Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Vancouver Whitecaps Looking to Get Back on Track against San Jose Earthquakes

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Vancouver Whitecaps Looking to Get Back on Track against San Jose Earthquakes

Article excerpt

Whitecaps hit the road to take on Earthquakes

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The Vancouver Whitecaps had to scrap and claw right down to the wire to make the playoffs in 2014. They're in a more comfortable position this season, but that doesn't mean there isn't a similar sense of urgency with four games to go on the schedule.

Coming off back-to-back home losses in Major League Soccer, the Whitecaps head into Saturday's road tilt against the San Jose Earthquakes sitting two points back of the Los Angeles Galaxy for top spot in both the overall standings and the Western Conference.

Perhaps more importantly, a number of teams are nipping at Vancouver's heels in the race for a top-2 finish in the West and a bye to the conference semifinals.

"It is different (compared) to last year, but it's just as important," Whitecaps defender Jordan Harvey said. "We just need to get back on form."

Goals have been hard to come by in recent weeks after a relative deluge of 13 in four league games between July 26 and Aug. 15, including a 3-1 home win over San Jose. Vancouver (15-12-3) scored just once -- on a penalty kick -- in those consecutive losses at B.C. Place Stadium to the Seattle Sounders and New York City FC, paying a hefty price for a number of wasted chances.

"We need to score goals. The game's about scoring goals," said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. "One goal in two league games is not good enough."

Sandwiched between those results was a 3-0 defeat in CONCACAF Champions League play in Seattle, making the drought even more ominous.

"We know we've got the guys up front with the quality to score," said Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted. "We just need to keep getting in position and creating the chances."

Robinson set a target this spring of scoring 25 more goals than the 41 his team bagged last season. With four games to go, Vancouver has 42 so far in 2015 -- an improvement, but not nearly what the coach had envisioned. …

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