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Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos walks onto the field before a match against the San Jose Earthquakes in Vancouver on July 20, 2019.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Coach Marc Dos Santos calls July a “nightmare” for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Not only has the team lost every Major League Soccer game it has played this month, the club was ousted from the Canadian Championship on Wednesday by Calgary’s Cavalry FC, a squad from the first-year Canadian Premier League.

A punishing schedule has left little time for the Whitecaps (4-11-8 in MLS play) to regroup, Dos Santos said on Thursday before the team embarked on yet another road trip.

“We feel like right now we’re in a boxing ring and the bell’s never going off,” the first-year coach said as the team prepared for a game against Minnesota United on Saturday. “And you’re never able to rest a little bit and try to prepare the team.”

Stuck in a five-game losing skid and without a win since May 25, the Whitecaps are in need of something drastic to salvage what’s left of the season.

The group has been booed off the field at the end of the past two home games and midfielder Andy Rose said the players take the vocal criticism personally.

“[The fans] are paying hard-earned money to watch us play. They want to be entertained, they want to go home happy,” he said. “And for the ones that continue to come out and support us and drive us on, it’s a real credit to them and they deserve something back.”

With just 11 games left in the regular season, time is running out for the Whitecaps to reignite fans’ passion.

One or two positive results could shake up the team, Dos Santos said, but some roster moves could also be in order.

“Sometimes you need a little bit of new blood in the locker room to allow you to get a spark or to grow,” the coach said, adding that he’s trying to get a deal done in the current transfer window.

The current players are well aware of the club’s current position at the bottom of the Western Conference standings and know what’s on the line as they head to St. Paul, Minn., to take on Minnesota (10-7-4).

“We need to try to fight as hard as we can to get a tie or get a win,” defender Jake Nerwinski said.

United will prove to be another tough opponent. The Loons were on a seven-game win streak – a club record – heading into last Saturday’s game, where they settled for a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake.

Minnesota has lost at home just once this season, but the Whitecaps know what needs to be done in order to get a result, Nerwinski said.

“We just need to go back to our basics,” he said. “We had a spot in this season where we went 10 unbeaten. We know that we can do it, we know we have the guys to do it. It’s just a matter of getting it done on the field and putting in 90 full minutes.”

One problem that has plagued the ‘Caps recently is the inability to recover after conceding goals. Part of the problem has been the team’s confidence, Rose said.

“It’s a real mentality thing for a new group of players coming together, finding ways to trust each other, especially when you go down a goal or two,” he said. “But we’ve come back and shown that determination, that grit plenty of times. It’s within us, it’s the same group of players.”

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