The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
After poor outing against Impact, Whitecaps looking to rebound against Rapids
The Vancouver Whitecaps can't afford to dwell on the past.
The Major League Soccer club put in a poor performance midweek against the lowly Montreal Impact, settling for a 0-0 draw with a team that came in with just 10 points this season.
But with six games in a 33-day span beginning with Saturday's matchup against the Colorado Rapids, now isn't the time to look in the rear-view mirror.
"We've got to dust ourselves off now and go into the next game," said veteran Whitecaps defender Andy O'Brien. "I don't think it drags us down. I've been in the game long enough to know that sometimes it doesn't jell for you."
Wednesday's tie against Montreal came after an 18-day layoff because of the MLS's World Cup break — a hiatus at an inopportune time for a Whitecaps team that had scored nine goals in its three previous outings.
Despite the two dropped points at home, Vancouver extended its unbeaten streak in the league to eight games heading into a key matchup against a Western Conference rival.
The Whitecaps (5-2-7) currently occupy the fifth and final playoff position in the West, but are tied on points with third-place Colorado (6-5-4) at 22 with a game in hand.
"We're going there to the altitude against a strong Colorado team — a Western Conference rival," said Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted, who picked his third shutout of the season on Wednesday. "We need to be ready for that game and be aware they're going to come hard at us from the start."
Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson rued the missed opportunity against Montreal, but was quick to point out a good result on the weekend will make the Impact game seem like a distant memory.
"We're going to have to make up two points somewhere along the line," said Robinson. "We go to Colorado on Saturday. Tough place to go, Western Conference team. We go there and try and win because if we win we pick up four points from the two games and it's a positive points total."
The Welshman went with a speedy lineup against a Montreal side that was happy to sit deep, and it will be interesting to see who makes the starting 11 against Colorado after that sluggish performance.
The Rapids handed the Whitecaps one of their only two defeats in MLS this season, a 2-1 triumph at B.C. Place Stadium in April thanks to two late goals from Colorado midfielder Jose Mari.
Colorado is coming off a 2-1 loss on Tuesday to the second-tier Atlanta Silverbacks in the domestic U.S. Open Cup competition.
Wednesday's disappointing result aside, Vancouver produced a clean sheet for the first time in three games — a span that saw the Whitecaps allow seven goals against in a victory and two draws.
"We'll take the positives from it," said O'Brien. "I think it's a sign ... that if you don't play well make sure you don't get beat."
Notes: Whitecaps striker Erik Hurtado had his streak of goals in five straight games snapped against the Impact. ... Vancouver's next game after Saturday is July 5 at home against the Seattle Sounders. ... The Whitecaps and Rapids will close out the regular season against each other on Oct. 25 at B.C. Place.
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