Vancouver Whitecaps defender Jake Nerwinski (28) heads the ball with Los Angeles FC defender Mohamed El-Munir (13) during the second half of MLS soccer action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 17, 2019. The Vancouver Whitecaps finally have a win in the books but there was little time for celebration this week. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Vancouver Whitecaps defender Jake Nerwinski (28) heads the ball with Los Angeles FC defender Mohamed El-Munir (13) during the second half of MLS soccer action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 17, 2019. The Vancouver Whitecaps finally have a win in the books but there was little time for celebration this week. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Whitecaps take on Orlando after grabbing first win of MLS season

The team faces Orlando City SC on Saturday

The Vancouver Whitecaps finally have a win in the books but there was little time for celebration this week.

Less than 24 hours after posting a 1-0 victory over Los Angeles FC on Wednesday, the team assembled at Vancouver’s airport, ready to travel across the continent to face Orlando City SC on Saturday.

READ MORE: Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

The contest will mark the ‘Caps (1-4-2) third game in nine days, including a pair of road matches.

Gruelling schedules are simply part of life in Major League Soccer, goalie Maxime Crepeau said at the airport before the Whitecaps left for Florida.

“It’s the reality of the game,” he said. “There’s no excuse. We’re prepared for it. We’re professionals. We recover well and we’re ready to go after that.”

Despite the busy stretch, the Whitecaps have taken four points from their last two games, including their first win of the season on Wednesday.

The team will be looking to build off those results on the road trip, said Russell Teibert.

“(Wednesday’s win) was a big relief for everyone, getting the monkey off our back, getting the first three points,” said the midfielder. “Obviously we need to carry that momentum into this game in Orlando.”

But the intense schedule will have an impact on how the squad prepares to face Orlando City (2-3-2), said coach Marc Dos Santos.

Flying from B.C. to Florida limits the team’s ability to get on the field for tactical training, so they’ll need to rely more on preparing via video, he explained.

Before staff can look at potential lineups, however, they’ll need to assess how players have recovered from Wednesday night’s physical win and a full travel day.

“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.”

Dwyer and Almeida each have three goals for Orlando this season, and shutting the pair down will be key in Vancouver’s quest for road points.

Scott Sutter didn’t play with Almeida, but he knows Dwyer better than most of his Whitecaps teammates after spending two seasons with the English striker in Orlando.

“He’s one of these guys that you love having on your team and you hate having against you. So it’ll definitely be a fun one,” Sutter said.

Teibert notes that the Whitecaps have already been successful in smothering a pair of offensive juggernauts this week. The team kept LAFC’s Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi from registering a single point on Wednesday.

“(Saturday’s game is) almost similar to this midweek game in that we played the best team in the league with possibly the best player in the league,” Teibert said. ”But you can’t tailor the game plan around one individual player. Things change, the dynamic of the game changes. But if you stick to your plan, good things will happen.”

Orlando has a dynamic forward group and a stable back end, said Sutter, who spent 2017 and 2018 playing in Florida.

“But you know, they have their issues as well and hopefully we can exploit those,” said the veteran right-back.

Sutter said he’s long been looking forward to facing off against his former club.

“It’ll definitely be an emotional one,” he said. ”I spent a couple of good years there. The club was good to me, the people were good to me, the fans were great to me. So it’ll be nice to go there and obviously hopefully get a win.”

Vancouver Whitecaps (1-4-2) vs. Orlando City SC (2-3-2)

Orlando City Stadium, Saturday

PERFECT RECORD: The Whitecaps are undefeated against Orlando City SC, holding a 3-0-1 all-time record and having won both of their previous away games against the Lions.

HELLO AGAIN: Sutter won’t be the only player lining up against former teammates. Whitecaps winger Victor ‘P.C.’ Giro also played 2017 and 2018 with Orlando and the Lions starting ’keeper Brian Rowe played 10 games for Vancouver last season.

OFFENSIVE OUTPUT: The ‘Caps remain near the bottom of the MLS standings when it comes to goals for. They’ve scored just six this season, tied with the San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers for the worst offensive output so far in the Western Conference. Orlando’s 11 goals place them third in the East behind Toronto FC and D.C. United.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of Nov. 23

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Shawn Canil, a Cloverdale-area resident, turns heads with the truck he’s decorated for Christmas. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Truck’s Christmas decorations lift spirits on Cloverdale man’s commute

‘When I see them smiling, I know it’s worth it,’ pickup driver Shawn Canil says

Ben “Santa” Cohen visits Ecole Martha Currie in Cloverdale Dec. 4. Santa wished everyone a socially-distanced Merry Christmas out in front of the school. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Santa visits Ecole Martha Currie in Cloverdale

First gig of the season for Ben ‘Santa’ Cohen; COVID driving most gigs online

(Delta Police Department photo)
South Delta crime beat, week of Nov. 23

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

At least one person received life-threatening injuries when a car collided with a semi truck in South Surrey on Friday morning. (Brenda Anderson photo)
VIDEO: South Surrey crash sends one to hospital in critical condition

Road closures in effect after collison between car and semi-truck

Fresgo Inn chef/owner Walter Wolff in the kitchen of the self-serve restaurant in Whalley. “I’ve got no plan for the retirement,” he says. “My customers always ask me, but as long as I feel good, healthy, I like to come here.” (Photo: Tom Zillich)
VIDEO: Hungry like the Wolff at Surrey diner Walter’s had cooking for 40 years

But lately, COVID-19 has soured business at Fresgo Inn and other B.C. restaurants

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty ventilators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of paymens for household incomes up to $175,000

KIJHL games have been postponed through Dec. 31. (File photo)
KIJHL postpones all games through end of 2020

Due to provincial health orders, games up to Dec. 31 have been pushed back

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Former Kelowna social worker arrested for allegedly stealing from foster kids

Robert Riley Saunders was arrested in Alberta and will be brought back to B.C. to face charges

Joe Fast of Abbotsford is on dialysis four days a week and has issued a public plea for a kidney donor. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford man with 5% kidney function is desperately in need of a live donor

Joe Fast has a rare blood type and hasn’t yet been able to find a transplant match

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Most Read