Home MLS Vancouver Whitecaps Le Toux “disappointed in myself” after scoreless Philly homecoming

Le Toux “disappointed in myself” after scoreless Philly homecoming

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The man in the gaudy orange shoes didn’t quite get what he came for here Saturday on the frigid pitch in suburban Philadelphia. Then, again Sebastien Le Toux and the Vancouver Whitecaps didn’t leave town empty-footed, either.

After playing the Philadelphia Union to a 0-0 draw, the good news is the Whitecaps still haven’t allowed a goal in their four games.  The bad news is they’re still searching for someone to put one in the back of the net.

That could’ve been Le Toux, who was welcomed back warmly by those same boisterous Union fans who cheered him on the previous two seasons, before Philadelphia’s two-time leading goal scorer was unceremoniously shipped to Canada.  But his chance for a glorious homecoming slipped away late in the game when he was fired over the crossbar with Philadelphia goalkeeper Zac MacMath at his mercy.

“I had two big chances where I should’ve scored,” admitted Le Toux, after the  2-0-2 Whitecaps held off the 0-3-1 Union’s second half surge to  salvage a valuable point on the road.  “I’m very disappointed in myself, because my team needed me.

“There was lots of emotion before the game. During the game. After.  It was a new thing for me. It was great. But we can’t just be satisfied with a tie. We have to score goals.”

Yet coach Martin Rennie is confident it’s only a matter of time before the offence starts producing.

“Not scoring goals is always frustrating,” said Rennie, whose club was not credited with a single shot targeted shot on MacMath.  “But this is the third team I’ve built.

“I’ve been through this process before. It takes a little while to get that clicking. I’m not concerned. I know what it takes. It doesn’t always happen right away.”

“But I do think it was good for Le Toux to get this game out of way.  It was a big deal for him. He was a fantastic player for the Philadelphia Union and I’ll believe he’ll be great for the Whitecaps as well.”

Vancouver controlled play throughout much of the first half, before the Union adjusted its attack and began to make a stronger push.  Yet whenever Philadelphia seemed poised to strike, the Whitecaps had the answer, as goalkeeper Joe Cannon made two saves — one against Brian Carroll on the goal line — to make sure the long flight home wouldn’t seem any longer.

For Cannon that makes it four games, four clean sheets.

“Clean sheets are a great feather in your cap as a team,’’ said defender Jay DeMerit.  “It takes an 11 to get a clean sheet.

“I think we’ve defended well as a team.  Now that we have that down pat we have to go and score  We need to improve at the offensive end.”

Le Toux wasn’t the only Whitecap returning to his old stomping grounds.  Defender Jordan Harvey was nearly as pleased as Le Toux to get the point.  “Once again we were sound defensively,” said Harvey. “They came hard second half and we withstood their wave.

“We’re disappointed in a tie. We thought we could’ve had more.”

That’s precisely the way Rennie wants his players to think.  “It doesn’t matter how far you travel, there’s no excuses when you get to the game,” said Rennie, whose club heads next to San Jose.  “There’s no satisfaction with a tie on the road.

“We have to have higher expectations that that and didn’t quite do it today.”

He just hopes there won’t be too many tomorrows before the Whitecaps start cashing in some goals to go with all those clean sheets.

 

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