Another road match, and another point for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Saturday’s scoreless draw with Chivas USA maintained Vancouver’s .500 road record, and while picking up the point is clearly important for a team in the second match of five consecutive away games, there was a feeling the match represented a missed opportunity of sorts.
“It's a decent away point,” captain Jay DeMerit told reporters after the match. “Any time you go away from home on these road trips any time you get a point is a positive, but I think the way we possessed the ball in the first half I think if we did the same in the second we would have had more.”
Despite neutralizing much of the Chivas attack, Vancouver struggled to create chances in the final third, only managing one shot on target through 90 minutes.
“I think given the fact that it was 0-0 it was actually quite an exciting game, there was a lot of good play from both teams,” head coach Martin Rennie said. “In the first half we played quite well, moved the ball well and created some good chances.
"I'm disappointed that we didn't have a couple shots from around the edge of the box when we could have and perhaps should have. For us it's a good point on the road, it's our ninth clean sheet of the season. It's four points from the last two games on the road so overall that's all pretty positive and we can get ready now for the next game."
One positive was the fact new signing Barry Robson was able to play his first full match. Once again the Scotsman lined out at right midfield, often cutting in on his left foot to play more centrally. While he was able to get through 90 minutes for the first time as a Whitecap, he appeared to squander a number of quality opportunities by picking the wrong pass or getting his timing just a little off in the final third.
“I thought I was [going to work Robson in slowly],” Rennie said. “But tonight he kept going for 90 minutes. I think the maybe the last 10 he got a bit tired, but he was marking on set plays and I didn’t really want to change that, because the obvious candidates to go on weren’t quite as big and strong as him. It was a difficult decision to keep him on.
“The last few minutes he did get a little bit tired but he did get 90 minutes already, but it does show how professional he is and how hard he’s been working in his offseason and how quickly he’s got his fitness up. Now he should be ready to contribute for us.
"It will take a few more games to get in the rhythm of things but already he helped us a lot because he was always willing to take the ball, he was always getting in possession of the ball, switched the play very well which opens things up and allows us to keep the ball more easily. So, lots of positive things there.”
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Now Vancouver moves on to play Toronto FC on the road this Wednesday for the first time since losing the second leg of the Canadian Championship final on May 23.
“The last time we played Toronto is one of the few disappointments of the season so far and one of the big let downs,” Rennie said. “It's going to be important for us to remember a little bit of that and how it felt at the end of that game and really go and make up for that.”