VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The Vancouver Whitecaps continue to be a puzzling side this season.
The Whitecaps were hoping to capitalize on Saturday's win over an MLS-leading FC Dallas side and looked to be well on their way to making it six points in four days. But sloppy defending and indiscipline nearly ended up costing them all three points on Wednesday at home against Sporting Kansas City, after conceding a first-half equalizer and seeing Kendall Waston sent off at the start of the second.
In the end, both sides had to settle for a point after an edgy 1-1 draw but it left Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson feeling a little bemused as to what to make from his side's performance.
"I'm not sure whether to be happy, to be sad, to be frustrated, annoyed," Robinson told reporters after the match. "I thought we played very, very well in the first half. We played some of the most exciting stuff that we have done and we got our noses in front.
"Credit to them, they got back into the game, but that shouldn't happen from us. We switched off in the second phase and when you do that against good teams, you get caught."
Indiscipline is proving to be an all-too-familiar tale for the Whitecaps this season. Waston's dismissal was the Whitecaps' third red card in their first nine matches. It's a scenario Vancouver don't want to get too used to, although so far they haven't conceded any goals with the man disadvantage, coming away with two draws from those three games.
"The second half is just a catalog of errors from us," Robinson admitted. "We've got to make sure that we don't do that too many times, because three times in nine games we've played with 10 men. We haven't conceded a goal, which is good, so the character shown towards the end of the game is phenomenal."
Robinson had no concerns about the second yellow card Waston picked up but took umbrage at the first one he picked up, adding that he doesn't feel that his side have problems with their discipline compared to other teams in the league.
But factor in an additional number of post-match suspensions, and a spate of injuries, and it's been hard for Robinson to field a settled lineup so far this year.
"That's the frustrating thing," Robinson added. "You want to try and get into a rhythm and a groove. We're nine games in and we haven't been able to field a settled team. Is it ill discipline? Do we need to be better? Okay, I'll accept that. But if the sending off today has been caused by a yellow card which is deservedly so, and a non-yellow card, then I can't really criticize their discipline.