VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC extended their lead at the top of the Western Conference standings to four points, with five matches remaining, following a hard-fought 2-1 win over the last-place Colorado Rapids at BC Place on Saturday evening.
“Great character again,” head coach Carl Robinson told reporters after the match. “It was a thoroughly professional performance, but we didn't put it away. [Players] should have scored when they had the opportunities and they didn't, and when you don't do that, you leave teams hanging.”
The victory extended Vancouver’s unbeaten run to seven matches.
There is certainly no question that they are a team capable of getting the end results, but do they get the respect they deserve?
“I don't care,” Robinson stated. “My boys work hard every single day. You can cover things over or you can just look at things and if you look at things those boys are giving me absolutely everything and they're performing to the levels that I expect them to and I demand them to. If people want to give us credit, great. If they don't, no problem. I'll shake their hand and smile.”
Vancouver have gone about the task in hand quietly, but efficiently.
Their rise to the top of the Western Conference standings has proceeded without much fanfare. From tightening up defensively, to seeing Fredy Montero equal his best-ever season in MLS with Saturday night's opening goal, it's all felt a little under the radar.
“We don't mind not to gain the attention that maybe all these other teams are having,” Montero told reporters. “We are trying to talk on the field. We don't want anything coming from the media or coming from all the teams that we are playing against ... It's going to be tough to beat this team. I'm telling you.”
For newcomer Aly Ghazal, being the underdog and the dark horses of the Western Conference suits the 'Caps perfectly, and the Egyptian is more than happy for people's attention to be elsewhere in the league.
“I actually like that,” Ghazal said. “For me, that's fine. It's very good. We don't need attention. We've just come from behind from nowhere. Don't give us attention, give other teams, but at the end, let's see who's going to laugh.”