Vancouver Whitecaps to keep throttle open despite defending, finishing issues: "It's about entertaining"
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Amongst all the fallout from Seattle's controversial equalizing penalty against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, a couple of impressive, but in some ways troubling, stats for the home side nearly got lost in the shuffle.
The Whitecaps outshot their Western Conference leading visitors 24-8, while David Ousted didn't register one save in the entire match.
Vancouver dominated the early going in the 2-2 draw, but as has been the case on a number of occasions this season, a failure to convert their numerous chances cost them dear and contributed to their fifth draw in 11 games.
"I'm not scratching my head," head coach Carl Robinson told reporters on Monday. "I'm actually enjoying it that we're creating so many chances, if I'm honest – I think 24 shots, and the guys worked out that we've had 67 shots in the last three games against 23 to the opposition.
"We're doing some things right. Obviously we need to take more chances, we know that. We'll be working on that this week as well. We can't continue to score two goals every game and not win, so that's another focus where we have to tidy up another certain area as well."
Robinson's young guns have been exciting to watch this season, and they have played their attacking brand of soccer whether at home or on the road. Gershon Koffie's goal on Saturday saw him become the ninth Whitecap to find the back of the net this season.
Koffie missed a number of other good chances in the game, as did his fellow goalscorer Erik Hurtado as well as Kekuta Manneh. Robinson is aware that a lack of composure often comes with young talent still learning and honing their game.
All a coach can ask for is that those players show the right attitude to learn and improve, and in the case of Hurtado, that meant him choosing to give up his recovery day to work on some of his weaknesses.
"He's been out on the training field today working on his heading because he had two very good chances with his head that he missed from his timing," Robinson revealed. "That shows his growth and development as a young player as well, that he's willing to do that on a rest day today."
- Catch the latest 'Caps headlines at WhitecapsFC.com
Vancouver's attack-minded philosophy may be great to watch, but Robinson know that counts for nothing if the goals and the end results aren't there as well.
"I think every coach has their own ideas and methods in how they want to do things. And mine is, my front four players, I want to give them a freedom to express themselves,” said the rookie head coach. "They have defensive responsibilities and roles, and I make sure they know that, but they're in the team to try and win me the game and create chances.
"That's what this game is about, it's about entertaining. Obviously you want to win, but sometimes the top managers in the world can't entertain and win, so that's obviously the million-dollar question that us young coaches have got to try and find."