Two 2-0 defeats in a row for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
With Saturday’s afternoon loss to the Seattle Sounders, the ‘Caps don’t lose position – they were already in fifth place due to their low amount of goals scored – but the club has missed an opportunity to solidify its playoff position.
“It was one of those games where I think we were playing quite well and overall our performance in the game was good,” head coach Martin Rennie told TEAM 1410 following the match. “Playing the third game in a week against a team who had a week off is always a bit tricky and it’s one of those things where you must keep your focus and concentration.”
Undone by a set piece for the opener by Whitecaps killer Fredy Montero, who has four goals all-time against Vancouver, the ‘Caps then conceded a late goal to Eddie Johnson.
WATCH: Full match highlights
“I thought at the time it probably wasn’t a free kick,” Rennie said of the call that led to the opener. “But regardless of that, we didn’t defend the free kick well, and once we lost that goal the game opened up a bit obviously – we were chasing it a little bit and we were hit by the second one. But at that point you have to go for it to try and get back in the game.”
Vancouver was forced to play the match without Barry Robson, after the Disciplinary Committee handed down a one-game suspension Saturday morning for kicking a ball in the direction of an assistant referee in Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to FC Dallas.
Robson spoke with media following Saturday’s defeat, slamming the league’s decision to suspend him on such short notice. The Whitecaps were notified of the suspension on Friday evening, before the official announcement from the MLS Disciplinary Committee was made the next morning.
“I was supposed to be playing and then the manager’s had to change – the whole team has had to change,” Robson said. “It was a huge disadvantage and I feel sorry for the players and the staff at our club, but what can I do?”
Robson’s suspension was a blow to a lineup already dealing with the suspension of central defender Martin Bonjour and the absence of his center back partner Jay DeMerit, who is still recovering from a concussion, but Rennie is taking it all in stride.
“We’re dealing with a bit of adversity just now,” he said. “Little things like the international call-ups and Barry’s late suspension – things like that – they’re all part of the game.
“But it’ll be nice for us to get Barry back and Jay back and now we’ve got Andy O’Brien having played more minutes and we’ve got Kenny [Miller] having played more minutes, so it’s exciting going into this next phase of the season.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.