Posts Tagged ‘Max Crepeau VWFC’

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VANCOUVER, B.C – As the MLS season draws closer to an end, teams are jockeying for key playoff positioning in both conferences. Whitecaps FC will not be heading to the playoffs. Instead of a potential run to the MLS Cup, Vancouver has taken on a spoiler role.

Whitecaps FC will head to California this weekend for a Sunday afternoon battle against the LA Galaxy, at Dignity Health Sports Park. Vancouver comes into the match riding a two-match unbeaten streak. A 2-1 win over Houston, and a 1-1 draw vs Columbus Crew SC significantly struck a blow to the playoff aspirations of both clubs.

“It’s kind of a positive note that we screwed with Columbus, and Houston,” Whitecaps FC’s Max Crépeau told reporters on Tuesday. “Honestly, if you can knock someone out, you do it. It’s good to actually get points.”

Vancouver’s number one goalkeeper has missed the previous two matches. Crépeau has been nursing a right ankle sprain. He picked up the knock earlier this month, while on international duty with Canada. Although he wasn’t healthy enough to start on Saturday he was able to back up, Zac MacMath.

Heading into Whitecaps FC’s final road trip of the season, Crépeau is good to go.

“I am, I am,” Crépeau beamed. “Life is good, if you see me in training, it’s because I’m 100%. Obviously it was a little bit of work to do on it, because it happened Friday, before the Cuba game. Now I feel really good.”

The 15-13-3, LA Galaxy currently sit 4th in the western conference with 48 points. Back to back, home victories over Sporting Kansas City, and the Montreal Impact have the Galaxy rounding into form.

If Whitecaps FC are going to disrupt the Galaxy’s momentum, it starts with containing the one and only, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. A task, that’s a lot easier said than done.

The imposing Swedish striker was a handful when Vancouver and LA met earlier this season. Ibrahimovic had a goal, and an assist in a 2-0 win over Whitecaps FC on April 5, at B.C. Place.

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If Vancouver is going to earn another result, they’ll have to stop more than just Ibra.

“Zlatan, even this weekend against Montreal, he’s really dangerous,” Crépeau said. “There’s good players around him too. Sometimes we focus too much on this guy, and we don’t even focus on the other guys. They have a lot of quality around him. We’ve seen it this weekend, he created two good chances for his team, just because he has the ball, and others get free.”

“I expect that Zlatan is going to be up to the task.”

In his first full season as a number one keeper, Crépeau has posted a 6-12-6 record. He has five clean sheets, and his 107 saves, are 4th highest in Major League Soccer.

The Greenfield, Park native, has saved Whitecaps FC’s bacon on numerous occasions this season.

Vancouver’s 7-15-10 record could have been much worse without Crépeau in net.

Having watched his teammates earn results against teams fighting for their playoff lives, Crépeau is eager to potentially return to take on the Galaxy. It would mean a great deal to finish the season on a high note.

“I’m with the boys, I’m with the group,” Crépeau said. “I want us to win, I want us to win the last two games.”

“Now it’s about doing the same with the Galaxy,” Crépeau talked about playing spoiler. “They’re in a tough spot, that they need to win everything. After that it’s finishing off against the last game against Salt Lake.”

Whitecaps FC will be ‘California Dreaming’ of an upset over Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy. The pressure is squarely on the LA Galaxy, Vancouver has nothing to lose.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps FC return to action on Wednesday, August 28 against arch rival the Montreal Impact. The mid-week clash between the Canadian clubs, is a match Max Crépeau has had circled on his calendar all season.

The Montreal, native, will get a chance to play his former team for the first time, in front of family and friends at Stade Saputo. Growing up in Greenfield Park, Crépeau, is expecting to have a vocal crowd of 200 supporters cheering him on, including his beloved grandma.

“I feel great about it,” Crépeau explained to Har Journalist. “It’s nice for a player to go back home and play against his former team. I think it’s a feeling that every player has. It’s fun to get back to a familiar environment where I grew up. After that, it’s business, and getting the job done in Montreal.”

The 25-year-old, did his best to get the job done on Saturday, in San Jose when Vancouver fell 3-1 to the Earthquakes. Crépeau set an MLS record with 16 saves. Whitecaps FC were under siege for much of the match, Crépeau was kept busy facing 43 shot attempts.

His stellar performance helped him earn a spot on the MLS Team of the Week.

As he gets set to play Montreal, Crépeau reflected on is time with the Impact.

“I have a lot of respect for the organization,” Crépeau acknowledged. “They gave me a chance of having a first contract. I grew up in the system of the academy. I know how it is there, and I’m grateful that they believed in me in the first place. I respect the organization, but I’m truly happy to be here (Vancouver) now. The page is turned, and it’s better here, than it was there.”

Why is it better?

“That’s a good question,” Crépeau said. “It’s better on my side because I have the confidence of an organization, which didn’t happen before. It means a lot where you can actually develop yourself, and reach a higher level when you have the confidence of an organization.”

It’s hard to excel in any sports environment without confidence, and support. If Crépeau was going to take the next step in his development, he needed a clean break from the Impact, and an opportunity to compete as top keeper.

His 2018 loan move to the Ottawa Fury helped him show himself, and Montreal, that he was ready for another challenge, and a bigger opportunity to showcase his blossoming talents.

Crépeau, was able to find that on the west coast with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

“Before Ottawa, I asked to move,” Crépeau, explained. “There was some back and forth. We didn’t know what the situation for a few weeks. There was the option to go to Ottawa which was a great move for me, because I needed games. I needed to start somewhere. Ottawa was great. I think my mindset was the same, to leave the club. I felt like that was the best move for me, for my career. It ended up being here (Vancouver), and it was fantastic after that.”

As he heads back toLa Belle Province’, Crépeau hasn’t forgot about his roots. Montreal will always be his home. That’s where he grew to love football, and playing in goal. It’s not hard to see where Crépeau’s tenacious and determined attitude comes from.

Growing up on the South Shore, Crépeau’s idol was a goalkeeper of a different variety. A bleu-blanc-rouge protecting of the net that has paid the Price in the biggest of games.

“In Canada, we always do the comparisons of hockey and soccer,” Crépeau explained. “The fact is being alone. He’s alone in his blue crease, and I’m alone in my box. It’s a mindset that all goalkeepers have, that they need to focus on themselves to bring the best out of them.

Carey Price is a great example where he has been always on top of his game. He’s been so calm and focused. He inspires his co-workers. When I was young, I grew up watching the Montreal Canadiens, and Carey Price. He’s been an icon, I’ve been watching for years.”

Having both played in the bubbling cauldron of Montreal, Crépeau, and Price are well accustomed to the constant exposure, and expectations one receives in Montreal. As intense as Vancouver can get, nothing beats the massive pressure of playing in Montreal.

“Montreal fans no matter what sport are very passionate,” Crépeau, explained. “They will live highs and lows like crazy. They live the highs really high, and the lows, really low. If you have a bad game, you’re getting buried. If you have an amazing game, you’re the best guy in the whole world. They’re really intense but it’s part of the Montreal culture.”

In what has been a bleak 2019 campaign for Whitecaps FC, Crépeau has been on top of his game throughout. In 22 games, Crépeau has earned 5 clean sheets, and made 98 saves. He ranks third in MLS in saves.

Crépeau has earned all of Vancouver’s 6 wins this season.

If not for the heroics of Max Crépeau, Whitecaps FC would be on the receiving end of many lopsided score-lines. Crépeau has been the Team MVP, no question about it.

“You know, if I saved a ball, I’m happy,” Crépeau laughed. “If it hits my face, arms, foot, whatever, I’m happy. You don’t really choose which part of your body you’re going to make the save. You just react to it.”

Whitecaps FC have been carried by Crépeau, and now it’s time for his teammates to return the favour by helping him earn a result against Montreal. While it’s special time for Crépeau, just imagine how special it would be to earn a win on Wednesday.

“It’s three points,” Crépeau, said. “After that, it’s more the emotional aspect of it. Of course it’ll be nice, but I approach it the same as every game.”