ORLANDO, Fla. – If you think today’s Vancouver Whitecaps look impressive, you’ve seen nothing yet.
After Wednesday night’s third straight shutout victory in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, the latest one over Eastern Conference power Sporting Kansas City, Frenchman Sébastien Le Toux is hoping for even more.
“We are happy with our performance but we know we can still progress a lot,” Le Toux said after the match, during which he scored the opening goal.
“It’s good for the confidence but we’re not going to believe we are the best today,” the Frenchman continued. “It’s just one more game of the preseason. The season is very long and we are going to have maybe some difficult moments. But it’s better when you start like that.”
Not to be overlooked is the fact that it was a Whitecaps second-choice side that handily defeated what was largely a first-choice Sporting KC squad.
Highlights: VAN 3, SKC 0
“We showed tonight at maybe with not all the starters we can step up and win an important game,” Le Toux said. “We need everybody during the season. It’s not just 10 guys or 11 that will start and play until the end.”
The star of the show for Vancouver was midfielder Davide Chiumiento, who operated mainly on the left side of midfield and dished out two assists on the night, including on the opener to Le Toux.
While his creativity is a known quantity, Chiumiento's battling spirit and hustle to win the ball back are what stood out.
“The coach was asking to give more in the second half and I think we had a great second half,” said Chiumiento about his team's three-goal explosion after the break. “Everybody wanted to win and to show [themselves] and that was great for the mentality and that shows that the team is ready.”
The Whitecaps will await one of FC Dallas or Toronto FC in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic final on Saturday night at 8 pm ET (ESPN3.com).
Manager Martin Rennie has not yet revealed how he will juggle his lineup with the tournament final on Saturday night followed by a Community Shield match against the Carolina Railhawks on Sunday.
Whatever direction Rennie takes, the Whitecaps have shown him that they have enough players to field two teams that are equally competitive.
Said winger Michael Nanchoff, “We’re getting down and dirty and we’re just having fun.”