Posts Tagged ‘VWFC Maxime Crépeau’

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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.”

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps FC are back in the win column as they prepare for a two game road trip that will see them play San Jose, and Montreal. Vancouver visits the Earthquakes on Saturday, August 24, before flying across the continent to play the Impact on Wednesday, August 28.

As we enter the dog days of summer, MLS has billed the third week of August as ‘MLS Rivalry Week’. A few exciting rivalries feature teams that just hate to play against each other.

Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact at BMO Field.

New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls at Yankee Stadium.

Orlando City SC vs Atlanta United FC at Exploria Stadium.

FC Cincinnati vs Columbus Crew SC at Nippert Stadium.

FC Dallas vs Houston Dynamo at Toyota Stadium.

Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders FC at Providence Park.

Los Angeles Football Club vs LA Galaxy at Banc of California Stadium.

If you are wondering who Vancouver Whitecaps FC will battle this week, you can look no further than forever rival, and arch nemesis…. San Jose Earthquakes.

The Quakes and Caps are not rivals, they’re two teams without a dance partner. While geographical proximity creates some rivalries, this battle is completely MLS manufactured.

“Now, they can call it whatever they want between Vancouver and San Jose. I wouldn’t call it a rivalry.” Coach Marc Dos Santos explained to reporters on Tuesday.

Whitecaps FC’s true rivalries feature Cascadia Cup neighbours, Seattle, and Portland. If you’re looking for Canadian battle lines, it’s Toronto and Montreal. There is no banter and bragging rights when San Jose comes up on the fixture list.

“Yeah, Montreal – Vancouver, Toronto – Vancouver, Vancouver – Portland, Vancouver – Seattle. That’s the real rivalries,” Dos Santos explained.”

Whitecaps FC’s Max Crepeau, has some unfinished business with the Earthquakes. San Jose beat Whitecaps FC handily on July 20. The Caps keeper would like to return the favour and keep Vancouver’s slim playoff chances alive.

“I still have it in the back of my head,” Crepeau said. ‘The 3-1 game we had at home against San Jose. Now it’s about doing the same thing at their house, it’s payback. That’s my mindset, we need to get points. They beat us at home, and now we have to do the same thing at their house.”

Whether it’s a top rival or not, Whitecaps FC’s Derek Cornelius doesn’t change his approach. He wants all three points. The Canadian international will leave the rivalry chatter to the supporters, and pundits. He just wants to focus on football.

“I mean it’s new to me.” Cornelius said. “I’ve been told, the big rivalries are Seattle, Portland and so on. Yeah, it’s new to me. I approach every game, the same way, whether it’s a rivalry or if it’s just another game. I try to approach it with the same mindset, competitiveness, and willingness to win. The rivalry stuff is more so for the media. When you play professional sports, no matter what game it is, you want to win.”

As Vancouver gets set to head out on the road, they could have an extra offensive boost. Michaell Chirinos trained with his new team on Tuesday morning. The 24-year-old had been stuck in Mexico awaiting his visa and international transfer certificate. Chirinos was acquired on loan from Club Deportivo Olympia on August 6.

“Michaell finally arrived,” Dos Santos said. “He was tired today. He arrived very late but he wanted to train to try to get that travel out of the legs. He needs a second wind right now. He needs to train. Hopefully he’s going to be an option for this trip.”

Whitecaps FC have built some confidence following a one-nil victory at home to D.C. United. It’s now time to continue with that momentum against rivals, San Jose, and Montreal.

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs San Jose Earthquakes at B.C. Place on July 20, 2019. Photo: Har Journalist.

VANCOUVER, B.C – The San Jose Earthquakes added to Vancouver’s misery with a 3-1 victory over Whitecaps FC. Chris Wondolowski, Vako, and Magnus Eriksson each scored to counter an opening first half tally from Doneil Henry. A crowd of 17,558 went home disappointed as Whitecaps FC are now winless in nine matches across all competitions.

“I thought that in the locker room before the game, we looked very motivated to play the game,” Coach Marc Dos Santos said. “I felt that in the first fifteen minutes, we came out and we were aggressive. We got the first goal, I felt good about the start. When we conceded the two goals, mentally, it’s hard, right now, for us. To get a reaction there, it’s hard. It gives us also, a lot of answers for the future.”

Whitecaps FC slump to 4-11-8 on the campaign, and remain at the bottom of the western conference with 20 points. Vancouver has been outscored 17 – 2 in their last five MLS matches. You have to go back to May 25, 2019 for Vancouver’s last MLS victory.

“At the end of the day, we deserved to lose. They were the better team.” Dos Santos said.

A resurgent Earthquakes squad jump up to 10-7-4 with 34 points.

Second year winger, Magnus Eriksson, spoke about San Jose’s bounce back season.

“We have a coach that believes in us,” Eriksson explained to Har Journalist. “I think that’s really really important. A whole coaching staff that believes in what we’re doing. Believes in us as players, humans, which is really important. I think that I speak for a lot of guys, we feel like we’re on the right track this year. I think everybody has enjoyed it a lot this year. We needed it, after last year.”

Whitecaps FC got an early lead thanks to a quality finish from centre-back, Doneil Henry. Yordy Reyna sent in a free kick, that San Jose had trouble clearing. Henry broke free, and curled home his third goal of the season to put Vancouver ahead 1-0, just 7′ minutes in.

San Jose quickly answered back with a goal of their own in the 17′ minute. Vancouver’s back-four was caught ball watching, and Max Crepeau was hung out to dry. Cristian Espinoza sent in a cross that was fumbled by Whitecaps FC.

Vako was in perfect position to score his sixth goal of the season.

A calamity of errors ensued for the home-side, and San Jose was able to capitalized to take a 2-1 lead. Vako fired a shot off the post that hit Crepeau in the backside. The Caps keeper scrambled back to scoop the ball out of the goal-mouth. Chris Wondolowski converted on the vacated Vancouver net to put the visitors ahead in the 34′ minute.

San Jose scored an insurance marker in the 78′ off a lovely display of build up from Eriksson, and Espinoza. The Swedish international, had all sorts of time and space to blast his shot past Crepeau to give the Earthquakes a 3-1 advantage.

If not for Crepeau’s eight saves on the night, Whitecaps FC could have been blown out at home. The Caps shot-stopper kept his side in the match for as long as he could.

“We know it’s not good enough,” Crepeau said. “We all know it, we’re not hiding, we all know it, everyone deserves better from this club. We need to be better, bottom line.”

Despite trailing by just a goal for much of the match, Vancouver never looked like a side that was going to threaten the Earthquakes. Whitecaps FC scored first, but San Jose remained focused, and quickly took over. Vancouver’s confidence is too easily shaken, and they aren’t equipped with overcoming adversity. San Jose took all three points.

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC Head Coach Marc Dos Santos speaks to reporters on July 20, 2019. Photo: Har Journalist.

“It looks like we’re off of the playoff spot,” Dos Santos said. “It’s much more difficult right now, but mathematically everything is still on. When it comes to the Canadian Championship, it’s another competition that we’re in, and we want to try and move forward in it.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Starting XI: Max Crepeau; Ali Adnan, Doneil Henry, Erik Godoy, Jake Nerwinski; Jon Erice(C), Inbeom; Russell Teibert, 70 (Felipe) Yordy Reyna, Lass Bangoura, 62 (Joaquin Ardaiz); Fredy Montero, 76 (Theo Bair). 4-2-3-1

San Jose Earthquakes Starting XI: Daniel Vega; Nick Lima, Florian Jungwirth, Harold Cummings, Tommy Thompson; Jackson Yueill, Judson; Valeri Qazaishvilli, Magnus Eriksson, Cristian Espinoza, 82 (Paul Marie); Chris Wondolowski, 74 (Danny Hoesen). 4-2-3-1

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VANCOUVER, B.C – The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup begins on Friday, June 7. Fans from around the world will be tuning in for a month of fantastic women’s football. Twenty-four teams will compete in France, for a chance to hoist the World Cup on July 7, in Lyon.

Canada will take on Group E opponents, Cameroon, New Zealand, and the Netherlands in Montpellier (June 10), Grenoble (June 15), Reims (June 20). There will be a sense of familiarity for no.5 ranked Canada, who also faced New Zealand and the Netherlands when Canada hosted the 2015 World Cup. Canada earned a draw vs both countries.

Just like fans across the country, Vancouver Whitecaps FC players will be cheering on Canada. Many Whitecaps FC players know the Canada’s women’s national team, and have met, trained, and been in the same environment representing Canada.

While on an MLS Gold Cup break, several Whitecaps FC players shared their thoughts on Canada’s chances at the World Cup, and the brilliance that is, Christine Sinclair.

“Yeah, I support them,” Doneil Henry explained to Har Journalist. “I love our women’s national team. Jordyn Huitema, just signed at PSG, and (Janine) Beckie at Man City. We have some really talented women on the national team. I’m excited to see them continue to go far. Knowing that John (Herdman) has a lot of history with the women’s side, and the respect that he has for them. I just wish them the best. I just know that they’ll do us all proud.”

“They’re a great team,” Russell Teibert said. “From what I know, from Canada Soccer, they’re going to be a hard working team. They’re going to do everything possible to keep Canada at the top of women’s soccer. We’re familiar with the team, because John (Herdman) was the women’s national team coach. I think we’re all together as a family in Canada Soccer.”

“They’ll get out of it (Group E) for sure,” Max Crepeau predicted. “No pressure on the women’s team, but they’re really really good, honestly. In the last few years, they’ve been dominate, I’m pretty confident that we’ll get out of the group. I hope they go to the semis, but one game, at a time.”

“I’ve been in the Whitecaps program since I was fifteen ” Theo Bair revealed. “I made some friends at school along the way. Elite Girls players, Julia Grosso, Jordyn Huitema, and Jayde Riviere. All three, really good players, promising players for Canada, and my good friends. I’ve seen all of them work, not only on the field, but off the field. They’re great athletes, people, great students, and I think that applies both ways.”

Christine Sinclair is arguably the greatest professional football player Canada has ever had. As she closes in on U.S. Soccer great, Abby Wambach’s, all-time goal-scoring record of 184 goals. Whitecaps FC players can’t wait to see Sinclair make history and set the record. It’s quite likely that Sinclair won’t remain on her 181 goal total for very long.

“Sincy’s been doing it forever,” Henry said. “Since I was a young one with Toronto, I’ve been seeing her score goals, everywhere, at every stage. I can’t wait for her to beat it, because she’s definitely going to do it.”

“I just think she’s the best Canadian soccer player,” Derek Cornelius added. “She carries herself very well. She’s a good role model for a lot of the ladies coming up. She just leads our country in the right way, and of course she’s a great soccer player.”

“I think it’s going to happen,” Brett Levis said with confidence. “I think it would be huge for soccer players all over Canada, for us to hold a record like that. It’s pretty unbelievable.”

“The killer instinct,” Crepeau said of Sinclair. “You have half a chance and you create a goal out of it. This is why she’s on top of the list for sure.”

As we witnessed four years ago, Canada’s women’s national team has the ability to capture the entire country from coast to coast. Canada is in with a real shout to make some damage at the World Cup. Twenty-three players will represent the red and white in France. Whitecaps FC players will be among the biggest supporters of the women’s team.

“We love our women’s national team,” Henry beamed. “While the men were in a slump for a very long time, the women have held the country really proud. The women are great. They’re tenacious. I think we’re definitely one of the few nations on the women’s side who can definitely win it.”

“Absolutely, I’ll follow,” Teibert said. “I’m a big supporter of Canada Soccer. I was a big supporter of the women’s team when they were here. I really enjoyed going to watch the games at B.C. Place.”

“I’m excited, I think it’s a very exciting team,” Levis explained. “I know they have a lot of young players. They’ve got some Whitecaps REX Girls players, hopefully they get their opportunity. It’s always fun to see the country rally around when the World Cup comes around. I’m just excited to watch.”

“As long as they played united,” Bair explained. “They’re a very strong group. I’ll tune in when I can, as long as I don’t have training. I’ll try to watch them because I want to support them.”

The football world, isn’t all that big. When Canada is on the biggest stage, they can know that there will be support in all corners of the country. Whitecaps FC players want to see them do well and succeed. Canada Soccer is one big family.

 

 

 

 

 

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VANCOUVER, B.C – It’s going to be an all Canadian battle on Friday night at B.C. Place as Vancouver Whitecaps FC take on bitter rivals, Toronto FC. Vancouver will be looking to continue their recent run of form with a victory over a 5-6-2, (17 points) Toronto FC squad that’s winless in their last five matches (0-4-1).

Vancouver has picked up valuable points over Sporting Kansas City, New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas. Whitecaps FC have 17 points, from a 4-6-5 record this season, and they’ll be looking to head into the MLS Gold Cup break on a high.

Even with the Canadian Championship, Vancouver and Toronto don’t play each other often enough. When they do get together, there’s always fireworks, and plenty of bragging rights, for several Canadians from ‘The Big Smoke’.

“It’s important, we want to finish off strong,” Ajax, Ontario native, Derek Cornelius explained to Har Journalist. “We want to end this difficult stretch on the right foot. Yeah, it’s my hometown, so of course I want to do well, and get the three points for the club.”

Vancouver goalkeeper, Maxime Crepeau, is locked in and playing some of the best football of his career. Crepeau has solidified his role as a number one MLS shot-stopper, and he has recently come up with several quality saves of the spectacular variety.

The 25-year-old, Crepeau, relishes the opportunity to go up against a versatile Toronto FC side that features the ever dangerous Jozy Altidore, and first-year MLS magician, Alejandro Pozuelo. The dynamic duo lead Toronto’s offence with five goals each.

“Toronto is a team that’s been successful over the years,” Crepeau told Har Journalist following training. “They went to the cup final. Toronto is a team that can play with both systems. They can play 3-5-2, 4-3-3, and 4-4-2. They’re a good team, and we just have to maintain them, and we’ll be good.”

Vancouver skipper, Jon Erice, knows just what kind of exceptional talent, Altidore brings to a pitch. The former La Liga talent was a young prospect with Villarreal, when Erice first had a glimpse of his future potential.

“I saw Jozy Altidore when he was young, and playing in Spain,” Erice revealed. “He’s improved a lot, he’s a very very strong guy, strong player. A quality player. Michael Bradley, is one of the best players in MLS. One of the best midfielders, and we know him very well. They are a very good team, not only these two guys, and Pozuelo. They have a lot of good players.”

Whitecaps FC will be without the services of Brampton, Ontario native, Doneil Henry. The avid Toronto Raptors supporter will miss his second consecutive match with a left hamstring strain. Striker Joaquin Ardaiz, and winger, Lass Bangoura will also be unavailable. However, left-back, Ali Adnan, and winger Yordy Reyna are in contention.

Toronto FC also faces an injury crisis. Jonathan Osorio (hip / groin), Michael Bradley (hamstring), and Auro (hamstring) are all listed as questionable. It’s uncertain if any of the trio will travel to Vancouver today. Despite facing a depleted roster, Whitecaps FC coach Marc Dos Santos, isn’t about to underestimate Toronto FC.

“We know what we want to do,” Dos Santos explained. “I believe that there are seven to ten teams in the league that are just kind of vintage, top teams. Toronto is part of that group. How they invest, the fans, the fact that in the last three years, they went to two MLS Cup finals. Eight of the eleven starters are the core that went to the final. I know what they’re about. We’re always going to respect an opponent like Toronto. It’s going to be a tough game regardless of who comes here.”

While there might not be an edge on paper for either side. Vancouver can boast an advantage by just being at home. MLS western conference teams are on a fantastic run of form against their eastern conference foes. Western teams are 11-0-2 in their last thirteen matches against the east.

Might there be a new west coast v east coast beef underway on the pitch?

“It would be unfair for me to say that the western is stronger,” Dos Santos pondered. “I think that maybe in this moment right now, the teams of the west are just in a better form. Maybe travel affects, I’m not sure. It doesn’t mean that at any moment, teams like Atlanta have a lot of quality in their roster. New York Red Bulls can jump and become stronger.”

Whitecaps FC will be looking to jump all over a Toronto FC side that hasn’t found their stride in 2019. Vancouver’s key off-season pieces are finally starting to clicking, and the club looks to be finding some consistency. The centre of the universe could be in for tough night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs Portland Timers FC on Friday, May 10, 2019 at B.C Place. Photo: Har Journalist.

VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps FC have jumped ahead of the pack into a western conference playoff spot after a 1-0 win over Cascadia rival, Portland Timbers FC. Fredy Montero’s third goal of the season was enough to earn all three points in front of a crowd of 18,356 at B.C. Place.

After struggling to find his form, and consistent minutes earlier this season. the 31-year-old, Montero, has now scored in back to back matches. Montero is now locked in and scoring. While some strikers might try and shake up their routine, Montero hasn’t done that.

“No, the same,” Montero explained to Har Journalist, post-match. “I try to work hard, I know my value. I know what I can do to help the team, and I always try to believe in every single training session. I’m honest to myself, and I have a lot of experience. I always try to be focused because there are so many good players on this team. We need to be ready, because we need all the players ready to go, to win games.”

Vancouver is now 2-0-1 in their last three matches at B.C. Place.

Whitecaps FC improve to 3-5-3, (12-points) on the season, and Portland slips to 3-5-2, (11-points). Vancouver now sits momentarily in the 7th western conference playoff spot.

“The first 20 minutes of the team were fantastic in every sense,” Coach Marc Dos Santos told reporters post-match. “Possession, creating, scoring, mobility in the attack. Then Portland had a little bit more possession. Blanco and Valeri were able to find some pockets between lines and that created a little bit of instability. The game became very broken when we tried to exploit some things in transition. They won the ball, then we lost the second ball, it became broken. The last 10 minutes of the first half, we were able to settle again. In the second half, we knew they would come hard. This was the team that was in the MLS Cup final. They’re a good team and it’s normal when you play good teams that they come at you. We were able to be solid, we were able to show commitment between everybody, and in transition, we had plays that were exciting and could’ve finished with a goal. Overall, I think with what we did in the 90 minutes, we deserve the three points against a very good team coming from three wins in a row so the guys did a very good job.”

Whitecaps FC’s leading scoring was in a philosophical mood post-match.

“It’s always good when we win,” Montero explained. “But it doesn’t mean we are the best team, so that’s why, when sometimes the results are not the best, we also think we aren’t the worst team in the league. We need to keep moving forward, and believing in the process.” 

It didn’t take long for Vancouver to open the scoring. Montero showed his brilliance to control the ball, and volley a striker top corner on Timbers keeper, Steve Clark. Russell Teibert setup Montero, and Vancouver was ahead early in the 9′ minute.

“The goal,” Montero recalled. “I just remember when, Inbeom tried to play the ball to me. One of the Portland defenders touched the ball, and then Rusty (Russell Teibert) with a beautiful assist. I give all the credit to him. With one touch, he gave me the ball, and put me one on one with the goalkeeper. My first touch was from my right, to my left. I shot really hard on the first post. Thank god that was a good goal. I was expecting the ball to go that hard on the goalkeeper, especially with my left foot.”

Whitecaps FC had all sorts of early pressure on the visitors, and could have easily been ahead by a bigger margin. Ali Adnan had a ball sent into the box, that was dangerously headed on to the Timbers crossbar by Bill Tuiloma. Moments later, Adnan was unmarked at the side of the Timbers goal, only to send his effort high above the target.

For the third consecutive Whitecaps FC home match. The supporters groups, Southsiders, and Curva Collective, along with many other fans, walked out of the match, in protest, at the 35′ minute. The visiting Portland Timbers Army also joined the walk out in solidarity.

Portland came out strong to start the second half, and looked to find an equalizer with consistent pressure. Despite dominating the half with 27 shots attempted, and five on target. Vancouver’s defensive structure did not break. Doneil Henry was a force!!

“I thought that we had very good moments,” Portland Coach, Giovanni Savarese explained. “Unfortunately, there were a few times in the first half that they were able to find the space and they capitalized in one opportunity. They defended well, I thought that the guys just worked very hard. I mean, everyone put everything that they could. We had chances, we attacked, we possessed the ball. I thought that we dominated the match, but credit to them, they defended very well and the goalkeeper made some spectacular saves.”

Whitecaps FC’s Max Crepeau, stood on his head, and made several terrific saves to keep Vancouver ahead. Crepeau finished with five saves to earn his third clean sheet of the season. The 25 year-old, Crepeau, gave all the props to his back-line.

“There’s the back-four, man,” Crepeau said of his defence. “They’re really solid. We saw it tonight, we saw it last weekend. It’s always like that, the work ethic of the boys and the mentality. Balls in my area, the other guy is not getting it. The mentality of the boys is fantastic. We need to keep going on this one, because it’s a big part of our game, the defensive aspect.”

It will be a quick turn around for Vancouver as they host former Whitecap, Brek Shea, and Atlanta United FC, on Wednesday, May 15 at B.C. Place.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Starting XI: Max Crepeau, Ali Adnan, Doneil Henry, Erik Godoy, Jake Nerwinski; Russell Teibert, Jon Erice(C), InBeom Hwang, 65 (Andy Rose); Lass Bangoura, 75 (Brett Levis), Fredy Montero, 87 (Joaquin Ardaiz), Lucas Venuto. 4-3-3

Portland Timbers FC Starting XI: Steve Clark; Zarek Valentin, 83 (Julio Cascante), Bill Tuiloma, Larrys Mabiala, Jorge Moreira, 83 (Lucas Melano); Sebastian Blanco, Diego Chara, Cristhian Paredes, Andres Flores, 73 (Andy Polo); Jeremy Eboisse, Diego Valeri(C). 4-4-2

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VANCOUVER, B.C – The Zlatan show has come and gone, and it’s now time for the Bastian show as Vancouver Whitecaps FC travel to the Windy City to take on Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Chicago Fire on Friday night at SeatGeek Stadium.

Winless Whitecaps FC, are facing a familiar story as they have yet to record a victory this season.

A 0-4-1 (1-pont) start to the season has fans, media, and curious observers circling.

“I feel like we’re always talking about the same thing.” Coach Marc Dos Santos told reporters on Thursday. “

“How do you improve…” Dos Santos asked the assembled media.

“You have to finish the chances that you have,” Dos Santos explained. “That could normally help you change the dynamic of a game. The big clear chances that we have, we have to finish them, and then see how the game plays out from there.”

Whitecaps FC haven’t scored in two matches, and the team as a whole has scored one goal from open play this season. With goals at a premium, the emphasis on playing solid defence, and keeping a clean sheet is higher than ever.

Vancouver enters a stretch where they will play three matches, in nine days, in three cities. Chicago, LAFC, and Orlando all present challenges of their own. Although it’s still relatively early, there must be an urgency to pickup points.

“Yes, every game we want points,” Goalkeeper, Maxime Crepeau told Har Journalist. “The urgency is always there before it’s too late, so totally.”

The 24-year-old, Crepeau has started all five Whitecaps FC matches this season. He recorded his first career MLS clean sheet in a nil-nil draw vs Seattle Sounders FC on March 30. In his first full season as a no.1 MLS keeper, can Crepeau handle an increased work load during a crucial trio of fixtures?

“It’s about the staff making decisions,” Crepeau said. “But I feel like I can play every game, anytime, no problem.”

At the other end of the pitch, Vancouver will face goalkeeper David Ousted, who made his mark during five seasons with Whitecaps FC. The Danish shot-stopper posted a 55-49-39 record during his time on the west coast.

During the 2017 season, Ousted took a young New Jersey native under his wing.

“Dave’s a great guy,” Jake Nerwinski explained. “I played with him my first year, he helped me a lot. He’s a veteran that kind of took me under his wing, and gave me some good advice. I think we’re worried about our tactics and being able to execute them against an entire Chicago team.”

In terms of tactics Whitecaps FC need to score early, dictate the play, and make sure they take their chances. The 1-2-2 (5-points) Fire haven’t had a smooth start to the season, but they have several stars that can change a match.

Schweinsteiger isn’t the only face Whitecaps FC should be worried about. Nemanja Nikolić, Aleksandar Katai, and their newest acquisition, Nicolás Gaitán, all have the ability to turn up and take control of a match.

“Yeah, they have a good team,” Crepeau agreed. “We’ve seen them. They picked up a point in Toronto last week. They’re a team with a dangerous body in front. (C.J) Sapong is a target up front, and Bastian is of a great soccer mind. They have a good team of course. This league is difficult when we go on the road. Now it’s all about being together, and getting a result.”

How do Whitecaps FC earn a result, and get the better of Schweinsteiger?

“Bastian is a world-class player, he’s had a great career,” Nerwinski said. “We know that he’s great at playing out of the back. He’s very calm on the ball. We just need to be able to exploit his weaknesses. He’s not as fast as he was anymore. We need to make sure we can get balls in behind, make him run, and get him tired.”

If you can’t win on the wings, the old adage of run, and gun, and getting in behind the oppositions back-line is a time-tested tactic. Whitecaps FC have the pace, but it remains to be seen if Bastian will be bothered by an aggressive over-the-top transition approach.

“We know at this point, it’s important to get a tie or a win,” Nerwinski revealed. “We’re getting to that point where we need to start getting results. Just for morale, building confidence, and for going on with the season. We’re looking at, at least getting a point against Chicago.”

Bridgeview, Illinois could be the good luck charm Whitecaps FC have been waiting for. Chicago has never been solid at home. The time is perfect for Vancouver to bounce back and earn Marc Dos Santos his first MLS win as a head coach.