Tim Parker: “Coming out the way we did tonight, coming out the way we did against LA, I think that’s the kind of standard we have to hold. That’s the kind of standard in football we want to play the rest of the year.” (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
Special to FrontRowSoccer.com
VANCOUVER, Canada — Vancouver Whitecaps FC center back Tim Parker gave credit where it was do Wednesday night.
The Hicksville, N.Y. native lauded Tigres for its performance in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal at B.C. Place, a result that propelled the Mexican side into its second consecutive final.
Tigres recorded a 2-1 victory to win the aggregate goals series, 4-1, after securing a 2-0 home win in the opening leg.
“You can see the kind of quality players they have, the kind of players who have played at all different levels, all the different countries around the world,” Parker told reporters Wednesday night. “Their kind of experience and their knowledge of the game is very evident and you’re able to see that when you play against them.”
Still, the 24-year-old Parker felt Vancouver’s experience in the CCL was a valuable learning tool it can bring forward into the Major League Soccer season. The Whitecaps were coming off a 4-2 comeback win over the LA Galaxy over the weekend.
“I think it’s a confidence thing,” he said. “Coming out the way we did tonight, coming out the way we did against LA, I think that’s the kind of standard we have to hold. That’s the kind of standard in football we want to play the rest of the year.”
The former St. John’s University standout felt Vancouver played well enough to secure a berth in the final. Instead, it will be an all-Mexican championship series between Tigres and Pachuca, which eliminated F.C. Dallas Tuesday night.
“We just had a lot of motivation to keep that journey going,” he said. “Down in Mexico we played a good leg. Giving up that second goal maybe hurt us a little bit down the stretch.”
On Wednesday night, the Whitecaps struck on Brek Shea’s third-minute goal, giving the hosts a lifeline. But they couldn’t fine that elusive second score.
“We had a great, 35, 45 minutes in the first half,” he said. Obviously, we were still pushing for that goal in the second half. They had a great quality goal and sometimes those kind of things happen.”
Parker was referring to Frenchman Jean-Pierre Gignac’s goal in the 63rd minute as he adroitly placed a 20-yard shot into the upper right corner off a Javier Aquino feed past an outstretched Ousted for a 1-1 tie and a 3-1 series lead.
“We had our chances,” he said. “They had some chances and they were able to capitalize on a great finish.”