The playoffs start now for the Vancouver Whitecaps. Actually, I think they started last week in Portland but that didn’t go very well. Another humiliating 3-0 loss to one of their biggest rivals has left the Whitecaps on the edge of missing this year’s post season. This weekend the Whitecaps will host Real Salt Lake for the first time at BC Place this season.
The Whitecaps and RSL have started to make a rivalry this season as their two previous meetings at Rio Tinto ended in hard fought draws which included 10 bookings. The last time these teams met back in July, Joao Plata salvaged a point for RSL late in the game after Darren Mattocks had given Vancouver the lead from the penalty spot.
Real Salt Lake demolished the Rapids 5-1 last week and a victory in Vancouver would see them cement a playoff spot. The Whitecaps were forced to pick up the pieces yet again after losing 3-0 to Portland but the biggest news this week was yet more drama from young striker Omar Salgado who was banished from training after a vicious retaliatory tackle on teammate Mitch Piraux which was followed by a heated argument with assistance coach Martyn Pert.
Vancouver coach Carl Robinson continues to remain positive about reaching the playoffs but the same cannot be said about the fans. The Whitecaps have been shutout 6 of their last 9 games and the scoring doldrums do not show any signs of ending. Vancouver could have some good fortune come their way. Real Salt Lake head coach Jeff Cassar hinted that he will rest some of his starters. This wouldn’t be the first time RSL played their B-team against the Whitecaps in Vancouver. Last year it worked and Real Salt Lake walked away with all 3 points.
(image courtesy of Greg Wahl-Stephens)