After a long break the Vancouver Whitecaps (6-4-11) will play hosts to league leaders Sporting Kansas City (11-5-6) this weekend. Last week Sporting KC was held to a 1-1 draw by the Philadelphia Union but Sporting have found their form and are on an 8 game undefeated run. Vancouver is looking to add to their win column after tying Chicago Fire 0-0. The Whitecaps have tied their last 4 games.
Since joining MLS, the Whitecaps have yet to collect all 3 points from Sporting. After 4 previous meetings since 2011 the ‘Caps have gone 0-2-2 against SKC. Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson will be hoping that several of KC’s starting lineup will be absent after Dominic Dwyer, Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, and Aurelien Collin were all part of the MLS All-Star roster that played against Bayern Munich last Wednesday evening.
I have discussed in several previous articles that Vancouver lacks a proven goal scorer and they still haven’t filled that massive hole in their roster. This week they did add Costa Rican defender Kendall Waston from Saprissa. Waston is almost 6 and 1/2 feet tall so his height will be a massive boost on set pieces for a Vancouver team that is vertically challenged.
There was a buzz around the twitter world recently that Vancouver is looking within MLS to fill their striker vacancy but I’m not getting my hopes up. Robinson has repeatedly shown that he has faith in his young roster and it seems that Vancouver brass are willing to live or die with youth this season. Is there a method to Robinson’s madness? Yes, there is.
Currently the Whitecaps have a 50/50 chance of advancing to the playoffs but Robinson does have a plan. He wants to create a young team that will be a top MLS club that continually challenges for champions. I for one support Carl’s vision and I think he has the skills to carry it out. However, I do not agree with starting unreliable strikers who miss golden opportunity after golden opportunity to put games beyond the opponents reach.
This weekend’s matchup against Sporting KC is a must win for the Whitecaps. Creative midfielder Pedro Morales will likely continue to work his magic and all we can hope is that Vancouver’s young strike force can capitalize on a few of these opportunities.
(image courtesy of mlssoccer.com)