Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Whitecaps Looking for Third Straight Victory as Rival Timbers Visit Vancouver

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Whitecaps Looking for Third Straight Victory as Rival Timbers Visit Vancouver

Article excerpt

Whitecaps, Timbers set to renew rivalry


VANCOUVER - Minus their captain and defensive leader, the Vancouver Whitecaps slammed the door shut on an opponent for the first time in nearly two months earlier this week.

The Major League Soccer club will be looking for a similar effort on Sunday against one of its biggest rivals.

The Whitecaps are set to host the Portland Timbers following Wednesday's 1-0 road victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy -- Vancouver's first clean sheet since May 20 and just its fourth of the season.

"I thought we did tremendously well," goalkeeper David Ousted told reporters following the victory at StubHub Center. "The guys put their body on the line blocking shots and making sure to clear headers.

"Any time you get a clean sheet in a tough place like (L.A.), I think your defence has done well."

That group was without hulking centre back Kendall Waston, who was called up as an injury replacement for Costa Rica at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, while fellow defenders Marcel de Jong and Sam Adekugbe, along with midfielders Alphonso Davies and Russell Teibert, were also away at the tournament with the Canadian squad.

Waston and Costa Rica have advanced to this weekend's semifinals, but the other four could be available against Portland after Canada was eliminated by Jamaica in Thursday's quarters.

The Whitecaps had given up six goals over their past two games prior to the two-week break in the MLS schedule for the Gold Cup -- a 4-0 road loss to the Chicago Fire on July 1 and a 3-2 home victory over New York City FC four days later.

Keeping the ball out of the back of the net against the Galaxy was a welcome sight for Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson, who had seen his team surrender an average of 1.59 goals per game prior to Wednesday.

"Concentration in football is a major thing," said the Welshman. "Mentality is a huge thing as well. If you concentrate, your mental side is right going into the game. You just have to limit your mistakes, and we did that. …

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