Storm earns passing grade

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

Calgary Storm head coach Tommy Wheeldon wanted six games before giving an assessment of his side.

The verdict is in.

\"I\'m delighted with the way things have shaped up,\" Wheeldon said yesterday.

\"We\'ve shown what we can do in winning two games and the other night (Thursday\'s 1-0 double overtime loss to Seattle) was very pleasing.\"

All things considered, the bench boss should be happy.

The Storm is already halfway towards reaching its wins total of a year ago, a brutal 4-21-3 season, the team\'s first in the A-League.

So far this season, Calgary has a 2-4 record, including a road victory against Seattle, the defending league champs.

Calgary takes on the 2-0-4 Portland Timbers tonight (Foothills Athletic Park, 6 p.m.).

The Storm\'s defence-first approach has meant solid results but not necessarily fan-friendly soccer.

\"We\'ve tried to concentrate on the defensive side, which is the way you build a team,\" said Wheeldon, who went on to praise the Storm\'s defensive players.

\"I\'m delighted with Liam (Desilva), Tommy (Wheeldon Jr.), C.J. (Pesznecker) and Conrad (Chala), who has played well from the midfielder/defender position.\"

While its play on the defensive side of the ball has been steady, two games jade the Storm\'s goals-against record.

\"The only disappointments to me were the 6-0 (loss) Vancouver game, where we really ran around and the 4-1 game at Portland,\" noted Wheeldon.

In all, the Storm has scored five goals and given up 14.

Wheeldon admits his side could use some offensive punch but the team\'s strikers have been decimated by injury to date.

Brent Bachelau has been out since the second game of the season with a fractured foot.

Nick Reyes pulled a hamstring in Calgary\'s home-opener against Portland and the domino effect continued when midfielder/striker Ian Dawes suffered a leg injury.

Sean Fraser has played through an ankle injury.

But the good new is Wheeldon expects both Reyes and Dawes to play tonight.

Fans can also look for David Wiebenga in net after his spectacular performance in the overtime loss to Seattle. The American from Raytown, Mo., did hurt his foot in that match but Wheeldon said he should be able to play.


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