VANCOUVER, B.C. -- In Carl Robinson's words, there are 33 games to go for his Vancouver Whitecaps.
And while the realization is that Saturday's 4-1 thrashing of defending Supporters Shield winners New York Red Bulls was just one game in a long MLS season, what a game it was for the Welsh boss in his first career match as a head coach.
Two of his new signings in Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales scored well-taken goals, and Designated Player Kenny Miller scored a brace – this despite the 34-year-old looking as if he wouldn't be fit at all just a couple of weeks ago.
“I think it was written in the stars,” Robinson told reporters at BC Place immediately following the match. “The way the first game came out, and it was [against] my old team, things like that. But it's just the beginning. We know we've got a lot of work to do, but we'll get back to work [at practice] on Monday.”
If there's any challenge going into next week, it could be tempering expectations after such a convincing thrashing of one of the league's powerhouse clubs – but Robinson insists he isn't too worried about the result getting to his players' heads.
“It's important that they start off on the right foot,” Robinson said of his charges. “It's important that I keep pushing them to those standards...it's important that you do enjoy it when you do do well. We did well today, we got our reward, but it's the first game. There's still 33 games to go.”
While a convincing result, Robinson did take time to mention the Red Bulls' stoppage time consolation goal, which ruined David Ousted's shutout bid.
“I don't like giving up goals in the last minute,” Robinson said. “I said to the guys, 'enjoy the occasion.' It's great, I'm delighted for them, but when we conceded the goal, the last two or three minutes, even when we're 4-1 up...that annoyed me, but it won't take away the gloss of a fantastic performance.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.