Whitecaps FC-Orlando City Preview
It took some time, but the Vancouver Whitecaps finally have a chance to build on a victory this season.
They'll get the opportunity to do so and extend their unbeaten stretch to three games when they visit Orlando City on Saturday.
Vancouver (1-4-2) was stuck amid the worst start in franchise history, and wondering when that first victory would actually arrive. In stunning fashion, it came 1-0 at home Wednesday night against previously unbeaten Los Angeles FC.
Inbeom Hwang scored in the 27th minute, and Vancouver clamped down defensively to become the first team this season to record a clean sheet against mighty LAFC. Los Angeles had scored 21 goals in seven games coming into the match.
"We stayed the process, and a lot of times we did a lot of things well and we only got out of the games with a tie or with a loss," manager Marc Dos Santos told the Whitecaps' official website. "(Wednesday night's) win is important now because it has paid off, all the work, all the consistency of the players in training."
Dos Santos also knows that victory might not mean much if the Whitecaps are unable to use it as a springboard for further, more consistent, progression.
"We didn't win any trophy, we didn't win anything," Dos Santos added. "We got a win, and even if it's positive, it's a good step, but we need to continue to build on that. We need to win more games if we want to make the club grow and get to our objectives."
Vancouver last won consecutive MLS games in late August, early September of last year. However, the Whitecaps are 3-0-1 all-time against Orlando, which includes winning both road meetings.
Orlando (2-3-2) has alternated losses and wins over its last five games. City was already down 2-0 when Nani scored off the bench in the 81st minute of last weekend's 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake.
In all but two games this season, Orlando's opponents have scored the first goal of the game.
"I think for all of our quality in our level of performances that we've been pleased with, that's a big factor we have to stop," manager James O'Connor, referring to Orlando's inability to consistently score first, told the club's official website. "We need to be way more focused on understanding the process."
In hopes of preserving the overall fitness of his stars, O'Connor had both Nani and Dom Dwyer come on as substitutes last week against Salt Lake. Nani and Dwyer, who each have three goals on the league campaign, could very well be back in the starting XI for this contest.
Updated April 18, 2019