VANCOUVER - There were dark clouds and a cold, driving rain Monday as the Vancouver Whitecaps held their final on-field training session but the players and coach showed a sunny disposition as they looked forward to next years Major League Soccer campaign.Under rookie head coach Carl Robinson the Whitecaps accumulated a 12-8-14 record for a franchise high 50 points. Vancouver went 4-0-1 down the stretch to finish fifth in the Western Conference and clinch the final playoff spot. They lost 2-1 to FC Dallas in a heartbreaking playoff game that was decided on a questionable call by the referee.You dont need to be a psychic to read the signs that the Whitecaps have the potential to grow and improve.Were moving in the right direction, said defender Jordan Harvey. Making the playoffs, getting 50 points, all those landmark kind of things . . . it was a successful season.Im as excited as the next guy for coming into next season.Veteran defender Andy OBrien said the Whitecaps have laid a solid foundation.The club will no doubt be looking to get stronger and develop, said OBrien. In terms of the way we finished the season, I think that was a good blueprint in terms of how to start (next) season.As a coach Robinson is perpetually optimistic and supportive of his players. He has the team playing an entertaining, up-temp style on the field and created a positive culture in the dressing room.Of the 28 players currently on Vancouvers roster, 18 are 24 years or younger. That means the Whitecaps are still maturing and developing.I know we can do better, said Robinson, the 38-year-old former Welsh international. I know we can be better prepared not just on the training field but off the training field . . . to make things run easier.Players like midfielder Pedro Morales, holding midfielder Matias Laba, forward Sebastian Fernandez, defender Kendall Waston and goalkeeper David Ousted are part of the teams core.Robinson knows he must add to that group for the Whitecaps to make the next step.There will be changes, said Robinson. There will be additions because I want to strength the squad. The Whitecaps biggest need is the additional of goal scorers. Vancouver scored 42 goals last season, the least of any team making the Western Conference playoffs. Only four other teams in MLS scored less goals.Morales led the team with 10 goals and 12 assists.We lacked a goal scorer, said Robinson. If we had someone that could score 15, 20 maybe 30 goals, then we would be in a totally different position.Thats what we have to try to do to add to the group Ive got. Not to take away anything because we are building here. I want to build a core in here to move forward, not just next year but the next three, four or five years.The Whitecaps have had success finding Latin American players, but Robinson doesnt rule out looking for talent in Europe.I will turn over every rock, he said.One player Robinson would like to add to Vancouvers roster is Erick Torres, who scored 29 goals for Chivas USA this season before the team halted operations.One hundred per cent I would like him on my team, said Robinson. If you ask the other MLS coaches Im sure they would say the same.The Whitecaps will face some new challenges next season. Being the Canadian MLS team with the highest points standings earned Vancouver a berth in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League. That means playing extra games during the season.Next season will also see Sporting Kansas City, the 2013 MLS champions, and the Houston Dynamo move into the Western Conference. That will make the fight to make the playoffs that much harder.In the coming weeks there will be four MLS drafts, including an expansion draft, the Chivas dispersal, a re-entry draft and the SuperDraft. One of the first decisions facing Whitecaps management is which players to protect in the expansion draft.Its very difficult but thats the sign of a good team and a good squad, Robinson said.I have decisions to make. It will be for the benefit of the team and the club moving forward.One player Robinson must decide about is OBrien. The centre back turned 35 in June and moved into a leadership role when captain Jay DeMerit retired due to injury.OBrien says he wants to come back and would consider a reduction in his salary of US$280,000.Its not all about money, he said. Its about being wanted.Robinson plans to meet with OBrien soon.I would like to try and keep Andy in some capacity with the club, he said. I think hes a very good leader.Because we are in a salary cap league it depends on the financial side of it as well. Comprar Ultra Boost Baratas
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. Pillar is batting .305 with 17 extra-base hits, 19 RBI and five stolen bases in 34 games for Buffalo this season. The right-handed hitter had an International League high, 18-game hitting streak this season and currently owns an IL high 26-game on base streak.NEW YORK -- Theres little margin for error, and the New York Knicks know it. They need a big finish to the regular season, and after the way theyve started the last two games, maybe they have one in them. Carmelo Anthony scored 18 of his 29 points in the first quarter, sending the Knicks to a rare easy night in a 108-81 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday. With a long way to go to get back into playoff position, the Knicks won their second straight following a seven-game losing streak. They began a favourable portion of their schedule by opening an early double-digit lead and remaining comfortably ahead the rest of the way. They scored 39 points in the first quarter, their best in any period this season, after scoring 38 in the opening 12 minutes at Minnesota on Wednesday. "Last two games is, we had no choice," coach Mike Woodson said. "Time is somewhat running out and every game is important." Anthony added a season-high eight assists while playing just three quarters of a game that wasnt competitive for long after the opening tip. J.R. Smith had 17 points and Tyson Chandler finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks, who led by as many as 32. "We can either cave in and let teams beat the hell out of us, or we can come out there fighting," Smith said. "Thankfully we are coming out here fighting and it starts on the defensive end." Amare Stoudemire, who has moved into the starting lineup along with Smith, scored 10 for the Knicks. They visit Cleveland on Saturday to play one of the teams in between them and Atlanta, which currently holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. New York entered play 5 1/2 games behind the Hawks. The losing has wrecked Anthonys hopes of putting off discussion about his free-agency plans until after the season. His brief postgame questions were focused on reports that Chicagos Joakim Noah talked to him about joining the Bulls, and that the Knicks had spoken to Phil Jackson about a role in the organizations management. "Its ggoing to be more stories coming out, more speculation, everybodys going to have their own take on different stories, so for me Ive got to focus on playing ball and thats it," Anthony said.dddddddddddd He did it well Friday, despite battling a cold. Anthony scored New Yorks final 11 points in the first quarter, with a four-point play and another 3-pointer in the final 38 seconds as the Knicks opened a 39-22 lead on 70 per cent shooting. New York stretched the lead to 21 late in the second quarter and was ahead 60-41 at halftime. New York is 23-40 but still has playoff aspirations due to all the weak competition at the bottom of the East. The Knicks upcoming schedule gives them hope, with games against Philadelphia, Boston and Milwaukee, all among the NBAs worst teams, next week. They had no trouble with the Jazz, another lowly squad that lost to the Knicks for the fifth straight time. Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks each scored 18 for the Jazz, who dropped their fifth straight and fell to 0-5 on their six-game, nine-day trip that ends Saturday in Philadelphia. "I thought for two or three months weve played pretty steady basketball, right around .500 basketball. For us that was a step in the right direction," forward Richard Jefferson said. "Now were at the end of the season, youve got a lot of guys playing minutes that theyve never played before. We can see fatigue, frustration. A lot of things are coming into play, but youve got to stick with it." NOTES: The Knicks will take part in a news conference Monday at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, N.Y., with county and NBA Development League officials to discuss their plans to bring a franchise to Westchester. ... Blown out in Chicago on ABC last Sunday, the Knicks had their April 13 rematch with the Bulls in New York booted off the network Friday. It will become a 7:30 p.m. start with no national TV coverage, while Oklahoma City at Indiana was moved to the 1 p.m. spot. ... Utahs trip is the longest by days since early in the 2003-04 season. ' ' '