The Vancouver Whitecaps are looking to bounce back in league play against the Red Bulls this weekend after their midweek Voyageurs Cup defeat.
But at least they have a chance to get over that feeling quickly as they take on the New York Red Bulls on the road Saturday. In fact, they must get over their disappointment hastily.
“To go to New York and try to get a result is something that this club needs, and it’s something that’s needed now,” goalkeeper Brad Knighton told reporters on Thursday at the University of British Columbia following a training session. “We can’t wait for more results to hopefully go our way.
“We need to start taking accountability and putting points on the board and moving up the table, or it’s going to be a long season here.”
Complicating matters for the Whitecaps, who have struggled on the road with a meek record of 0-4-1 in league play, is the absences of key players such as Nigel Reo-Coker, out due to suspension for yellow card accumulation; Gershon Koffie, through a leg injury sustained against the Impact; and Darren Mattocks, who is away with Jamaica on international duty.
Brad Rusin is also listed as injured due to a calf problem, and captain Jay DeMerit and Omar Salgado have been out long-term with a ruptured Achilles tendon and a foot injury, respectively.
“This weekend’s a tough task,” head coach Martin Rennie told reporters. “I think we’re missing probably six or seven guys that would probably start for us, so that’s a lot of players. At the end of the day, that doesn’t get talked about too much, but that’s something that we’re going to have to deal with going into this game.”
Those absences will mean others on the fringes of the first XI should get a chance to show their stuff. Matt Watson, for example, looks likely to get an appearance given the absence of regular starting central midfielders Reo-Coker and Koffie.
“I want to show the coach that he can trust me out there,” Watson said. “We’ve got to have the attitude that we can win this game. We need to make the playoffs, and I think that would turn our whole season around.
“For me personally, it’s just a case of I’ve got to believe myself and show the coach that I should be playing.”