VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC were back on the training pitch Monday following a scoreless draw with Seattle Sounders FC in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals.
Here are some news and notes from the day.
‘TOUCH AND GO’
After coming into Sunday’s match as second-half subs, Carl Robinson said that Yordy Reyna and Cristian Techera are “touch and go” for Thursday’s second leg in Seattle.
Both players are nursing injuries suffered last Wednesday vs. San Jose.
They were on the training pitch Monday, but it was a light session and Reyna spent a large part of it working on the sidelines with the club’s medical staff.
“If I had to hazard a guess at the moment, I would say they probably won’t play because they’re not fit,” Robinson told reporters.
BANGED UP BIG MAN
It was a physical affair on Sunday – and Kendall Waston was sporting the evidence. Waston’s left eye was completely swollen shut after an on-field collision during the match.
Don’t bet against him being out there on Thursday, though.
“He looks like Floyd Mayweather,” Robinson joked. “Have I got any concerns about him? No, not at all, because he’s a tough cookie.”
It was Nosa Igiebor who drew into the starting lineup in place of Reyna in midfield on Sunday.
Igiebor impressed once again, completing 31 of 33 passes, before getting subbed off in the 62nd minute. Robinson said he took Igiebor out of the match as a “precaution” – the Nigerian midfielder was on a yellow card and Robinson didn’t want to risk going down to 10 men.
“The yellow card he got earlier in the game I thought was unfair just from holding his ground,” Robinson said. “I didn’t want to make it easy on the referee … Could he go again? Yes, I think he can. I think he’ll want to go again. But I’ve also got AJ, I’ve also got Rusty, and I’ve also got Tony who are fighting for those positions.”
EVERYTHING TO PLAY FOR
Robinson’s message to the group ahead of Thursday’s decisive second leg in Seattle?
“Pretty simple, let’s go and win the game,” he said.
The ‘Caps feel they’re still in a good position after not conceding an away goal, which would have given Seattle a leg up. Now, they know that a win – or even a draw in which a goal is scored – will send them through to the Western Conference Championship.
“We’ll give it our very best,” Robinson said. “We’ll be organized, determined, and hopefully someone will step up and become a hero.”