'Caps reach promising halfway point in matchup vs. Rapids

Martin Rennie

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BURNABY, B.C. – The halfway point for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Wednesday’s match against the Colorado Rapids (9:30 pm, MLS Live) will mark that stage in the 2012 MLS season for the Canadian club, who sit in fourth place in the Western Conference, level on points with the third-place Seattle Sounders with 26.

“I’m always an optimist, so I always think it can be at least where it is right now,” head coach Martin Rennie said following a training session on Tuesday at Burnaby Lake field. “We just need to keep getting better, we need to set very high standards and I think we’re in a good position but you always want to be in a better position.”

The ‘Caps are set for a busy spell in which they’ll play seven games in 24 days, five of which will be away from home. Vancouver are much improved on the road this season, with a record of 2-3-2 after failing to pick up a single away win in 2011.

“This next phase of games on the road is a good chance for us,” Rennie said. “I like playing on the road, our team likes playing on the road. We’ve enjoyed good results on the road already and so it’s going to be good fun to get together and work hard to pick up points away from home.”

The last time the Rapids and ‘Caps met on June 16, Vancouver pulled out a remarkable 1-0 victory at BC Place, despite playing the last half hour a man down after Darren Mattocks was ejected for picking up two yellows within seconds of each other at the hour mark.

“It’s another one of those character games that you try to rely on or look to during the season to try and match that performance,” captain Jay DeMerit said. “To go down to 10 men we very easily could have given up and gone for a draw, but the character we have to push on and to find that goal and get those three points should set a standard or a mark of where we need to get to, and something we can hopefully repeat.”

Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.