Ryan Raposo says he felt “goosebumps” when the Vancouver Whitecaps made a winning return to BC Place.
After 539 days of having to play in neutral territory due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Whitecaps finally went out in front of their home fans on Saturday. The Canadian side delivered, came from 1-0 and beat LAFC 2-1.
During that period away, 22-year-old Raposo appeared 30 times for the Whitecaps but, unbelievably, this was the first time he played at BC Place in front of fans. It did not take long for him to realize what he had missed.
“When I got to the warm-up, I got goosebumps right away,” the winger said after Saturday’s match (via MLSsoccer.com). “We have kind of got used to playing away [and] kind of forgot what it’s like to be at home. ”
Saturday’s win, thanks to second-half goals from Brian White and Scottish midfielder Ryan Gauld, extended Whitecap’s unbeaten streak to eight games, breaking the club record.
Vancouver now has eight more home games to look forward to between now and the end of the season. Manager Marc dos Santos says his side will make up for lost time as they look to narrow the three-point gap between themselves and the playoff spots.
“We had to win back our fans, you know we have one [big] jobs to do to win back the fan base because we have been far from them, we have fought, says Dos Santos. “So profit is important just to get them back.”
It strikes differently when we sing it with you? ️ #VWFC #VANvLAFC | @Bell pic.twitter.com/7fg0cFYh77
– Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) August 22, 2021
After scoring his first goal for the club late to win the match, the designated player Gauld spoke about the importance of sending supporters home happy.
“Playing here in front of the fans for the first time at this stadium was a really good feeling,” he said. “I know all the guys have missed playing here in front of the fans. So having the opportunity to do that today was brilliant, so hopefully we sent them all home happy.”
Next up for the Whitecaps is a Canadian championship game against the Canadian Premier League team Pacific FC before taking on Real Salt Lake at the end of August.