Whitecaps flying high after first win, head to Orlando
The Vancouver Whitecaps didn't have much time to celebrate their first victory of the season, a 1-0 shocker of Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Football Club on Wednesday night.
The Whitecaps (1-4-2) had to get up early Thursday for an all-day trip that covered more than 2,700 miles to Orlando, Fla., where they will face Orlando City SC on Saturday afternoon.
"It's the reality of the MLS where now we go to the East Coast," Vancouver goaltender Maxime Crepeau told reporters. "There's the time change ... It's the reality of the game. There's no excuses. We prepare for it. We're professionals, we recover well and we're ready for it."
The long trip no doubt was made a lot more enjoyable by the win over LAFC, the team's first in seven games. Midfielder Inbeom Hwang drilled in a rebound of a shot that had caromed off the right post in the 27th minute to snap a 352-minute shutout streak by LAFC and was the game-winner for the Whitecaps. Crepeau had three saves for his second clean sheet of the season.
"It was a big relief for everyone getting that monkey off our back," midfielder Russell Teibert said. "Now we need to carry that momentum to Orlando."
Saturday's contest will be the third in nine days for the Whitecaps, who also will have to deal with about a 30-degree change in temperature and a big increase in humidity.
Vancouver coach Marc Dos Santos will have to assess which players will be ready to go after the last game and the long trip.
"We need to try to put the best set up on the field to have as fresh of a team as we can," Dos Santos said. "Because it's important against Orlando to hold players like Dom Dwyer and (Luis "Nani" Almeida). They have an experienced team."
Orlando City (2-3-2) will be well rested. The Lions will have had a week to prepare following their 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake last Saturday. Former Manchester United star and Portuguese international Nani, who is tied for second in the MLS with four assists, scored his third goal of the season in the loss, tying him with Dwyer for the team lead.
The Lions, who are minus-2 in goal differential, fell behind 2-0 in the first 55 minutes, and the score stayed that way until Nani's goal in the 81st minute.
"Our biggest frustrations we feel with the games we've had is that we've made it too easy where we've gifted goals to the opposition," Orlando City coach James O'Connor told MLS.com. "From an attacking standpoint, we've been really pleased with the style we've shown and the chance creation we've shown."
--Field Level Media
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