VANCOUVER, B.C.—The Vancouver Whitecaps' indiscipline is continuing to cost them points, as their search for the first win of the new season is still continuing following Saturday's frustrating defeat.
This time, Brek Shea was the culprit, picking up two yellow cards within seconds of each other in the 70th minute when the game was still scoreless. The first booking was for a foul, and the second for uttering something to referee Ismail Elfath. Shea's ejection proved to be decisive, as Toronto punished Vancouver hard by scoring two late goals.
"It was a turning point because the game was pretty even," Robinson told reporters after the match. "It played out exactly as I thought it would. Not much action in the first half, and then second half we tried to get into the troops a little bit to try and have an impact and play on our front foot, and we did.
"For 20-plus minutes we were trying to engineer the game and trying to get that goal. Then, obviously Brek's sending off out of nowhere totally affects it and we don't react. We don't respond and we give away a goal, and the first goal was always going to win the game. Disappointing."
The Whitecaps now have more red cards than they do points this new MLS season, following on from last week's dismissal of goalkeeper David Ousted in San Jose. Ousted was replaced on Saturday by Spencer Richey, who made his first MLS start.
All five MLS goals that the 'Caps have allowed this season have come with them playing short-handed, and after last year's disciplinary problems, something needs to change. Robinson acknowledged that post-game, but felt Shea was unfairly punished.
"Listen, I don't condone lack of discipline – 100 percent – at this football club or me as a manager," Robinson said. "But what [Shea] told me he said, and I genuinely 100-percent believe my player, goes on every single minute of the game.
"So it's a fine line and it's a little can of worms, but if [Shea] said it, which he said to me he did, I used to say it every single game. Ten times. So what you've got to do, if you do that, send him off, no problem. We'll respectfully take it, but what you've got to do it for every player. That didn't happen."