Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Despite Recent Slide, Whitecaps Feeling Confident Ahead of Visit to Portland

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Despite Recent Slide, Whitecaps Feeling Confident Ahead of Visit to Portland

Article excerpt

Whitecaps head to Portland feeling confident

--

VANCOUVER - Despite teetering on the edge of playoff contention and having lost two straight games, Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie is urging fans not to panic.

Rennie is feeling cool and confident ahead of Vancouver's trip to Jeld-Wen Field to face struggling regional rivals the Portland Timbers (5-13-6) on Saturday.

The Whitecaps (10-9-7) have had a week off to train since a 2-0 road loss in Seattle, and Rennie feels that time has made all the difference.

"It's been really important," the coach said Thursday. "Just being out there and seeing how much we've missed being on the training field.

"Especially when you add a couple of players, it's a lot of work to get everything integrated the way you just want it to be, and I think we've not really had the chance to be on the training field as much as we would like.

"But this week we have, and over the next number of weeks we should have that a lot, so that's going to be good and that's important for us."

Vancouver has struggled on the road recently, having lost its last four MLS encounters outside B.C.

And to make the current situation more tense, FC Dallas has closed to within five points of the fifth-place 'Caps, although Vancouver does hold a game in hand. The 'Caps lost 2-0 at home to Dallas prior to Seattle.

Adding to Rennie's confidence is the return of MLS all-star and team captain Jay DeMerit, who sat out the game against the Sounders with concussion. He's also have Scottish midfielder Barry Robson who served his one-match suspension.

DeMerit, who is set to partner with Irish central defender Andy O'Brien in the middle of defence, and midfielder John Thorrington said the full week of practice has been vital.

"We've been able to do more tactical work and set team shapes and things like that, which we haven't had a chance to work on when you have Wednesday and Saturday games back to back," DeMerit said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.