After their convincing victory over Sporting KC last weekend the Vancouver Whitecaps (7-4-11) head south to take on Chivas USA (6-11-5). This will be the 3rd meeting between these teams this season.
After enjoying success against Chivas USA last season the Whitecaps have only collected 1 point against them this year. After having to settle for a draw against 10 men the ‘Caps then suffered a demoralizing 3-1 home defeat to the goats.
Newly acquired defender Kendall Waston will be looking to earn a starting role but last week Andy O’Brien and Johnny Leveron were stalwart together and coach Carl Robinson is unlikely to change his center defender pairing. The Whitecaps defense will have their hands full as they try to keep Erick Torres off the score sheet. Torres has been a ‘Caps killer since joining Chivas USA. The goats have been goalless for the past 276 minutes and have lost their last 4 games.
Chivas will likely come out gun’s blazing but if the Whitecaps can score first it could very well be the difference maker. Vancouver striker Darren Mattocks has found his scoring boots and has hit the net 4 times in the last 6 games. There is always room to improve but Mattocks combined with the always dangerous Pedro Morales could be the driving force for a playoff push.
Vancouver fans were starting to get restless with all the recent draws. Despite all the draws, Vancouver has only lost 4 times this season. After the chaotic offseason, no one would have predicted only 4 losses at this point in the season for Vancouver.
This weekend we will see if the Whitecaps truly deserve a playoff spot. If so, they must defeat, not only the top teams in the east, but also the teams that pose a realistic threat to taking the Whitecaps 5th and final spot. And frankly, everyone in the Western Conference is a threat.
(image courtesy of vancouversun.com)