VANCOUVER, B.C. – Whitecaps FC co-owner Steve Nash couldn't have picked a better time to take in his first match at newly renovated BC Place than Wednesday night.
His team's 2-1 win over D.C. United wasn't just Vancouver's second victory in a row in their new home, it was the first time the 'Caps had won two games in a row all year — and they did it in front more than 17,000 fans.
“To come in for the first time today was a great feeling,” the Victoria, B.C., native told MLSsoccer.com at halftime of Wednesday’s win. “We watched BC Place be a part of our community for so long, and also in a way see it deteriorate over the years. So to see it fresh and new and revamped is really exciting – what a great venue for our club.”
The former NBA Most Valuable Player weighed in on young players like Long Tan and Nizar Khalfan getting a chance for the ‘Caps in the last two matches.
“I think it’s great,” Nash said. “This time of year is difficult, being outside the playoff picture, and we’ve got a lot of guys who’ve worked really hard this year. Some could maybe use a few games off and some of the young guys deserve a chance.
“We saw against Salt Lake some of the young guys played really well and had an opportunity to gain some confidence, and for us to take a look at how far they’ve come this year,” he continued. “It’s nice to see a bit of a mixture of players as we close the season out.”
The 37-year-old reflected on the season to date, and also dropped a few hints on what he’d like to see the club do during the offseason.
“We’d love a little more quality in depth,” Nash said. “It’s a very difficult thing to do as an expansion team, coming in and picking up a team on the fly and putting it all together. We’ve had some bad luck, some bad injuries, we’ve had some games that could have gone our way but didn’t.
“You feel proud of our guys, but there’s not a team in our league that isn’t trying to improve their roster,” he continued. “I think we’ve got a really good nucleus, some key players and some really quality players. If we can just find the right chemistry and depth in different positions, we’ll have a much better year next year.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.