Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Winless Whitecaps Looking to Stay at Full Strength against Galaxy

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Winless Whitecaps Looking to Stay at Full Strength against Galaxy

Article excerpt

Whitecaps eager to stay at full strength

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VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Whitecaps feel pretty good about how things have gone so far in 2017 -- when they have a full complement of players on the pitch.

Vancouver is without a victory through its first three games of the Major League Soccer season, but has lost its last two after seeing players sent off in both matches.

Veteran goalkeeper David Ousted was shown a red card for fouling an opponent outside the penalty area with his team up 2-0 midway through the first half in San Jose on March 11 before the Earthquakes eventually came back to win 3-2.

Then newly acquired midfielder Brek Shea swore at the referee to reduce the Whitecaps to 10 men the following weekend just as they seemed to be finding their groove with 20 minutes to go in a scoreless game at home against Toronto FC.

The ejection proved to again be the turning point in a 2-0 defeat, a result that dropped Vancouver to 0-2-1 in MLS despite having not allowed a goal against while at full strength.

"There's definitely things to build on," said defender Sheanon Williams. "We've just got to keep bodies on the field."

As in years past, scoring goals has also been an issue for the Whitecaps, with the only two so far coming in that loss to San Jose. Freshly minted designated player Fredy Montero has yet to connect in the league, too often marooned on an island at the top of the formation as the lone striker.

"The league is very funny," said head coach Carl Robinson. "You go through periods where you don't win. It's important you remain calm and it's important you stick to your beliefs."

After a week off because of an international break, Vancouver opens a tough stretch of three games in eight days on Saturday at home against the Los Angeles Galaxy (1-2-0) in MLS play.

The Whitecaps will then look to turn around a 2-0 deficit against Mexican giants Tigres UANL in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal on Wednesday at B. …

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