Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Whitecaps Want Improved, No-Nonsense Defence in Game against Colorado

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Whitecaps Want Improved, No-Nonsense Defence in Game against Colorado

Article excerpt

Whitecaps need better defence against Rapids

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VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Whitecaps have scored an average of 2.2 goals over their last four games, enough to win most Major League Soccer matches.

Problem is, over the same span the Whitecaps have also allowed an average 2.2 goals, resulting in Vancouver settling for four consecutive draws.

Early in the season Vancouver struggled to score goals. Now the Whitecaps are finding the back of the net but are being penalized by giving up goals due to some sloppy defensive work.

It's a situation the Whitecaps hope to change Friday night when they play the Colorado Rapids on the road.

"Usually a team that scores two or three goals gets the win," midfielder Felipe said after training this week. "From our own mistakes we are giving away points, because of giveaways and some mistakes in the back."

The Whitecaps have won once in their last nine games (1-4-4) and head into the weekend below the playoff line sitting seventh in the Western Conference with 17 points.

Recent results have been a mixed bag for Vancouver. The Whitecaps have come from behind four times for the tie, twice scoring late in injury time.

Head coach Carl Robinson likes the character his side has shown but has sprouted grey hairs over some of his team's defensive lapses.

"It shows we are not far away," Robinson said. "We've had lots of good days recently, but we haven't picked up as many points as we would have liked because we've made individual errors.

"What we need to do is cut out the nonsense of the individual mistakes and the silly goals, and then try and take our chances. We are sitting probably where we deserve to be based on the chances we've missed as well as the bad goals we have given up."

Felipe said going a goal down changes the game plan.

"We have to be more calm in certain areas and absorb the pressure other teams are giving us," he said. "Most of the games this year we have been down and then you have to chase the game. …

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