An entire season without an away victory? For the Vancouver Whitecaps, that could very well happen.
Following their 3-0 loss to the LA Galaxy on Saturday, the ‘Caps only have one more shot at claiming three points on the road, when they face FC Dallas on Oct. 15 at Pizza Hut Park.
While Vancouver have been solid at home with a 4-3-5 record, their away form has been diabolical, with a record of 0-11-5.
Still, the players insist there isn’t a mental block about playing on the road.
“It’s the last thing on our mind, especially when that whistle blows,” veteran Peter Vagenas told reporters at the Home Depot Center after Saturday's loss. “We try to pick up points, and if they come at home or on the road, so be it. But we don’t go in thinking it’s a bigger game for us because it’s on the road or what not. We’re trying to go forward here.”
Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit is on the same page.
“Every game away from home is an opportunity to snap that streak," he said, "but I think ultimately for us it’s just about consistency and performances and we haven’t done that all season. So, we’re going to have to keep working on that.”
But how do they keep working on that? The key lies in being opportunistic and finishing their chances, according to interim head coach Tom Soehn.
“Right now, we are focused on getting better,” Soehn said following Saturday’s match. “We outshot [the Galaxy] in their building, but they are ruthless. When they get their chances, they put them away, and that’s what we are not doing right now and that’s why we are not getting results on the road.”
If the ‘Caps fail to get three points in Dallas, they will become the fourth team in league history to finish a season winless on the road, joining the LA Galaxy (2003), Real Salt Lake (2005) and the New York Red Bulls (2009).
But with four consecutive home games coming up, including three at the new BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver, the team hopes to build momentum and carry that into Dallas — and ultimately avoid joining that ignominious club.
“We have a stretch of homes games now, which will be good for us, and hopefully establish a rhythm at home and carry that to our next road game in Dallas,” Soehn said. “We’re still taking it one game at a time and make sure we are ready for our next home contest.
“We have some big games against real rivals and we want to be ready for those and continue to push our guys so that we become better and set ourselves to understand what we need moving forward and make sure we know what our mentality is to finish out the year.”