VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Regardless of whether or not the Vancouver Whitecaps make the playoffs this season, Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Real Salt will surely be viewed as a missed opportunity to pick up three points. Follow GOAL CANADA on Twitter
The visitors arrived with what was essentially a reserve outfit, as RSL head coach Jason Kreis made 10 changes to the lineup that fell to the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend.
With the U.S. Open Cup final set for Tuesday, Kreis was frank that it took precedence over this individual MLS regular season match – despite the fact Real still has a great chance at winning the Supporters' Shield.
As it turned out, he still got a win out of his 'B' team, which played Vancouver's regulars off the pitch.
“I think we had a great opportunity today, at home, to beat a team that had maybe their mind elsewhere,” goalkeeper David Ousted said. “I can't explain why we're not there and not taking an opportunity like this, but we need to get back and try to win the next three or four games, and see if we can fight our way in there.”
Midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker praised RSL's pass-and-move possession football, which functions much the same regardless of the players selected.
“It's a banana skin,” Reo-Coker said of playing a team made up largely of second stringers. “You've got to be careful. Just because they've left their so-called starting eleven at home doesn't mean that they're going to come there without the right mentality... they play a good system, they've got a great system they've been playing all season.
“They never change their system. Every player knows their responsibility in that system and it works well for that team and the players they have.”
As for the playoff picture, Vancouver remains four points back of the fifth and final Western Conference playoff spot, currently held by the Colorado Rapids, with four games left on the schedule.
Head coach Martin Rennie was blunt when asked about the performance of an individual player.
"I don't think anybody played well today apart from maybe David Ousted,” Rennie said. “I think it was a terrible performance from everybody and that means it's a terrible performance from the coach as well. It's a real, real let down and way below our standard."
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