Sports Soccer

Vancouver Whitecaps believe in coach

By Hosea Cheung, 24 hours Vancouver

Vancouver Whitecaps coach Carol Robinson. (FILE PHOTO/24 HOURS)

Vancouver Whitecaps coach Carol Robinson. (FILE PHOTO/24 HOURS)


That was what Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson preached at halftime of Saturday's game. And much like they did a week ago, a resilient Whitecaps bunch came through again — in dramatic fashion nonetheless — this time to pull off a 2-2 draw against the only undefeated club in MLS so far this season.

"I didn’t want us to be fearful," Robinson said after their road tie with Real Salt Lake. "I told them at halftime what I expected. We dug ourselves a hole, and had to try and dig ourselves out.

"Prior to us scoring, I think we had three or four good chances where we could have got one, but didn’t and I looked at the time and thought maybe if we freshened up a little bit and we got a little bit of luck.”

Call it luck or just another game where the substitutes made a significant impact. This time it was Uruguayans Nicolas Mezquida and Sebastian Fernandez — the former scoring in the 86th minute and the latter late in injury time — playing saviour for Vancouver.

It completed the comeback after the team had fallen down by two goals just eight minutes into the match. The final score only gave the 'Caps one point, but it still felt like a victory.

"It is a get-out-of-jail card because we were two-nil down," Robinson said of his 2-2-4 side. "It is important we learn from that. I said to them (Saturday) that it is about character. In the last two games against top teams we have shown that if we go behind it isn’t over."

Vancouver closed out the month of April without a win, and with just two points out of a possible 12. They return home to host the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday as they search to get back in the winning column.

As for that halftime speech, goalkeeper David Ousted, who finished with three saves, said it made the difference.

“(There was) a little bit of yelling and it got us going and I am proud of us for getting the point."

Note: The Whitecaps announced the launching of a new Ring of Honour in celebration of their 40th anniversary. The first four inductees are team president Bob Lenarduzzi (May 3 home game), former women's team captain Andrea Neil (Aug. 10), former player Carl Valentine (Sept. 10), and the late Domenic Mobilio (Oct. 4).


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