The Vancouver Whitecaps arguably left their most menacing attacker out of the 18-man gameday roster for Monday’s 2-0 shutout loss against the LA Galaxy.
But following the match, the omission of winger Kekuta Manneh was simply described by 'Caps head coach Carl Robinson as a “coach's decision.”
“The message to the group is 'Listen. We’re together. We’re a team. When you get your chance, take your chance,'" Robinson said. "I thought the guys in the team took their chances today ... He’ll [Manneh] be back involved next week.”
When asked if Manneh’s absence had anything to do with a possible transfer, Robinson’s answer was a swift “no, no it doesn’t.”
Despite the loss, Robinson was pleased with his team’s play as they outshot the home team 26-9.
“We got into some great positions,” Robinson acknowledged, “but we didn’t have that quality in and around the penalty box, which was the disappointing thing from a very positive performance.”
That lack of punch in front of goal could have the Whitecaps looking for a striker now that the summer transfer window is open.
“I think you’re always looking at the top end of your pitch,” Robinson said when asked if the striker position was on their shopping list. “Games are won and lost at the top end and if you can’t put the ball into the back of the net, and up until today we’ve done very well at it, but we need to be better. We know that.”
Despite their inability to finish -- the Whitecaps’ players echoed their coach's sentiments -- Vancouver could still take away positives from their overall play, and especially the buildup in the final third.
“We had our chances, but that’s football,” Vancouver winger Christian Bolanos said after the match. “LA created less chances, but they scored. You have to keep going because we played a good game.”