BURNABY, B.C. – The big man has found his scoring boots once again.
It took a while for Eric Hassli to get going this season, going seven appearances without a goal to start the year, but since then, the 31-year-old has been on a tear for the Vancouver Whitecaps, bagging goals in three of his last four matches in all competitions.
WATCH: Hassli stays hot, scores vs. Revs
His most recent came in Vancouver’s 4-1 loss to the New England Revolution on Saturday, as he got things started with a fifth-minute opener orchestrated by a nice piece of interplay between Davide Chiumiento and Sébastien Le Toux.
Now, Hassli is looking to put that match in the rear view mirror and focus on Wednesday’s first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship finals at BC Place (10 pm ET, Sportsnet).
“We did a great start,” Hassli told MLSsoccer.com after training at Swangard Stadium on Monday. “But, we made mistakes. We win together, we lose together – it doesn’t matter – now we have to be focused on Wednesday.”
Hassli is hoping to remedy last season’s final defeat to Toronto FC, which he described on Monday as “the worst in my career, maybe.” It was more than just the loss that irked the Frenchman – it was the circumstances surrounding the second leg in Toronto.
It was a rather unforgettable situation – torrential rain transformed the surface at BMO Field into a swamp, forcing match officials to abandon the match. That threw Vancouver’s 1-0 lead out the window, as under Canadian Championship rules any uncompleted match must be replayed in its entirety with a fresh scoreline.
“This Canadian cup was stolen or something,” Hassli said. “I was mad, I was sad. But now, we have another chance, and it starts on Wednesday so we have to be focused on that.”
Game, set, match
Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie elected for a light training session on Monday, setting several mini courts up for a three-a-side soccer tennis tournament.
In a thrilling final, Jordan Harvey, Russell Teibert and John Thorrington defeated Camilo, Omar Salgado and Martín Bonjour.
“It’s just recovery and having fun,” Rennie said of the thinking behind it. “It’s a long trip to Boston. It just gets the legs going again. It’s fairly light, but it’s still game specific.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.