VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Whitecaps have been here before, seeing their playoff dreams come to an end as the regular season fades away.
With five games left on the schedule, the club is eight points out of a post-season spot and climbing back into the playoff picture will be a tough task.
“We still have a little bit of hope,” said striker Brian White. “It’s still possible, but we know we need to get results and we have to do it now. So it’s up to us.”
The Caps (9-13-7) have done it before.
Vancouver went 7-2-5 to finish the 2021 campaign and clinched a playoff spot for the first time in four years.
“We know nothing is over,” goalkeeper Thomas Hassall said on Thursday. Of course we know like last year that anything can happen.
“We just have to focus on what’s in our control. We have to focus on winning games, we have to focus more than winning games, we have to focus on our performance. … We have to take it one at a time. Take it in and just keep fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting until the end.”
Vancouver will get a chance to move into the standings on Saturday when it faces the Rapids (8-12-9) in Colorado.
The two sides have already met once this season with the Caps taking a 2-1 decision against their home fans at BC Place on August 17th. Their last three tours.
White watched the Rapids play from the stands. He said Colorado is a team that is dynamic and has some good players.
“(Saturday) will be a tough test, especially with the altitude,” White said. “So we have to execute the game plan we’ve come up with and do everything we can to come away with the three points.”
To claim victory, the Whitecaps must find a way to score.
The club has been blanked in its last two games, a 3-0 decision to Nashville SC on August 27 and a 2-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes last week. The Caps haven’t gone three straight without a goal since August 2020.
“I think we just need to click. I think luck owes us something, too,” said head coach Vinny Sartini, of the two losses, only Nashville had a bad game.
“So I hope things change soon. But to get luck you need to conquer luck.
The Whitecaps will be missing their two leading scorers in Colorado.
Striker Lucas Cavalli will serve the second game of a four-game suspension for stepping on an opponent’s head against Vancouver’s Nashville, while attacking midfielder Ryan Gould will be sidelined for picking up a yellow card.
Winger Deborah Caicedo is also done for the season after undergoing surgery for a right knee injury.
“So the three pieces that played a big role in our 34 points offensively, they’re not there,” Sartini said. “But we still have Brian (White) and Pedro (Whitt) at the top. So we’re happy. We’re happy with that.”
No matter who is in the lineup Saturday, the group will be eager to atone for their last two performances, Hustle said.
“The last two results were disappointing as a team and individually and I think we all want to put it right,” said the keeper.
“We want to work hard. We want to show what we can do this weekend because I feel like we haven’t shown that in the last two weeks. So we’re just trying to work as hard as we can. “Let’s do it and let’s do it. We know we can.”