Whitecaps fed up with slow starts to games
Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata (8) scores a goal while defended by Vancouver Whitecaps defender Johnny Leveron (16) during the first half at Rio Tinto Stadium, April 26, 2014; Sandy, UT, U.S. (Photo: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)
If anyone has any ideas on how the Vancouver Whitecaps can get off to a better start to their games, give head coach Carl Robinson a shout.
"If you know, let me know," the first-year manager said this week. "We started slowly in one or two games, and it's important we don't get into that rhythm. They played with no fear in the second half when we were two-nil down, but I want them to play that way when it's nil-nil at the start of the game.
"We'll be working on that."
For two games now, the Whitecaps have found themselves trailing after the opening 45 minutes. But last Saturday against Real Salt Lake was even more ridiculous as they were down by two goals just eight minutes into the match. Of course, late-game dramatics helped them draw even at 2-2 and salvage a point, but they can't afford another poor start.
"With young players, it's hard for them to adjust things on the pitch themselves," Robinson said. "At halftime, we made one or two adjustments to that and were able to then play on the front foot. The learning side of that is when things don't go your way, and they didn't after eight minutes away from home in a hostile environment, you just weather the storm a little bit and we did."
The Whitecaps are back home this week to host the San Jose Earthquakes and to look for their first win in five games. But a four-game winless stretch isn't exactly deflating, especially with veterans like Andy O'Brien able to put things into perspective.
"Even after the first game this season when everybody was singing our praises, we knew that we have to put our feet on the ground," the centre back said. "At the end of the day, the table doesn't lie and we are where we are and we want to try to improve where we are."
Follow defender Steve Beitashour will get to play his former team for the first time, after being acquired by the Whitecaps in January. The 27-year-old Iranian-American spent four seasons with the Earthquakes, playing 87 games and scoring twice.
"Playing against them will be fun," Beitashour said. "They have some momentum now but we're hungry and hopefully May will be a lot nicer to us and we can get back on track.