VANCOUVER, B.C. – The general feeling for the Vancouver Whitecaps following Sunday's 1-1 draw with a 10-man Chivas USA was one of disappointment, of a chance missed to get maximum points on the road.
But on Tuesday, after the team trained at the University of British Columbia for the first time since that result down in California, a few of the senior players and staff were trying to put things in perspective – any point picked up away from home is important, especially in MLS, where it's notoriously difficult to pick up points on the road.
“Let's be honest here,” center back and club captain Jay DeMerit told reporters at UBC on Tuesday. “We picked up a point away from home. There's definitely no sad faces in [the locker room]. To come away with a point away from home, I think you take that.
“Especially looking at the positives – how there is disappointment naturally for picking up a point away, so, in a way, that's a good thing, that we're disappointed after picking up a point.”
Assistant coach Martyn Pert, standing in for media availability as head coach Carl Robinson, had, in Pert's words, “a case of the sniffles,” also attempted to frame Sunday's draw as a positive result if not the best possible outcome.
“Let's take everything into consideration,” Pert told reporters Tuesday. “You're not going to win the game 4-1 every week, or play as well as we did at home. So, you can't compare game to game ... it was our first game away from home, first game on grass, we're a new team, so things aren't always going to go your way.
“We got a point, we had 12 chances at goals. If we converted one of them, we'd have come away with a 2-1 win away from home. And when you go down to 10 men, the kind of work rate they put in was – let's give them some credit – they worked their socks off against us and did very well, so it was a difficult game.
“But we're still unbeaten, so it's good.”
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Some pundits have suggested Russell Teibert's absence on Sunday perhaps contributed to the side's flat start, as the energetic Niagara Falls, Ontario, native missed out due to a hamstring strain, but Pert suggested there was more at play in Vancouver's slow start than the missing Canadian.
“It's a squad game,” Pert said. “It's not one player. This is a team, team mentality, collective mentality. We're a team. I wouldn't single out Russell out for any reason for any reason why we didn't win the game, that's for sure – we're capable with the players that we put out there, not problem at all.
“Russell's a good player, obviously, but the other players that were out there were more than capable.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.