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Found 13 results

  1. There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen! You can download and/or listen to this, and all previous, episodes of the podcast on the following services: iTunes. iPhone App Google Play Podbean. Stitcher Radio Network. Or after all that, you could just listen on the player below!
  2. REPORT (by Steve Pandher): The Whitecaps ended their three game winless and 372 minute goalless streaks with a 3-0 victory over league leading FC Dallas. After a Maynor Figueroa own goal gave Vancouver the lead in the first half, the 'Caps got goals from Jordan Harvey and Kekuta Manneh, the latter being their first that a Whitecaps players has scored from open play this season. However it was a different story to start the match, with the visitors controlling the majority of play and chances, either missing them by the slightest of margins or being robbed by the outstanding play of David Ousted who earned the cleansheet with another 'man of the match' performance. Five minutes after Ousted's first big save of the night, a stunning acrobatic tip over of a looping Maxi Urruti effort, the Whitecaps got on the board when Manneh sent in the ball from the left side of the box which Chris Seitz punched out. (Un)fortunately it was sent right into the path of a retreating Figueroa who had the ball come off his chest into the net giving the 'Caps the lead into the half. Minutes after the restart, Dallas came close to drawing even but Ousted came up huge with a reflex save from a shot by Michael Barrios from just inside the six yard area. After another big stop by Ousted after the hour mark, the home side doubled their lead in the 63rd minute when Jordan Harvey collected the ball from a corner and fired it past defenders and the keeper to get his second of the season. Vancouver would put the match to bed 15 minutes later when Manneh would be sent in alone by second half sub Blas Perez's first touch of the match. The winger beat the charging Seitz to the ball and slipped it past him for his first of the season. The Whitecaps will have little time to savour the victory as they return to B.C Place on Wednesday to face Sporting Kansas City, but it will do wonders for their confidence and self belief moving forward in a stretch of four home matches in a five game spell. FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 3 - 0 FC Dallas ATT: 22,120 (sell out) VANCOUVER: David Ousted; Fraser Aird, Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Jordan Harvey; Matias Laba, Andrew Jacobson, Cristian Techera (Christian Bolanos 80), Nicolas Mezquida (Russell Teibert 88), Kekuta Manneh; Octavio Rivero (Blas Perez 77) [subs Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Sam Adekugbe, Pa-Modou Kah, Masato Kudo] DALLAS: Chris Seitz; Atiba Harris, Zach Loyd, Walker Zimmerman, Maynor Figueroa; Michael Barrios (Kellyn Acosta 74), Victor Ulloa (Mauro Díaz 71), Carlos Gruezo, Fabian Castillo; Maximiliano Urruti, Tesho Akindele [subs Not Used: Jesse Gonzalez, Ryan Hollingshead, Juan Esteban Ortiz, Carlos Lizarazo, Mauro Rosales] REACTION: VANCOUVER WHITECAPS CARL ROBINSON On tonight’s match: “We scored one goal from open play today, so I’m delighted. We win a game of football. I say this and don’t make a big thing of it. It’s about winning games and I know that, I understand that. We won the game today with a little bit of luck, which we haven’t had in one or two weeks. A good set piece goal and then a fantastic Blas Perez touch and Kekuta Manneh on the run. It’s nice, we’ll take it, but we’ll move on. It’s three points, we’ll move on, we’ve got a big game on Wednesday.” On the team’s improvement: “It doesn’t help and make it easier, when you’re not scoring as many goals as you’d like, but you go through ruts, as a group of players, as a club. Sometimes it goes against you and doesn’t go your way, but you focus on performance. We did that last week. We were well below our standard at DC United and I was the first to admit that and take responsibility for that. Last week, we were a lot better. I think we should have gotten something out of the game and we didn’t. Again, no excuses. Today, we rode our luck a little bit, but they’re a good team. They’ve got good players, but today we showed that we are.” On David Ousted’s crucial performance: “You know, I think his job is to keep the ball out of the net. So, he did what he’s paid for. He did his job very well today. As did Kendall [Waston] and Tim [Parker], and the two fullbacks. We’re playing against three or four top players in the league today. But, the one save is phenomenal. I’ll let him talk about it because I’m sure he’ll be up here or whatever. So, excellent save, but he did his job, which is good.” On the difference for Kekuta Manneh and Cristian Techera tonight: “A little bit of confidence, I think we’re getting up to the levels that we know we can play. They both probably should have scored at certain times. Kekuta gets his goal. Cristian, if the dink goes in, the little lob, then everyone is raving about it. You know, we haven’t scored as many goals as we’d like and I keep getting reminded of that. We’ve got to just keep going, the wide players, the forward players, they’ve just got to keep going and the goals will come.” On whether he was happy that it was Kekuta Manneh who got the goal at the end: “To be fair, I don’t really care who scores from open play. Individually, I think they all want to score, which is good. I think the two or three times that we made the wrong decisions at the wrong time, it was because they want the goal. For him, I think his confidence will grow from that in an important week for us. The other guys should be proud of their work rate as well. Cristian Techera, obviously Octavio Rivero and Nicolas Mezquida as well. I thought he put in a very, very strong performance.” Thoughts on Matias Laba’s performance: “Matias is a top player, we know that. I think sometimes, when he doesn’t play to the level that we used to see in him, everyone sort of jumps on the bandwagon with him. Players don’t go out there to play poorly, they go out there to give their effort and try their very best. And sometimes it’s your day, other times it isn’t. I’m happy with the group of players I have in there on a daily basis.” On whether we saw glimpses of last season in tonight’s performance: “Yeah, maybe. I’ll have to see it again. I’m pleased from today because Dallas are a good team. They come into our place, they’ve scored a lot of goals. I kept getting reminded of that this week that they are the highest scoring team and deservedly so. I’m pleased that we kept a clean sheet and that’s why I said I’ll take one goal and a clean sheet. Houston came into town a couple of weeks ago, when we were missing a couple players and we kept them quiet as well. So we can do it, we just got to do it more consistently than we have in the first seven or eight games.” On whether we should expect to see Pedro Morales soon: “I think there’s a good chance, yeah. Pedro wanted to play today. I thought the guys who played in Salt Lake played very, very well, without any luck. So there is a chance, yeah. Obviously, there will be some new faces on the team on Wednesday. We have a busy week ahead of us. It’ll give us confidence, the three points, but we’ll just chalk it down and move on to the next one. Hopefully, you, we, me will get to see him on Wednesday.” KEKUTA MANNEH On the importance of tonight’s win: “We had a few bad results in the running and we got together and met, and we decided that we need to change things around if we want to have a good season. That happens to teams, they go through bad runs but then they turn things around. We felt like this was our chance, FC Dallas is a good team but they’re going to let us play and if we get chances, we’ll take them. I thought we did that today and this is very exciting, we needed that win.” On the attack breaking through tonight: “For us, we just kept believing. We were creating chances, and if we were not creating chances, we’d be worried but we created a lot, it felt like. The week before that, we knew that it was just going to be a matter of time before we start putting them away. It finally happened today, I’m really excited, and hopefully we can continue that with the game on Wednesday.” DAVID OUSTED On his performance tonight: “I thought I played well today. There were times today that I had to step up and make that save. I’m happy with my performance today.” On how the team responded: “I’ve said in the past few weeks that we were just going through a rough patch and that’s when the leaders of this team step up. It’s when the veterans of this team take responsibility and I think they have. You see a lot of guys step on the pitch tonight wanting to take responsibility and take the ball. The young guys wanted the ball as well, and that’s what it takes. MLS is such a long season that you’ll go through some rough patches, and that’s when the leadership steps up. We got a great locker room. We got everything we need in there to be a successful team but once in a while, it takes the leaders of this team to step up a little bit more.” On his health status after taking a fall in the second half: “I took a little bit of a knock but I didn’t think it was that bad. I’ll visit with the medical staff in the next couple of days but I know I should be fine.” FC DALLAS OSCAR PAREJA: On tonight’s match: “Disappointed. It was one of those nights where we have what we wanted, we created chances. I thought the team looked good, but we were not fine in the last third. We didn’t finalize it in the first half. One of our mistakes and they took it – I would say that in that play that was an accident when the ball hit and it went in. But that’s the game, we have to accept it – it has happened to us before when we don’t create as many options and we’re sharp and effective. Tonight, Vancouver was very effective and I have to recognize that. Especially in the last 15 minutes of the first half when they scored and in the last 15 minutes of the second half when there was the space and they just started taking advantage of that.” On not playing Mauro Rosales in his return to Vancouver: “I considered all those emotional parts of the game, but at the time of the game we have to see just what the unit is that is needed and Mauro is a very important player that we have used and we will use for sure. I think tonight I decided just to keep him there.” On putting Mauro Diaz in after missing four games: “I’m glad to see him finally in the game. Still, we get shortened days of training for him so unfortunately we couldn’t play him the whole time and I wanted to keep our plan with him and have him at 100 per cent. But Mauro came and he looked very good so I’m happy to have him back on the team in full form. We look forward to seeing him in the next month.” On missing Matt Hedges in a game like this: “I mean it would be easy to say that after the disappointment like that defensively. It is normal in the game, when you lose that way that you start to see the pieces that are missing. But we trust in the guys that we want and unfortunately today we were not sharp, especially in the last 20 minutes.” On what they need to work on for the next two road games: “This group has been recognized and I have and people have seen it, that this is a group that has a lot of character. We have a group of players that will bounce back, we have proven that. So when we’re looking forward for the next games, it’s just to get points. It’s not an easy journey in this league. You see how competitive it is in this league, and especially in the conference games. We obviously want to win all the games that we compete in. But today we are going with empty pockets and next week we prepare for New York to get points there.” WALKER ZIMMERMAN On tonight’s match: “I think our locker room is a little disappointed right now. I thought, especially in the first half, we had many chances that if we put away, the game is a little bit different. I don’t think we’re happy about the way the goals went in – a little soft and another set piece goal that we’ve conceded. Overall, pretty disappointed.” On their defensive performance: “They got a few chances, but at the same time I think we definitely put our mark on the game with our chances. I think if one of them went in, like I said, it makes it a little different. Not thrilled with the goals we gave up. I feel like we kind of beat ourselves, but that’s the game sometimes.” On not maximizing on chances: “Credit to Ousted, he had a good night, saved some point blank shots. We had some that just narrowly missed. So we’ll get back to the drawing board. I mean we’re not too concerned – we feel pretty good about the performance we put in.” VICTOR ULLOA On tonight’s match: “We’re leaving with a sour taste. We feel like especially in the first half we created a lot of chances and we just need to be able to tuck them away.” On not finding the back of the net: “I think their keeper made some great saves. We were just unlucky tonight not to be able to put a few away. One miss happened on defence and it cost us a goal – the own goal.” On their defence: “I think in the first half that goal was just unlucky. In the second half, we lost a bit of the organization in the back and in the midfield and it cost us two more mistakes and two more goals.”
  3. REPORT: It was dire in Dallas, as Vancouver Whitecaps slumped to a 2-0 defeat and made it five MLS games without a win, at the worst possible time of the season. A first half goal from the impressive Michael Barrios set Dallas on their way just past the half hour mark, and Mauro Diaz doubled their lead seven minutes into the second half. David Ousted saved a first half penalty and Gershon Koffie rattled the post, but the 'Caps were never really at the races in this one. Ravaged by injuries and players away on international duty, Carl Robinson was forced to ring the chances once again, switching to a two striker system and a very defence minded midfield. The makeshift 'Caps took the game to Dallas in the early going, launching several attacks, but Vancouver's defence was caught on a quick break in the 11th minute from Michael Barrios, but David Texeira could only look on as he crashed his cutback off the left hand post. David Ousted was forced to make his first save of the match moments later, getting down to turn a low Je-Vaughn Watson drive around his near post. The home side took over the game, forcing a string of corners, but Vancouver showed their own counter-attacking danger when they broke in the 18th minute and Gershon Koffie hit the post with a neat outside of the foot effort after a lay off from Octavio Rivero. Dallas were starting to turn up the pressure and Ousted was forced to make a fantastic one-handed save at his near post from a Barrios effort on the half hour mark. It felt like a goal was coming from the Texans and it duly came two minutes later. Barrios was the dangerman again, showing some nice footwork in the box to make some room for himself before firing the opener past Ousted. Kekuta Manneh looped a shot over as Vancouver tried to find the equaliser but Dallas were given the chance to double their lead in the closing minutes of the half when referee Jose Carlos Rivero awarded them a soft penalty. It was a horrible call, with Tim Parker beautifully timing his tackle to get the better of Barrios in the box. Rivero saw a foul. but Ousted produced another fantastic save to deny Mauro Diaz. Zach Loyd had to clear a bouncing effort off the line in stoppage time, as Vancouver nearly forced an equaliser from a strange chesting of the ball from Koffie, but the teams headed in to the break with the home side in the ascendancy. Dallas soon got their second in the 52nd minute, when a mistake by Jordan Harvey allowed Diaz to nutmeg Kah, turn Harvey inside out then slip the ball in-off, and under, Ousted. The 'Caps keeper should have had it and done much better, but it was great skill from the Argentine. Both sides made changes to freshen things up and Vancouver pushed to try and get back into the game, forcing a couple of scrambles in the Dallas box and seeing Jesse Gonzalez keep out a Manneh shot with eight minutes remaining. Substitute, and 'Cap killer, Blas Perez had the ball in the net in stoppage time but it was ruled out for offside and the game ended 2-0, leaving Vancouver sitting precariously in third place in the West with just one game remaining. FINAL SCORE: FC Dallas 2 - 0 Vancouver Whitecaps ATT: 11,848 DALLAS: Jesse Gonzalez; Je-Vaughn Watson, Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Ryan Hollingshead; Victor Ulloa, Ezequiel Cirigliano, Michael Barrios, Mauro Diaz, Tesho Akindele (Rolando Escobar 69) (Atiba Harris 81); David Texeira (Blas Perez 77) [subs Not Used: Dan Kennedy, Walker Zimmerman, Danny Garcia, Michel] VANCOUVER: David Ousted; Steven Beitashour, Tim Parker, Pa-Modou Kah (Christian Dean 81), Jordan Harvey; Matias Laba, Deybi Flores (Marco Bustos 61), Gershon Koffie, Russell Teibert (Robert Earnshaw 76); Octavio Rivero, Kekuta Manneh [subs Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Jordan Smith, Diego Rodriguez, Cristian Techera] REACTION: VANCOUVER WHITECAPS CARL ROBINSON On tonight's game: "Certain moments change games. They managed to take their chances. They have good players. They're a good team, coached very well. We didn't take our chances. We had numerous chances, numerous shots, but we couldn't score." How not to be affected by the bad run the team is currently on: "Of course when you lose games or you draw games, people are going to worry. There's no noise for me. If you don't score goals you're not going to win games of football and it was proved right today, so we've just got to keep going. We know we're young, We'll get on with it. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We're in the playoffs, we've got to make sure we finish off well against Houston next week." Is it all down to the injuries?: "If I turn around and say I'm missing my four guys, or five guys, then I'll use that as an excuse and I don't want to use that as an excuse. I've got confidence in that group there. They showed today that they can compete. We just didn't take our chances, but when you have key players missing, it doesn't help." His thoughts about making a tactical change at halftime: "Tactically, I thought we were very good. David (Ousted) makes a save on a penalty at halftime, which maybe Casper's (the Friendly Ghost) given. I cannot believe it's a penalty. I've watched it about 10 times. It is, but if it would have gone in, I probably would have changed it earlier. Five minutes into the second half, we concede. Bad goal. Miscommunication. We take a chance, but great character shown when you're 2-0 down. It's easy to buckle, but we didn't. We stepped on. Great credit to Marco Bustos coming in making his debut, made things happen for us. We created chances, but we just couldn't score." [On TSN radio] The continuing lack of goals despite chances: "We played very well, we just didn't score a goal. You can stand here all night and say how you deserved this or deserved that but if you don't put the ball in the back of the net, you're not going to win games of football, and that's happening at the moment." "What we've got to do is we've got to keep working at it. We've got to keep putting ourselves in the situations because we are creating chances but we're just not having that little bit of luck at the moment. You see Dallas today, there's were probably similar chances in the game, they managed to score two of their chances, we didn't score any of our chances. You've got to roll your sleeves up, you've got to get back to work, you've got to keep working at it. It's different on the training field when you're doing it unopposed, with no-one surrounding you, it becomes easy then. We've just got to keep working on that and hopefully it will transfer into games." "The players that we've got are attacking players, exciting players. I want to create chances. If you create chances, you're more likely to score. What's not happening at the moment is we're scoring. We can't cover over it, we're just not putting the ball in the back of the net. We're putting ourselves in the positions, which is good, and pleasing, but we're just not showing the composure at the critical moment. We've just got to get back to work with it." [On TSN radio] On the defensive display: "We had a number of chances but the thing I'm disappointed with is that we gave away two bad goals. We didn't really make them work for their goals. When you don't make a team work for their goals and you give them, you're not going to win too many games." "It's easy to buckle when you're two-nil down after 50 minutes in a tough place. We've never won here. We could have gone under, but we didn't, we showed character. The one thing I won't doubt in my team is character. We've got good character in the team, we're just not scoring at the moment. We know we need to try and address that. We've got to focus on trying to put the ball in the back of the net." [On TSN radio] Latest on injuries: "Three of them aren't with us [in Dallas]. Cristian's with us. He sat on the bench today but there was never any intention to play him because he's injured. We've got to get ourselves back next week and we've got to see how they are. I think the [Houston] game will be too early for them, all three of them, so it gives opportunities for other people. We're not in a good state at the moment injury-wise, we know that. We've just got to get on with it." MARCO BUSTOS On making his MLS debut: "I felt like a little kid in the park. Getting the call to come in with 30 minutes left, it was a dream come true. I just wanted to go in there and have fun." On getting his first national cap with Canada last night and then his MLS debut tonight: "I'm not sure I can sum it up. It's an amazing feeling playing for your country, getting my first cap and then making my MLS debut within 24 hours. I left my hotel in Washington DC at 5 a.m. this morning, got here and slept for three hours before the game tonight." DAVID OUSTED On struggles without top players and just how strong is depth: "It showed today. Any team in this league would miss Pedro and Mauro. That goes without saying, but you can't use that as an excuse. Every team will have injuries during a season. Unluckily, we're in a spot right now where we have a lot of them and we need to battle through it. Today I think we did a lot of things right and a few things not correctly. That hurt us today." What can be done to halt the slide?: "There's two ways to go. There's sitting in there and burying our heads in our hands and don't believe any more, or there's the other way that I'd rather go and just work hard. Work our way out of this. Work on our finishing, work on our ability to create chances, and that's the way out of it. We're still in the playoffs. We still have one game left to put us in a good position. Obviously that needs to be a win. It's about working ourselves out of it. It's no time to feel sorry for ourselves." Pressure going into Houston game?: "There's two ways to view it. One, we're in the playoffs and we can relax, the other way is we have to win to put ourselves into a good position. Let's find somewhere inbetween that. Our mental approach has to be getting after them and going for a win. At home, at BC Place, hopefully we'll get the three points there and put ourselves in a good position going into the playoffs." On saving the Mauro Diaz penalty shot: "The video guys help me out every time, every game. I sit down and go watch penalties and they give me all the information I need. I was well prepared today." On Marco Bustos' performance: "I thought he did really well. I was impressed by the way he went in and he played the way that we know he can. It can be intimidating coming in and having to take responsibility in that midfield but he did well. He was good on the ball, nice passes and I thought he looked dangerous. Again, it's that little bit of depth and guys like him gets that chance now." FC DALLAS OSCAR PAREJA Opening thoughts: "There was a lot of [good] soccer today on the pitch. It was a game that had a lot of emotions and a lot of great plays. Great footballers - both on our team today and also Vancouver. They were a very good team with a very good coach. There were tremendous plays today. I think our fans and the people who came to the stadium enjoyed a game full of great moments. Vancouver made it difficult for us during the first 15 minutes, but after that we started clearing our chances and dominated. "The second half was more level. We knew that they were going to provide us with a ton and we wanted to hold the line and see if there were some spaces behind. The plan worked well." ZACH LOYD General thoughts on the match: "It was a great team performance. Coming into this game, we knew how important it was for us. We had the Red Bull New York game on before the match. We were watching it closely. Once we saw the result, I think it gave us an extra boost knowing that three points would put us in a tie with them on top of the table with two games to go. The guys responded well. We’re a good team at home. That has showed all year. We’re going to continue to try and finish as high as we can in the West, so we can have that home field advantage throughout the playoffs." Was this your best performance of the year?: "I’m not sure. Any time we get a shutout, I am happy for the back line. I don’t really grade personal performances so much. I am more about the team performance. I thought it was a great game for us overall, to be able to rebound after going there and picking up a big tie on the road in Vancouver last week. On the importance of getting this win to validate last week’s tie in Vancouver…It’s huge. If you go there and get a tie, then come home and lose, it didn’t really mean anything. If you come out tonight and get a big three points… You put yourself in a position to fight for a trophy… That is something we have not done here in a long time. We put ourselves in the best-possible situation we could be in. I hope we can capitalize on that in the next two weeks." MAURO DIAZ Thoughts on the game: "We are really happy that we got more points and that we are fighting for the top. We are excited and we are going to keep on fighting for it." On playing like his old self: "The injuries were getting me, and it feels good playing back to my level." His mentality when scoring the goal: "I didn’t plan anything. It just happened. I saw the opportunity and I took it." VICTOR ULLOA Thoughts on the game: "Huge win of us. We knew what was at stake. We’re tied for first place for the Shield. So that’s huge for us with two games left. Mentally, it helps us a lot to keep pushing and this club can win something. So that’s huge." On two straight shutouts vs Vancouver: "Yeah, it’s one of those things that we want to focus on. We know that we have a lot of offensive power and we know that we can score at any time, and that’s the main focus." Thoughts on the goal set up by Mauro Diaz: "Great goal. Great play. Like I said we have so many offensive weapons. Mauro was huge for us."
  4. Casting our eye over all the fixtures remaining for all the teams, we're going with Dallas to win the West on 57 points, with Sporting KC coming second on 55, LA third on 54 and then that's where it gets really interesting. By our reckoning, Vancouver and Seattle will be battling it out for 4th on 53 points and will face each other in the first round of the playoffs. Where that will be played is very well going to come down to goal difference and I think Seattle will shade that. We also think RSL will come good at just the right time and edge out Portland for 6th on goal difference. Accurate or total bollocks? You can let us know below, but we'll soon find out, and part of it will be played out tonight in Dallas. Banged up, beat up, out of form and looking for someone to step up and be the goalscoring hero, it's all about points and positioning now for the Whitecaps, a fact not missing from everyone at the club. "We're in at the moment, and that's the pleasing thing about it," 'Caps coach Carl Robinson told reporters at Vancouver airport on Monday. "With two games to go, we're in. Now we just need to regroup, refocus, get our minds right and see where we go from here. "The focus is to finish as high as we can. That's never changed from the first game of the season. There's different factors that affect that. Us and Dallas are two teams up the top that are competing. They want it as well as we do. They're healthy, we're not healthy. It is what it is. "We'll regroup. We know what we need to do. We'll go there and we'll try and be tough to beat, with the right mentality, because it is playoff mentality now. We've got two league games left but really the playoffs start now." Momentum, being in-form, confidence. Call it what you like, but the 'Caps are desperately needing to find some of it heading in to the playoffs. Last year, Vancouver headed into the postseason on the back of four wins and 13 points from their last five matches. We all know how horribly that ended up once the playoffs began, but it certainly makes for a better mindset than the current form of no wins in their last four and only two points and blown opportunities to show for their efforts. "Having made the playoffs already, our goal now is to get a couple of wins," is left back Jordan Harvey's take. "We don't want to just coast into the playoffs. We want to build some momentum. Going in [to Dallas], without a doubt, we're going for three points. Are we disappointed if we get a draw? Probably not, but the goal is to get three points and build momentum." Ravaged by injuries and players away on international duty, along with no wins in Dallas, or any other part of Texas for that matter, Vancouver coming away with anything tonight would be an amazing achievement. It would also likely secure them a best ever top four finish and the much sought after home playoff game. Not that simply going into Frisco and playing for a point is likely to be the 'Caps gameplan. That's not through Robinson's tactics but the mindset of his players. "I don't think we've got the type of players that can play there and try and get a point," Robinson admitted. "We've got players that will want to try and win games." As much as I'd bite your hand off for a point right now, it is better to go in looking for the win, as that makes it easier to try and fight back if you fall behind. Too often under Martin Rennie's teams did the 'Caps go in defensively, fall behind, then have no clue how to change things around. The other huge obstacle for the 'Caps right now is absences. Not so much the fringe players away internationally, but the series of injuries that has decimated the creativity of the team. Pedro Morales and Nicolas Mezquida haven't made the trip to Texas. Mauro Rosales and Cristian Techera have, but both are still nursing injuries and haven't trained since limping off during last week's 0-0 home draw with Dallas. The Whitecaps now face the dilemma of do you rush these players back to try and secure points and positioning or do you rest them and save them for the playoffs, possibly giving up a home playoff game as a result? "We have a couple of guys banged up and nicked up," rookie Tim Parker told AFTN. "We do want to get as many points as we can. I think we have the depth on the road to get points regardless, but I also think that it's important that we save some of the guys that we so that they don't injure themselves further." But even if things don't play out in Vancouver's favour and they have to start the playoffs away from BC Place, Parker has no fear or concerns. "We've been really good on the road this year," he added. "Of course we want to get a home playoff game for the fans but I don't think we're afraid if we get a road playoff game at all." Neither they should be, but with that last away win coming on August 1st, that previously amazing road form doesn't quite look as formidable as it did a few months ago. Let's just hope it doesn't even come to discussing that.
  5. Have a listen! You can listen to this, and all previous, episodes of the podcast on iTunes HERE. Or download it for your later listening delight HERE. We also have an iPhone app, so you can now add our podcast to your phone as an app. Visit the podcast's mobile site HERE and then at the bottom of the screen just click the "Quick Launch" icon and the podcast will be added to your home screen and appear as an app. And if that's not enough, we're on Stitcher Radio Network. Download the app and listen to the AFTN podcast on your device, along with over 20,000 other shows HERE. Or after all that, you could just listen on the player below!
  6. -They have won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup once, in 1997 and finished as runners up in both 2005 and 2007, -Their main “rival” in the MLS is the Houston Dynamo, both being in the same state, Texas but over the years a rivalry on and off the pitch between Dallas and Colorado has been brewing, that rivalry was rekindled in the off season between 2013 and 2014 when FC Dallas hired then Colorado Head Coach, Oscar Pareja, -They qualified once for the Concacaf Champions League/Cup in their history, in 2011, thanks to their 2010 MLS Cup final appearance, getting eliminated in the Group Stage, -They were eliminated by the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference Semi Final in 2014, Players to watch -Mauro Diaz Midfielder, Designated Player, Argentina: Diaz has a tendency to find the back of the net from around the edge of the box, if you leave him there unchecked with a chance to curl the ball around the goalkeeper, you will regret it! -Blas Perez Forward, Panama: Blas Perez has been the leading scorer for FC Dallas for the past three seasons and so far 2015 seems to follow the same patterns, when Perez scores, Dallas wins! -Fabian Castillo Forward, Designated Player, Colombia: Having 24 goals in 118 games for FC Dallas doesn’t make Fabian the most consistent player out there, but when he combines with Perez and his able to open up space for Perez, the team as a whole is very dangerous offensively! -Matt Hedges, Defender, United States: One of the most under rated defender in Major League Soccer, a very consistent presence on the backline, that is not flashy but always well placed and solid on set pieces, -Two Canadian players are with FC Dallas, Kyle Bekker, Midfielder formerly of TFC and Tesho Akindele, who actually grew up in Colorado, Here is their Full Roster at the beginning of the season As of January 24, 2015.[7] No. Position Player Nation 1 Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy United States 3 Defender Moises Hernandez (HGP) Guatemala 4 Midfielder Kyle Bekker Canada 7 Forward Blas Pérez Panama 8 Midfielder Victor Ulloa (HGP) United States 9 Forward David Texeira Uruguay 10 Midfielder Mauro Díaz (DP) Argentina 11 Forward Fabián Castillo (DP) Colombia 12 Midfielder Ryan Hollingshead United States 13 Forward Tesho Akindele Canada 14 Forward Atiba Harris http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fe/Flag_of_Saint_Kitts_and_Nevis.svg/23px-Flag_of_Saint_Kitts_and_Nevis.svg.png Saint Kitts and Nevis 16 Forward Coy Craft (HGP) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg/23px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png United States 17 Defender Zach Loyd http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg/23px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png United States 18 Goalkeeper Chris Seitz http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg/23px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png United States 21 Midfielder Michael Barrios http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/21/Flag_of_Colombia.svg/23px-Flag_of_Colombia.svg.png Colombia 22 Defender Stephen Keel http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg/23px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png United States 23 Midfielder Kellyn Acosta (HGP) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg/23px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png United States 24 Defender Matt Hedges http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg/23px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png United States 25 Defender Walker Zimmerman (GA) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg/23px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png United States 27 Midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0a/Flag_of_Jamaica.svg/23px-Flag_of_Jamaica.svg.png Jamaica 29 Forward Alex Zendejas (HGP) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg/23px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png United States 31 Midfielder Michel http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/05/Flag_of_Brazil.svg/22px-Flag_of_Brazil.svg.png Brazil 33 Defender Otis Earle http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png England 44 Goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez (HGP) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fc/Flag_of_Mexico.svg/23px-Flag_of_Mexico.svg.png Mexico Out on loan No. Position Player Nation 26 Midfielder Danny Garcia (HGP; on loan to Arizona United) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg/23px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png United States Graphic and Images Source: Wikipedia
  7. Carl Robinson made three changes from the team that started Saturday's crucial win over Colorado. Gershon Koffie returned to the starting line up for the first time in weeks, to play alongside Matias Laba in the two man defensive shield, with Russell Teibert dropping to the bench. Erik Hurtado also returned after feeling ill on the morning of the Rapids match and seeing Darren Mattocks get the start. The big change came in the defence, with Steven Beitashour's hamstring injury forcing Robinson to choose which young full back he wanted to go with, and Ethen Sampson got the nod on the right. Vancouver started with their tails up and enjoyed some early possession but Dallas soon started to look the more dominant side in the middle of the park, with the Whitecaps not looking their usual cohesive selves and passes were going astray. There was also very little offensive presence by either team. A lot of huffing but very little puffing, particularly from Vancouver, who were reduced to long range shots, some of which were giving Chris Seitz a seemingly problem to handle. Just as it was looking like the teams would go in scoreless, which would certainly have been part of Vancouver's gameplan, Dallas took the lead in the 40th minute after a mix up between the usually reliable Andy O'Brien and Kendall Waston allowed Mauro Diaz to nip the ball past them and head towards goal on a two on one break. Diaz played the ball outside to Tesho Akindele, who took a touch before burying low past David Ousted for the opening goal. A costly mistake that ended Vancouver's 432 minutes without conceding a goal and saw the hosts go in with a vital one goal advantage. The Whitecaps also had the added headache of having both Pedro Morales and Koffie pick up first half bookings and walking a tightrope in such a volatile atmosphere. The pressure was now on Vancouver to perform and show their playoff metal. The Whitecaps came out for the second half in a much higher tempo and Sebastian Fernandez won a free kick in the opening minute when he was barged to the ground by Walker Zimmerman. Mauro Rosales stepped up and crashed the free kick off the Dallas bar from nearly 30 yards out. Vancouver were forced to replace their talismanic captain Pedro Morales just before the hour mark, and the switch for Kekuta Manneh proved to be a game changer. The young Gambian immediately caused problems for the Dallas defence and his run into the box won a corner for the Caps just past the hour mark. Morales' kick was flicked on, leading to a mad scramble in the home side's box before the ball broke to Manneh and his low shot squirmed under Seitz and hit the post and out for another corner. The Caps' were definitely in the ascendency now, and they got the reward their pressure and play deserved in the 64th minute. Manneh was in the thick of things again when his shot from outside the box deflected into the path of Hurtado and the young striker make room and saw his own shot take a slight deflection as it beat Seitz and nestled into the bottom right corner of the net to tie things up. Vancouver now sensed blood and Manneh was showing what a big game player he is, and he curled an effort inches wide in the 70th minute. But just as it looked liked the Whitecaps had the game for the taking, Dallas won a penalty with eight minutes remaining when Kendall Waston was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box, although the big Costa Rican knew little about it. Michel stepped and the Brazilian sent Ousted the wrong way to give Dallas back the lead. The game then threatened to boil over in the closing minutes as the hatred between the teams came to the fore. The Whitecaps pushed hard for those final moments but without creating any clear cut chances and as Vancouver pushed forward, Fabian Castillo saw a late effort saved, although referee Geiger gave a goal kick. Dallas held on for the win after six minutes of stoppage time and as the final whistle blew, Sebastian Fernandez made a beeline for Geiger and was shown a red card, as several Vancouver players gathered around the ref. It was a tough way to end their season, but the Whitecaps can hold their heads up high after a season that saw them produce much more than many expected. In the end, it was both their first half performance and the referee that saw their playoff hopes ended. How they bounce back from this next season will be interesting to watch. March can't come quick enough. FINAL SCORE: FC Dallas 2 - 1 Vancouver Whitecaps ATT:10,279 DALLAS: Chris Seitz; Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, Je-Vaughn Watson; Fabian Castillo, Michel, Victor Ulloa (Kellyn Acosta 76), Mauro Diaz (Andres Escobar); Tesho Akindele, Blas Perez (Ryan Hollingshead 90) [subs Not Used: Jesse Gonzalez, Moises Hernandez, Jair Benitez, David Texeira] VANCOUVER: David Ousted; Ethen Sampson, Andy O’Brien, Kendall Waston, Jordan Harvey; Matias Laba, Gershon Koffie (Nicolas Mezquida 87); Mauro Rosales, Pedro Morales (Kekuta Manneh 58), Sebastian Fernández; Erik Hurtado (Darren Mattocks 78) [subs Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Sam Adekugbe, Johnny Leveron, Russell Teibert] [Postgame reaction to follow Thursday]
  8. Now no-one at the Whitecaps really wants to look that far ahead, at least publically. It's understandable. Call it jinxing things, call it taking it one game at a time and not wanting to be left eating crow. It's just the mentality that coaches and players always have. That's been the mantra the past month, where it was five cup finals, then four, then ultimately one. The Caps ended that spell with four shiny trophies and a replay! But it's hard not to look ahead at what could come after Dallas. A very winnable tie against Seattle, then you're just two games away from an actual Cup final. Carl Robinson's truly believes it's anyone's championship for the taking right now and there's no reason why the Whitecaps shouldn't be the ones to lift the trophy come December. He's fully aware of just what it would mean to the club to get past Dallas to kick everything off. "[There's a] fantastic mentality in that group of players that I've got," Robinson told reporters at Vancouver airport on Monday before flying down on a charter flight to Dallas. "A great camaraderie, spirit. It's the fun part now. It's a totally different season. Everyone's got a chance to win the MLS Cup and we're one of ten teams that has. We'll look forward to it but we know that it's hard work ahead, but it's a challenge that we'll go and meet full on. "Getting to the playoffs is good, but we don't stop there. We go ahead now and if we can get over this hurdle, and it's a very, very tough hurdle, what a game we've got. A battle against our rivals." The prospect of a playoff game against Seattle hangs heavily on the horizon. Seattle v Portland last season was an epic encounter that got Cascadia buzzing. The Caps want their part of that and for Jordan Harvey, it would be the ultimate playoff experience. "That's about as big as it gets for me," Harvey told AFTN on Monday. "Having a semi-final against your rival that's a bus ride away, I think that would huge. A freeway series! I grew up watching those in baseball with the Anaheim Angels and Dodgers. It would be fun." Andy O'Brien agrees with Harvey but still doesn't want to look too far ahead until the job in hand in Texas is taken care of. "The club has been crying out for a playoff game at home," O'Brien admitted. "There's a potential to create that on Sunday should we get through, but we've got to respect Dallas." "We've had the experience of being in the playoffs before, in LA. It's a game that we're looking forward to. I think we go there in more confident mood than we did do two years ago in a same position." The Caps have built some tasty feuds, possibly a better word than rivalries, with teams like Dallas and Real Salt Lake this season. While that may make for an entertaining battle, on and off the pitch, there's still nothing bigger and better for Caps' fans, players and pundits alike than to stick it to a Cascadian rival, and especially the self absorbed Seattle Sounders. Russell Teibert has been at the Caps long enough to experience epic playoff battles with Portland in the D2 days, but a MLS clash with Seattle would be on a much more immense scale. For him, being in the playoffs should see every player raise his game though, no matter whether it's a Cascadian or Conference rival they're facing. "We're talking about rivalries, we're talking about rivalries with Dallas," Teibert told reporters. "What a rivalry Seattle is, but we can't look that far ahead right now. We've got to take care of business down in Dallas. "It's a battle. You can see that every time we play each other it's a real battle. We know it's going to be a fight but these are the games you play for. These are the games you really get up for and if you can't get up for these, then you can't get up for any."
  9. Have a listen! You can listen to this week's podcast on iTunes HERE. Or download it for your later listening delight HERE. We also have an iPhone app, so you can now add our podcast to your phone as an app. Visit the podcast's mobile site HERE and then at the bottom of the screen just click the "Quick Launch" icon and the podcast will be added to your home screen and appear as an app. And if that's not enough, we've joined Stitcher Radio Network. Download the app and listen to the AFTN podcast on your device, along with over 15,000 shows HERE. Or after all that, you could just listen on the player below!
  10. You can find his full gallery from the game HERE. Clouds gather over BC Place, but it was a perfect storm for the Whitecaps Dominic Mobilio's family gather for his moving 'Ring of Honour' induction Curva Collective's excellent Dominic Mobilio tifo The Whitecaps starting XI Some last minute warming up and huddling After some chances at both ends, Mauro Rosales whips in a perfect delivery And Sebastian Fernandez rises to head home the 14th minute opener Seba celebrates his first goal since July 5th The Caps keep the pressure on and Pedro Morales knocks a ball loose for Mauro Rosales to pick up Rosales sets up Fernandez to bury the second low past his Dallas namesake And Seba celebrates once again David Texeira has a great chance to pull one back for Dallas But he didn't bank on the tackle of the year from Matias Laba. Stunning. The second half was quiet apart from David Ousted coming out quick to deny Tesho Akindele Victory! After the final whistle, Michel takes offence at Kekuta Manneh's showboating And still he mouths off. A sore loser? No, just a loser As is his coach Oscar Pareja who shoves Vancouver's Martyn Pert in the chest Both coaches have to be held back As you can see Pareja and Michel's walk of shame Matias Laba does the 'humba' with Curva Collective You can follow Tom on Twitter, where he goes under the name Residual Image.
  11. The first ten minutes of the match saw both teams get their chances on goal with Blas Perez missing high with a header and then Fernandez missing high with his shot after being setup by a nice pass from Mauro Rosales. The two hooked up with better results in the 14th minute as Fernandez scored his first of the match, as well as first since July 5th against Seattle. It was Rosales who found himself free enough on the right side to send an inch perfect cross that the Uruguayan headed past the diving Raul Fernandez. His next goal wouldn’t take three months but four minutes as Fernandez got his brace and doubled the lead for the Whitecaps. It was Rosales again who played the role of the setup man, pouncing on a loose ball. As he bore down on goal he found the winger streaking down the left side and Fernandez made no mistake with his low shot. Just after the half hour mark it looked as though the visitors had pulled one back when Blas Perez had put his shot in but was called offside by the linesman. However the Caps caught a break as replays showed the Panamanian striker was a step or two onside. Another chance for Dallas came five minutes later when David Texeira was setup with a shot from inside the box but Matias Laba came in with a perfectly timed sliding tackle to deflect the shot out for a corner. The second half proved to be mostly uneventful as Dallas applied pressure at times but was unable to create any dangerous chances. Their best opportunity came with over ten minutes to go when Canadian Tesho Akindele made a run on goal but was stopped by a charging Ousted. The real fireworks came at the final whistle when Dallas manager Oscar Pareja got into a shoving match with Vancouver assistant Martin Pert. However, nothing could dampen the Whitecaps night as they captured the three points and continue to hold onto the final playoffs spot in the Western Conference. They must now leave the friendly confines of BC Place and travel down the I-5 to face the Seattle Sounders where they continue their playoff push and with a win could capture their second straight Cascadia Cup. Final Score: Vancouver Whitecaps 2 - 0 FC Dallas Attendance: 20,183 AFTN Player of the Match: Mauro Rosales Scoring Summary: 14’ – VAN – Sebastián Fernández (Mauro Rosales, Erik Hurtado) 18’ – VAN – Sebastián Fernández (Mauro Rosales) Vancouver: David Ousted; Steven Beitashour, Andy O’Brien, Kendall Waston, Jordan Harvey; Matías Laba, Russell Teibert, Mauro Rosales (Kekuta Manneh 82’), Pedro Morales (Medhi Ballouchy 88’), Sebastián Fernández; Erik Hurtado (Darren Mattocks 67’) [substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Sam Adekugbe, Johnny Leverón, Nicolás Mezquida] Dallas: Raul Fernandez; Je-Vaughn Watson, Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Moises Hernandez; Andres Escobar, Victor Ulloa (Kellyn Acosta 81’), Michel, Ryan Hollingshead (Tesho Akindele 45’); Blas Perez, David Texeira (Jair Benitez 65’) [substitutes not used: Chris Seitz, Adam Moffat, Walker Zimmerman, Danny Garcia] Match Stats: Shots: Vancouver 8 – FC Dallas 11 Shots on Goal: Vancouver 3 – FC Dallas 2 Saves: Vancouver 2 – FC Dallas 1 Fouls: Vancouver 16 – FC Dallas 15 Offsides: Vancouver 0 – FC Dallas 4 Corners: Vancouver 3 – FC Dallas 5 Cautions: 60’ – DAL – Je-Vaughn Watson 78’ – VAN – Kendall Waston 90’+4’ – VAN – Sebastián Fernández Referee: Ricardo Salazar REACTION: VANCOUVER WHITECAPS CARL ROBINSON Thoughts on the match: "Attacking-wise and counter attacking-wise I thought we were excellent", Robinson told reporters after the game. "The two or three opportunities that we did have, we were very clinical in our play and obviously it led to two very goals. I thought the defensive aspect wasn't good enough. I said to the guys at half time that we were too open, we were a bit kamikaze football. We were gung-ho and were 2-0 up, so I had to address a few things and credit to the back four, second half especially, they defended properly and showed a lot of character out there, so I'm delighted. The game was won in the first half, but for me, the game was managed fantastically well in the second half." On the play of Sebastian Fernandez: "Just his movement. If you watch him [at training] and you see him, his work ethic is fantastic. He's technically a very, very talented player and he's got ability. When he gets into the final third, he makes things happen. We see it all the time and now it's about transferring that onto the pitch. The last three or four weeks, even though he hasn't scored since June or July, his work ethic and his valuableness to the team has been fantastic." On the play of Mauro Rosales: "I thought it was his best game since he has been here and I think sometimes we’re very lucky to have him. I wanted to get him off earlier but he said “five minutes” and I let five minutes go and he said “another five minutes” and then another… He was excellent. His technical ability is amazing and he had a massive influence on the game." On the tension between the two teams: "I think it's two coaches, it's two teams, and it's very passionate, we want to win. We went there three weeks ago and we took it on the chin. We lost 2-1 in a game where we probably could have got something. Today was our day, but they are a very good team. Credit to Oscar he has done a fantastic job there. There's feelings in games. Every game there's a little bit of tenseness and thing like that. It's important it doesn’t boil over and from my group today it didn’t boil over." On the upcoming game against Seattle: "I said two games ago, we have five cup finals, and we have to take it one game at a time. We are running out of games, it is important that we respond appropriately the next upcoming games. We have two wins now, but we know we have a massive game against Seattle next Friday and those are the games you want to play in. They are big games, and obviously the Cascadia Cup is on the line and we want to win. We will go there full of confidence, but it will be a tough game." On the defensive play: "Dallas went a little more direct the second half and I tend to put smaller people on in the half which is not the best idea with their direct play but they are a handful. We all know how good they are at counter-attacking. We managed to address that in the second half, we won the second balls and we are going to have to do that against Seattle." On the overall performance of Dallas: "Dallas have nothing to lose, they are already into the playoffs. We are not in a similar position, unfortunately, we are chasing and we need to secure that final playoff spot. There is a different kind of pressure, and I said to the boys at half they have nothing to lose they are going to play hard. We have a lot to lose, that is why the discipline was important and the information they took on board in the second half they carried out and all credit to them. They played really well." On the altercation at the end, what was Pareja's grip with Pert? "I'm not sure. I don't know, I didn't see him. I went to shake the two assistants hands and then I went to referee and I had a laugh with the referee." On the performance of referee Ricardo Salazar: "I thought he was excellent. Sometimes it's easy to criticise referees as coaches. Some people do it tongue in cheek and other people just do it verbally and you get fined. But they deserve credit when they do well and I have no doubt about it that he's arguably, if not the best one in the league. On Vancouver’s position in the standings, is 4th possible? "I said at the start of the season we want to be in contention come the last game of the season. A good victory tonight. We'll sleep well after 94 minutes of hard work. We've still got a mountain to climb, we're still try to climb that mountain and we'll still meet that challenge head on, starting with Seattle next week." On the play of Matias Laba: "He has played fantastic ever since he has come here and big credit goes out to the club. His work can go un-noticed by people, but it does not with me. I think today it was a perfect example of how important he is for our team. We talk about Pedro, Mauro and Kekuta but Laba is vital for our team." On Darren Mattocks leaving for international duty: "I will never stop players from playing for their national country. It is a privilege. If they play well at club level, then they'll get the opportunity at national level. I’ll have a conversation with Darren and see where we are with that." With four players on yellows, did it cross his mind to sub them off and save them? "It did, and there were a few little close moments with a ball getting kicked away and a little trip here and there that were making me cringe a little bit. At the end of the day, if they're on four yellow cards, it's important that they manage the game correctly. If you try and avoid a yellow card, trust me, you'll get booked. It's one of them you'll get booked for a nothing challenge. I said to the guys that were on a yellow card, go out and play. Don't think about it, go out and play. As soon as you try and think about getting a yellow, you'll get a yellow card." SEBASTIAN FERNANDEZ On the overall game: "It was a very good game for us. The importance is not the score, importance is the win. We need to keep going and work through the week and show everybody that we can get into the playoffs." On his first goals since July: "I was lucky. I saw the ball in the air and tried to get the header and score." "My teammates, are always supporting me. It's important for me and for everybody. This is a great group, a great team. We must keep going." On playing with Mauro Rosales: "Mauro is a great player. He has been supportive of us on and off the field." On picking up the yellow card and the suspension: "It was my mistake. I still have other games left to continue going." DAVID OUSTED Thoughts on the match: "Fantastic. I thought we did very well. First half, we got our goals. Seba played fantastic and got two goals. Second half, we did well defending. Overall, we played a good performance." On playing with Mauro Rosales: "He's come in with a lot of experience. Mauro knows this league and you can see just on his level that he’s a good player. He shows it every day in practice and every match that he means a lot to this team and brings some experience." On winning consecutive matches for the first time since May: "It feels fantastic. It’s a good time to get on a streak. Hopefully we continue to play this way. I love the intensity. I love how we’re going into every tackle and the belief in this squad that can win every game." On intensity of possible playoff clash between Caps and Dallas: "If these two teams meet, I think it's going to be a brawl, to say it lightly. You just see that people get into every tackle and they did as well. They're a team that works really, really hard and wants to compete every time. If we get to there, I think it's going to be a great much but we've still got a lot of work to do." On the Pareja/Pert postgame clash: "It's always fun to see Martyn get up there," Ousted said. "He cares a lot and the players back him up." On Seba now being suspended: "Too bad. I thought it was a harsh yellow card. We're happy that he got going and we can use that going forward. Now other people have to step up in his place." On keeping Dallas at bay and another clean sheet: "I felt in control. With players like Perez and Akindele, they'll put pressure on but I thought we dealt with it really well and both crosses and chances were limited." On Laba's big goal saving tackle in the first half: "Absolutely fantastic. Mati did world class to get there. They broke us down a little bit, got a good chance and Mati came out of nowhere." KENDALL WASTON: Thoughts on the game: "We had to win and thank god we won. We knew it would be a tough game because they won in Dallas, so today we had to look for the three points because we want to continue in the playoff spot. The team worked very hard from the beginning of the game and that's why we won." Did it feel like a playoff game already? "Yes it seemed because they were battling to score and we could defend very well today from the forwards. That was the key to winning today." On potential playoff meeting: "We are thinking first of all of staying in the playoff spot and hopefully we can win the next game in Seattle. It's going to be hard but none of these games are easy. So first of all we have to stay in the playoffs and then see who we are going to play against. Now we know each other. The key to everything was when we got in the box, we try to score and today we scored two excellent goals." On defensive play: "The best thing was the communication that all of us have and the commitment of each one, including the forwards. In certain times of the game you saw the forwards in our backs, like Kekuta jumping and battling with bigger guys than him. That was the thing that the coach told us at half time, that everybody gotta run." MAURO ROSALES His best performance as a Whitecap so far? "I feel that I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it a lot. It's part of the work that we are doing with the guys. We always talk about having minutes, having time with them. Everyday just knowing each other is much easier. As soon as I get more minutes with them, more days with them, I'll be much better. "This is what I want. To be in a position to help the team. To raise the team in any levels and help them. This is what I do." On not wanting to come off: "I was feeling very good and obviously trying to help the team. Probably I was a little selfish in trying to stay in the team, but knowing that we had a lot of good players on the bench. I felt very well just playing with them and enjoying it. "I was doing my best and doing my best for the team. This was the reason, not trying to be selfish and not let the other ones play! It's part of my work to try and keep getting better and I hope that I can just build better performances like I did today." On assisting Seba in getting two goals: "It's important for us to get the strikers playing up front goals and to get confidence. This is what we need for the last push. Seeing Erik today, running a lot, working very hard for the team to create space, just holding the ball, let us have a little bit of breath to manage the game and everything was outstanding today. "Sometimes you have to do what you don't like best and sometimes you have to do what's the best for the team. He showed today a character and a professionalism and we are happy for that and also getting the three points against a very tough team." Link up play with Erik Hurtado: "We are getting better with each other. Sometimes we don't combine as much as we want, but sometimes the game just demands another thing, not just playing between the lines. He did very well today just holding the ball, even against three guys today. FC DALLAS OSCAR PAREJA Thoughts on the match: "I thought we had a good15 minutes before they scored a goal. After we gave away the first goal, it was difficult. We had the initiative to put high pressure and go look for the game right from the first minute. We had a few chances to score that we could not take advantage of it and then Vancouver came up and took the game away with those two goals. After that, it was a different game. We tried to keep the initiative, but we didn’t have too many ideas today. Vancouver was happy with the goals that they scored early in the game, and they held it well. I have to give them credit." On whether the Perez offside call right before halftime would have changed the game: "It would be for sure. Disappointed with that situation, but I just assume that that’s part of the game. I don’t want to stick with that frustration, though it could have changed the story, for sure." On whether this could be a preview of a potential playoff matchup: "We need to clinch first, and now we are thinking about LA. My mind doesn’t let me go that far. When I have such a big responsibility to play the next game and try to take care of our business, which is to get ourselves into the playoffs. After that, we’ll see." On growing rivalry between the two teams: "The rivalry is with all the teams really. The intensity, the energy and obviously the urgency the teams have now to get the points is important. That makes the games more interesting for sure and that is part of the decision. But the rivalry is with everybody, it's nothing special." The postgame incident with Martyn Pert: "Nothing. Nothing. Nothing happened." TESHO AKINDELE Thoughts on the match: "I think it was a tough game – they were obviously fighting for their lives for the season and to stay in the playoffs, so they brought a lot of energy. They caught us on two counterattacks, but other than that, I thought it was pretty even." On the adjustments they made after halftime, being down 2-0: "We just knew that we had to go all out. When you’re losing 2-0, there’s no point holding back, so we just tried to push forward a little more. Unfortunately, we just didn’t create the chances today." On whether a rivalry is growing between the two clubs: "I think so, playing in the Western Conference, you see the same teams three times a year. With how the schedule was, we’ve seen these guys three times now in such a short time, and there’s definitely a bit of tension coming in." MATT HEDGES Thoughts on the match: "Disappointing. We came out soft and slow, gave up two goals, and we never really recovered. I think we definitely started to play better as the game went on, but by that point, you’re 2-0 down, and they can control the match by sitting there and doing whatever they want. It’s disappointing." On what message Pareja and the coaches stressed at the break, down 2-0: "They just try to be motivating. We came out really slow, and it’s frustrating because big things were on the line – clinching a playoff spot was possible today, in this game. So, to come out slow like that was unacceptable, and that’s what he was reiterating to us. We had to increase the effort in the second half, and that’s basically what he was telling us." On the growing rivalry: "I think it was already there. Last year and the year before, there have been some interesting games between the two teams and I think it’s continuing to grow as a rivalry. It’s good for the league, having rivalries grow organically like this instead of being forced."
  12. "It's vitally important," coach Carl Robinson told reporters on Thursday. "Getting into the playoffs is the first goal that we set and if you manage to get in then it's being in form when you're hitting the playoffs. You see, year in, year out, a number of teams that get into the playoffs, sneak into the playoffs, when they're not playing very well end up going out. "It's important that focus is maintained. It's important that you do get a bit of momentum going into the playoffs because it is a lottery when you get there. It's just a one off game or a two-legged game if you get past that first stage and anything can happen. It's still a long way off, and it's a hard trek to get there, but we're willing to meet the challenge head on." The playoff race in the West looks like it may go right down to the wire and Vancouver know that if they are to make it to the postseason they will have to do it by producing some of their best form in the remaining matches. It's a factor which left back Jordan Harvey feels that can only serve them well. "That is an advantage," Harvey admitted to AFTN. "If you do get on form these last four games leading into the playoffs, that's huge. That's what most teams are successful with. We have to get in form, we have to get some more points and that will allow us to carry that [form] in." If Vancouver can clinch fifth spot in the Western Conference, they will likely face a first round playoff match away to FC Dallas or Real Salt Lake. Last Saturday's defeat of RSL gave the Whitecaps a slight mental edge over one of their prospective postseason opponents and they are unbeaten against Real Salt Lake all season, including two hard-fought draws down in Utah. The 'Caps are hoping for more of the same mental boost when Dallas head to BC Place this weekend. For veteran defender Andy O'Brien that psychological side of the game is one of the important keys for the Whitecaps down the stretch and beyond. "I think you need to be composed, especially from a mental point of view because there's so much emphasis in getting into the playoffs," O'Brien said. "There's a lot of pressure to get in there and then once you're in there, you've got a job to do and it's not as if you down tools when you meet one objective. "It's got to be a progression thing. We want to go, if possible, into the playoffs with four good results now and take that on to whoever we may play should we get there. It's important that we keep ourselves mentally prepared and physically prepared for it."
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