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

December windstorms led to record ferry cancellations

Baileys for breakfast? It may not be what the doctor ordered, but… Continue reading

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

On the Wing: Christmas Bird Count #4 — Skidegate Inlet

By Margo Hearne The marine forecast read “winds northwest 15 to 25… Continue reading

Haida Gwaii mountain biking gets in gear

The frost was gone, but the iced puddles on Mac Blo Road… Continue reading

Letters: A thank-you and update from Hooterville

First and foremost, I wish to express my gratitude to the many… Continue reading

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Most Read