the first half. We didn’t play bad but we didn’t play good. We then managed to claw our way back out of it, put them under severe pressure and then obviously conceded again. It is what it is. There’s no point crying over it. We lost a game of football on the weekend. But we made four errors and we can’t keep doing that.”
The ‘Caps will be without three key pieces on Saturday afternoon when they host Houston Dynamo in their final match before Major League Soccer’s two-week Copa America break (3 p.m. PT at BC Place – tickets still available).
Robinson confirmed that midfielder Christian Bolaños and centre back Kendall Waston have already left to join the Costa Rican national team ahead of the upcoming tournament, while Panamanian striker Blas Pérez will depart on Friday.
The group stage of the tournament runs from June 3-14, meaning the trio will miss both legs of the Amway Canadian Championship semifinal vs. Ottawa Fury FC in addition to the Houston match.
The earliest they could be back in the lineup is June 18 vs. New England Revolution.
‘I’LL BE BACK STRONGER’
Waston may not have faced the media on Tuesday, but he turned to social media to offer an apology after picking up a late red card in Sunday’s loss to Portland.
“I'm sorry about the red card in the past match against Portland,” Waston tweeted. “I'll keep working hard and always looking for the best. I'll be back stronger than ever with my head high.”
Here’s what Robinson had to say about the red card when asked on Tuesday:
“Listen, I don’t condone what Kendall did,” he said. “If it’s a tackle from behind, which it looks it is, it’s a red card. However, you watch all these things over the weekend, there are numerous tackles that go in. Some do get punished, some don’t get punished. My point on it is: rightly so he should get a red card but there are others that should get a red card as well that don’t. That’s the frustrating thing. But I don’t condone it and I’ve let him know.”
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DERBY?
CONCACAF announced on Monday the pots for the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League – a week before the draw takes place in Miami Beach, Florida. The ‘Caps, who will be participating in the tournament for the second consecutive year, were placed in Pot 2.
That means they can’t be placed in a group with a Costa Rica, Honduran, or Guatemalan team.
Instead, they will be grouped with a team from Belize, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, or the second qualifier from Panama – as well as a Mexican Liga MX side or American MLS side. That means a group stage tilt with Portland Timbers or FC Dallas could be in the cards.
“It would just fuel [the rivalry],” Manneh said. “It would be great. It would be easier for us with the travel too. Those games are massive for us, so I think everyone is wishing we’re in a pool with one of them.”
Be a part of the best sporting atmosphere in Vancouver! Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including Half-Season Packs, 5-Packs, a Youth Soccer Half-Season Ticket, and single match tickets. For more information, visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.