Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Whitecaps Trading Texas Humidity for Colorado's Altitude against Rapids

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Whitecaps Trading Texas Humidity for Colorado's Altitude against Rapids

Article excerpt

Whitecaps set to visit Colorado Rapids

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The Vancouver Whitecaps are trading the steaming Texas humidity for Colorado's thin air.

One thing they hope doesn't change is the final product.

The Whitecaps visit the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night coming off their most impressive -- and quite frankly, surprising -- performance of the season last week against FC Dallas.

Vancouver travelled to the Lone Star State to meet what was then the top team in Major League Soccer's Western Conference sporting a pathetic 0-8-0 all-time record at Toyota Stadium while getting outscored a combined 16-3.

The game-time temperature hovered near 40 C, but the Whitecaps grabbed an early lead, doubled it after halftime and then poured in two more goals after Dallas had a player sent off for a convincing 4-0 victory.

"We know how difficult it is with the heat and the conditions," said Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson. "(The players) deserve a lot of credit. I set them up and organized them, but they were the ones that played.

"It was satisfying."

Even more so after the Whitecaps were soundly beaten 2-1 at home the previous week by the severely undermanned Portland Timbers.

"I couldn't recognize the team against Portland," said Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted. "Those weren't the Whitecaps I know. The team that played Dallas was the one I knew -- working hard and getting the nitty-gritty stuff done."

The focus for Vancouver (9-8-3) now shifts to Colorado (6-12-2), with the Whitecaps knowing last weekend's good vibes will be short-lived if they don't maintain the same level against the Rapids in a game that will be played at altitude.

"We need to do that in Colorado now, we need to do that next week in New England," said Ousted. "There has to be a consistency there every single time and making sure that's the standard."

Vancouver occupies the sixth and final playoff spot in the West, but have at least two games in hand on every team ahead of them in the standings, save for Dallas. …

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