Whitecaps look to stay hot against Toronto FC
When the Vancouver Whitecaps host Toronto FC on Friday evening at BC Place, it will be a meeting of teams whose fortunes have reversed considerably since the start of the season.
Vancouver (4-6-5, 17 points) has picked up all four of its victories since April 17 under first-year coach Marc Dos Santos, including a 2-1 win over FC Dallas at home on Saturday.
Dos Santos’ squad is 3-1-3 in the past seven league games, the lone defeat coming to defending MLS Cup champion Atlanta United.
After seeing his team go winless in its first six matches, the Montreal-born coach has noticed a change in demeanor around training of late. But there is also an urgency to extend the stay of left back Ali Adnan, who scored against Dallas and whose loan from Italian club Udinese expires at the end of June.
“I see much more confidence in the guys and I see much more belief,” Dos Santos said this week. “But for me, the most important thing is the base that we’ve created and the workload. What I mean by that is our base, our DNA is a lot about commitment, guys working for each other, guys fighting for results, guys keeping the belief that they can get points.”
Meanwhile, Toronto (5-6-2, 17 points) may feel a bit lost after seeing a promising start turn sour during a current five-match winless run.
The Reds’ only point in that stretch came in a 0-0 draw at home against a D.C. United squad that rested many of its regulars. Toronto FC most recently lost 2-1 at home to the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday.
The good news Sunday was that forward Jozy Altidore made his first start and played his first full 90 minutes since mid-April after missing four games entirely due to a hamstring strain. Toronto also scored for the first time in three games, but the team still is not converting enough of its chances.
“I don’t think our problems are necessarily between the (penalty areas),” Toronto coach Greg Vanney told reporters this week. “But when we get into dangerous positions, we’ve got to make more of our opportunities. If we can do that against (Vancouver), I think we can score goals.”
REUTERS/Field Level Media