Vancouver Whitecaps' Nigel Reo-Coker takes surprise benching in stride

Vancouver's Nigel Reo-Coker

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VANCOUVER, B.C. -- This hasn't been the start to the 2014 campaign Nigel Reo-Coker was hoping for, and it may have gotten just a little worse over the weekend for the Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder.

Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson brought the 29-year-old down Englishman to Los Angeles but left him on the bench for the duration of Vancouver's 1-0 defeat to the LA Galaxy, leaving Reo-Coker to wait at least one more week before returning to action after tripping over a bike rack and suffering a concussion on streets of Vancouver three weeks ago.

“It's always tough to watch games,” Reo-Coker told reporters following a training session at the University of British Columbia on Tuesday. “But, you know, it's a decision the manager made. He spoke to me, and that's it. The game is played, and we got the result we didn't want, but so be it.”

Reo-Coker and Robinson engaged in a conversation following training that both sides insisted was cordial, but Reo-Coker appeared slightly frustrated on Tuesday and said he was unsure if he’ll be used in a rematch against the Galaxy this weekend at B.C. Place.

“That's down to the manager,” Reo-Coker said. “I don't know what he's going to do this week. He hasn't said anything tactics-wise or team-wise what he's going to do. We're just working on basic principles, what he wants to do better as a team.

“But he hasn't said anything about what team he's going to pick or what he's going to look to do.”

When asked directly if exclusion this weekend once again would be a frustrating blow, Reo-Coker stuck to the script.

“I've experienced a lot in my career so far,” he said. “You can only control certain elements as a professional football player. All I can do is train well and train to the best of my ability. The rest is down to management to pick the team that they see fit and good enough to win whatever game respectively we're playing.”

Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.