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ice opposite Greg Norman and las
« on: January 30, 2019, 07:01:59 PM »
VANCOUVER -- Jordan Harvey didnt quite know what to make of the Vancouver Whitecaps coming into the 2014 campaign. After a tumultuous off-season that included the teams head coach getting fired -- as well as its best player forcing his way out of town -- the defender wasnt alone. "I had a lot of questions," Harvey said this week. "It was a young team and everything, but we acquired some really quality players. We had that first game (a 4-1 home victory over the New York Red Bulls) and the expectations were huge, but we also saw how high we could reach and the bar was set. "I think we have the consistency, the depth to maintain that." Nearly a third of the way through the season, those characteristics will be put to the test on Saturday when the Whitecaps (4-2-4) host the top team in Major League Soccer at B.C. Place Stadium as the Seattle Sounders (8-3-1) travel north to face their bitter geographic rivals. Watch the game live on TSN2 and TSN GO at 7pm et/4pm pt. "Arguably theyre the best team in Major League Soccer at the moment. The league table doesnt lie," said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. "Its a good test for us to see where we are. Its a test that Im looking forward to as a coach, and I know my players certainly are. "Theyre a very a good team, but let me tell you, so are we." The Whitecaps enter Saturday with 16 points through 10 games, but just one of their four wins have come against Western Conference opponents -- a trend from last season that Vancouver will have to shake if it wants to return to the playoffs after missing out in 2013. "Its vitally important. Winning any game of football is good, but obviously every time you dont win against a Western team youre losing points and theyre gaining points," said Robinson. "Its very important and we need to make sure that we compete with the Western teams and beat the Western teams. Thats a big focus for us this year because we didnt do it enough last year." The Sounders have 25 points from their 12 games, but will be without midfielder Clint Dempsey, who is away with the U.S. national team as it prepares for the World Cup in Brazil. "Its a test for us because Seattle are where they are," said Robinson. "Weve had a very positive start. Weve still got a lot of work to do, a lot of improving to do, and well continue to do that, whatever the result on Saturday. Its just a marker for us to see where we are." The Sounders have won five of six and are coming off a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend, while the Whitecaps will have had 10 days off since bowing out of the Amway Canadian Championship semifinals to Toronto FC on May 14. "I think its going to be a game thats going to be a bit open," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told the clubs official website. "Theyre a team that likes to counter attack and get forward, so it might open up at certain times during the game." Theres no doubt the Whitecaps have turned heads around MLS ten games into the schedule after a tricky off-season. Robinson was promoted from an assistants role to replace former head coach Martin Rennie in December after a prolonged search, with the Welshman taking over just in time to watch star striker Camilo Sanvezzo refuse to honour the final year of his contract. Undaunted by that setback, Robinson brought in talented fresh faces, including Matias Laba and Pedro Morales and the roster has gelled quickly. "I think weve surprised a lot of people. I dont think weve surprised the dressing room, though," said Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit. "I think the manager has kept the squad that he wants here because he believes that we can be capable of the things weve been doing the first 10 games. "Its up to us to make sure we go beyond that." The veteran defender has been with the Whitecaps since the club joined MLS in 2011 and knows the importance of beating the top teams in the West -- something Vancouver did twice last season against Seattle. "It has to come from us," said DeMerit. "It has to come from the fact that we believe in it and we believe we can do it and do it consistently." While the Sounders will be without Dempsey on Saturday, the Whitecaps will have to be wary of Seattle striker Obafemi Martins, who has five goals and six assists. "Hes a top player. Hes a world-class footballer," said Robinson. "Hes someone who scores goals and thats why hes paid big money. Weve got to make sure we eliminate the service into him and eliminate him on the ball because hes a fantastic player." Apart from its importance in the standings, the game is also Vancouvers first of the season in the regional Cascadia Cup -- a mini-tournament played between the Whitecaps, Sounders and the Portland Timbers. The team with the most points in the games played amongst the three clubs at the end of the season takes the title, which Vancouver did in 2013. "Its like a playoff atmosphere," said Harvey. "You can feel the support, the energy from the fans and its always one that we want to win for them. The Cascadia Cup -- thats some hardware that we want to keep." DeMerit likens the atmosphere to the local derbies he was a part of during his time playing in England. "You get that full atmosphere, that constant hum of chants, that full intensity that comes with that rivalry and that only rivalry games seem to create," said the 34-year-old. "Both sets of fans are very passionate about their clubs and thats what we want. Thats what were trying to build here in North America and in MLS and theres no better example than the Cascadia rivalry." Notes: The Whitecaps are 3-1-1 at home so far this season, while the Sounders have the same record on the road. ... Seattle and Portland tied the only other Cascadia game played so far this season 4-4. Each team plays six games in the competition. The Whitecaps visit the Timbers on June 1. ... Vancouver announced Thursday that striker Darren Mattocks has obtained a green card in the U.S., freeing up an international roster spot. ... Harvey and DeMerit, who are both American, said they were surprised that Los Angeles Galaxy star Landon Donovan was left off the U.S. World Cup team. Said Harvey: "Thats a crazy decision. Im really shocked by it. Hes a quality player -- best U.S. player in history." Shaq Mason Jersey . This time, Tebow was in a groove the entire second half -- not just in the waning minutes -- and his teammates on defence were getting gobbled up. Isaiah Wynn Jersey . Tensions rose in the first period when Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik hit Bruins forward Loui Eriksson with what appeared to be a clean hit. http://www.patriotsauthenticshop.com/Patriots-Brandon-Bolden-Draft-Jersey/. On Wednesday night, they showed that stellar defence and a little small ball can get the job done too. With pinch-runner Kevin Pillar aboard after Dioner Navarro opened the bottom of the ninth with a single, Anthony Gose dropped down an excellent bunt along the first-base line. James Develin Jersey . Coming off a 6-0 drubbing at Chelsea on Saturday, Arsenal endured another demoralizing result after rallying for a 2-1 lead -- only to concede a fluke equalizer. Chris Hogan Jersey .ca has you covered for whos in, whos out and what to expect from all 30 teams.RIDGEDALE, Mo. -- Jay Haas will be going to the Presidents Cup for the fourth straight time, and this time hell be giving the speeches. The PGA Tour selected Haas to be the U.S. captain for the 2015 matches in South Korea in what amounts to a role reversal. After three years as an assistant captain to Fred Couples -- all three U.S. victories -- Haas will in charge and Couples will be his assistant. Nick Price was selected to return as captain for an International team that has one only once since this event began 20 years ago. "I didnt really aspire to be a captain -- never thought that would be in the cards for me," Haas said. "But being involved with the last three teams along with Fred ... maybe thought someday that could happen. Theres so many people who are deserving of this seat right here. I just feel like Im very blessed to be sitting here representing the United States. And hopefully, I wont screw this thing up too badly." Couples had been captain three straight times, twice opposite Greg Norman and last year against Price at soggy Muirfield Village.dddddddddddd The Americans won, 18 1/2-15 1/2, to remain unbeaten at home. The International teams only win was in 1998 at Melbourne. The teams tied in 2003 in South Africa. Haas played in the inaugural Presidents Cup in 1994, and was a captains pick for the 2003 team. The Presidents Cup will be Oct. 8-11, 2015, at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, the first time it has been held in Asia. The only continent where it has not been played (among those with players eligible for the International team) is in South America. Price called last year a "learning experience" and was happy to get another chance. "I just want to thank the players who were on the team last year because without them, I dont think Id be sitting here again," he said, adding that PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem polled the players "so I must have done something right." Price appointed K.J. Choi of South Korea to be his vice captain. 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