The Vancouver Whitecaps haven’t exactly been good travellers this season.
All 11 of their points so far this season have come at BC Place, making them the only remaining side in Major League Soccer not to pick up anything away from home.
But there is a silver lining; the ‘Caps did manage to battle from 1-0 down to salvage a late 1-1 draw in their Canadian Championship quarter-final match away at CanPL team Cavalry FC. That forced the game into extra-time and, eventually, a penalty shootout, which Vancouver won 5-3.
And despite still suffering away, the Whitecaps have been improving overall, losing just once in their last six games across all competitions – 2-1 away at Charlotte FC. Head coach Vanni Sartini is certain their resilience in enemy territory against Cavalry is a sign of their improvement.
“If the game was played like a month ago, we would have lost,” he said. “We found the resource, we found the strength, we found the willingness to come back and to score and even to have another couple of chances to finish before the extra time.
“So I think that on a mental side but also on the physical side, we are in a very good moment.”
Vancouver return to action this weekend, once again on the road to Sporting Kansas City. Is their result against Cavalry the start of the turnaround away from home?
“Hopefully we broke the spell,” Sartini added. “And for sure I’m gonna I’m gonna wear the same jumper that I had (on Wednesday.)”
Defender Jake Nerwinski is equally desperate to turn this one result into the catalyst for improvement, highlighting how Vancouver need to improve on the road if they’re to ‘leap into Playoff contention’.
“I think everybody kind of knows it,” he said of Vancouver’s away struggles. “It’s been six games now that we haven’t. And I think in order for us to make that leap into the Playoff contention, we’re gonna have to start getting points on the road.”