Newspaper article The Canadian Press

After Champions League Disappointment, Wounded Whitecaps Visit Real Salt Lake

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

After Champions League Disappointment, Wounded Whitecaps Visit Real Salt Lake

Article excerpt

Whitecaps visit RSL in return to MLS action

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Battered, bruised and disappointed, the Vancouver Whitecaps don't have much time to dwell on what might have been.

Vancouver was bounced from the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals on Wednesday, losing 2-1 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate to Tigres UANL.

The Whitecaps got the early goal to make the Mexican champions sweat a little, but in the end were sent packing by a world-class strike from French international Andre-Pierre Gignac that snuffed out any real hope of advancing.

"It was a great journey for us," said Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson. "They should be proud of themselves, what they've achieved -- don't have any sadness.

"Maybe a little bit of disappointment, but that drives you on and makes you stronger."

Strength, however, could be an issue as primary focus now returns to Major League Soccer, where the undermanned Whitecaps (1-2-1) visit Real Salt Lake (0-3-2) on Saturday night.

Robinson faces a number of selection headaches, especially with his forward-thinking players, going into the match after Brek Shea (knee) was hurt against Tigres, joining Erik Hurtado (foot contusion) and Yordy Reyna (broken foot) on the sidelines for the foreseeable future.

The trip to take on Real Salt Lake is also Vancouver's third game in eight days, meaning a number of regular starters will also likely need to be rested.

Fredy Montero, who came on at halftime against the Los Angeles Galaxy last weekend and scored to help secure the Whitecaps' first win of the MLS season, played 90 minutes on Wednesday despite a recent hamstring issue.

Alphonso Davies subbed in for Shea following the injury in mid-week after the 16-year-old also played 90 minutes against the Galaxy, while Christian Bolanos and Cristian Techera have both put in 180 minutes over the last two games.

"We've said all along that we think we have a good squad," said Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted. "The guys who get the chances have to step up and prove (themselves). …

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