BC Place a ‘fortress’ for Whitecaps: DeMerit
Vancouver Whitecaps Jay DeMerit heads the ball against the Houston Dynamo during the first half of their MLS soccer game in Vancouver, British Columbia June 10, 2012. (REUTERS/Ben Nelms)
Let's not kid ourselves. No one actually expects the Vancouver Whitecaps to play at that same season-opening level for every game this season.
But at least they had a bar set for themselves. And on Saturday at home to the Houston Dynamo, the 'Caps will look to aim high again in front of the BC Place crowd — even if their last two road games haven't been as convincing.
"It's always been a fortress for us," captain Jay DeMerit said. "Houston is a consistent team and we know what they are going to bring to us."
But it's about what the Whitecaps bring. Or maybe which team they bring.
Their showings at home and on the road have been greatly different, but according to the players, it's not that much different than the rest of the league.
"It's an MLS thing," goalkeeper David Ousted said. "If you look around the league, there's not a lot of really good away teams. We need to be better on the road … but it's a process.
"We love getting back into BC Place and you look forward to every game there."
Houston has won both their games so far this season, starting with a 4-0 triumph over the New England Revolution before a 1-0 victory against the Montreal Impact.
For the Whitecaps, who have put together a pair of draws, they will be without Nigel Reo-Coker on Saturday following a bizarre accident this week. The midfielder was walking the streets of Vancouver when he tripped over a bike rack and fell on his face, suffering a gash and a concussion.
"He fell and banged his face," head coach Carl Robinson said. "I've seen a few and heard a few (strange injuries) in my time. It's quite a serious injury for him, but it's one that makes you do chuckle when you hear about it."
Expect Gershon Koffie to fill in the defensive midfield role alongside Matias Laba.