Whitecaps host against Real Salt Lake looking to snap 3-game losing streak

Ending their losing streak is all the Whitecaps care about when they host Salt Lake in Vancouver

Style points won’t be top of mind for the Vancouver Whitecaps when they face Real Salt Lake on Friday night.

Snapping a three-game Major League Soccer losing streak is all the Whitecaps care about when they host Salt Lake at BC Place Stadium.

“The main thing here is we need to win, pretty or ugly, just win,” said captain Kendall Waston.

It’s only the ninth game of the season for Vancouver, but Waston didn’t hesitate to label the match a must-win.

“Must-win, yes of course,” said the big Costa Rican defender. “Nothing else.

“In our mind only three points and that’s it.”

The Whitecaps suffered the worst defeat in their MLS history when they were throttled 6-0 by Sporting Kansas City last weekend at Children’s Mercy Park. Forwards Yordy Reyna and midfielder Efrain Juarez were handed red cards during a melee in the 40th minute when Vancouver was already trailing 3-0.

Midfielder Felipe said the Whitecaps are facing a test of pride.

“Now it’s not about the beautiful soccer,” he said. “It’s about how much we care about this team, how much we show personality next game.

“That’s what good teams do. It’s a wakeup call. Play ugly and win. The most important thing is to get three points.”

After a promising start to the season Vancouver (3-4-1) has tumbled down the table and now sits in the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference standings with 10 points.

Both Real Salt Lake and the L.A. Galaxy have 10 points from 3-3-1- records but have played one less game.

Salt Lake beat Vancouver 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium two weeks ago.

Head coach Carl Robinson has faced criticism this season for playing a bland, unexciting style that has failed to produce goals.

The Whitecaps have been outscored 10-1 over during their losing streak and 17-8 on the season. Vancouver’s minus-nine goal differential is the worst of any team in the league.

Felipe said now isn’t the time to be thinking about artistic merit.

“It’s not about putting on a good show,” he said. “It’s about winning. You can play ugly and win three points. That’s what soccer is about.

“We played well in Salt Lake and we didn’t win. We had other games where we played ugly and we won. In the end nobody is going to remember if we played beautiful or not. It’s what we do to get three points.”

Midfielder Jordon Mutch is expected to return to the lineup after missing several games with a hamstring injury. He said all teams navigate choppy waters during a season.

“This happens with every team, it doesn’t matter what league you are in,” said Mutch, who is on a one-year loan from Crystal Palace of the English Premier League. “You have these sorts of results.

“It’s how you bounce back. The season is 10 months, it’s not three weeks. I’m sure we will be fine.”

Real Salt Lake is coming off a 3-0 win at home over the Colorado Rapids. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando knows Vancouver is going to be motivated.

“It’s going to be a big game,” Rimando told the Salt Lake website. “We are going to be ready for them to have some hunger.

“It’s not good to lose the way they did in Kansas City, so we expect them to have some fire in them.”

The Whitecaps have played five of their eight matches on the road, but home hasn’t always been comfortable. After winning their opening game, Vancouver is 0-1-1 and hasn’t scored a goal at home.

The Whitecaps were booed off the field by their fans following a 2-0 loss to Los Angeles FC April 13.

“The fans should be mad,” said Felipe. “That’s their job. It’s also time to support us in the difficult moments. It’s easy in tough moments to scream at us and say things about us.”

Jim Morris, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Burn scars now a ‘badge of honour’

White Rock woman shares story of survival after a terrible accident in 1978

Langley Demonstration Garden: Bee there or bee square

The opening day of the season for the public garden featured a bee theme.

Langley boxer’s represent at ‘Turmoil on 200th’

Langley Event Centre hosts first ever pro boxing show

VIDEO: Walnut Grove Secondary students host Gator Music Festival

All proceeds will benefit children with special needs from Langley

Letter: Extend large item garbage collection to Langley townhouses

A townhouse resident would like the same pick up option that’s given to single family dwellings.

VIDEO: Pro-pipeline rally hosted by Langley family

The new organization Suits and Boots held the rally to support the resource sector.

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

COLUMN: Women’s breasts really aren’t that big a deal

A follow on some Princeton, B.C., students gained considerable exposure when they dropped their bras

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

B.C.’s devastating 2017 wildfire season revisited in new book

British Columbia Burning written by CBC journalist Bethany Lindsay

Most Read