FRISCO, TEXAS – Vancouver Whitecaps FC are set to take on FC Dallas in the Western Conference Knockout Round playoff match at Toyota Stadium (6 p.m. PT, TSN1, TSN1040).
Here’s a look at Vancouver’s lineup.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 3.Sam Adekugbe, 11.Darren Mattocks, 16.Johnny Leverón, 23.Kekuta Manneh, 29.Nicolás Mezquida, 31.Russell Teibert
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson makes three changes to his starting XI from the regular season finale against Colorado Rapids. Right back Ethen Sampson steps in for the injured Steven Beitashour (right hamstring strain), Gershon Koffie replaces Russell Teibert in midfield, and Erik Hurtado returns at striker in place of Darren Mattocks.
Five players in the 18 return from the first Whitecaps FC team to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2012: Andy O’Brien, Jordan Harvey, Gershon Koffie, Darren Mattocks, and Russell Teibert.
Andy O’Brien, Jordan Harvey, and Gershon Koffie are the only three players in the starting XI to have also started the first playoff appearance for Whitecaps FC in 2012 vs. LA Galaxy.
Darren Mattocks started for Whitecaps FC in the 2012 Knockout Round match, scoring in the third minute of the match. Mattocks is second on the team with six goals this season.
Russell Teibert was an unused substitute in the 2012 Knockout Round match. Teibert, who joined the club in August 2009 when he was 15, is the longest serving player in Vancouver.
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Seven Whitecaps FC starters will be making their MLS Cup Playoff debuts: David Ousted, Ethen Sampson, Kendall Waston, Matias Laba, Pedro Morales, Sebastian Fernandez, and Erik Hurtado.
Mauro Rosales leads Whitecaps FC with four career MLS Cup playoff appearances, all while playing with Seattle Sounders FC in his first three MLS seasons from 2011 to 2013.
Goalkeeper David Ousted will be making his 48th consecutive MLS start with the club, which is the most on the team. Ousted is the only ‘Caps player this year to start and play every minute of MLS regular season action – one of five keepers in the league this season to do so. Ousted led MLS with 13 clean sheets this season.
Gershon Koffie will be making his first start since August 10 against Sporting Kansas City. The Ghanaian returned to the field on October 18 at San Jose Earthquakes after missing 10 matches with a sprained right foot.
Right back Ethen Sampson will be making his third start in MLS tonight. Sampson’s last match was at FC Dallas on September 13, playing the full 90 minutes. Earlier this year, the native of Mitchell's Plain, South Africa played in five preseason matches. Last year, as a member of the ‘Caps U–23 side, Sampson made seven appearances in USL PDL and seven appearances in the MLS Reserve League.
O’Brien, at 2,258 minutes played this season in MLS, has played the most minutes of the six centre backs used this year. Of the 13 shutouts Vancouver posted this season, O’Brien started 11 of those matches.
Tonight will be Kendall Waston’s 10th start for Whitecaps FC, six of which the ‘Caps have recorded a shutout.
Left back Jordan Harvey started all but one MLS regular season match this year and is second in the team, behind Ousted, with 2,939 minutes played.
Whitecaps FC captain Pedro Morales, who leads the club this year with 10 goals and 12 assists, appeared in all but one MLS regular season match for Whitecaps FC this year and is fourth on the team in minutes played with 2,554.
Sebastian Fernandez will be making his 25th start this season. The Uruguayan, who scored twice in Vancouver’s most recent meeting with Dallas, is tied for third on the team with five goals.
Striker Erik Hurtado more than tripled his minutes and games started from his rookie season. The second-year striker is tied for third on the team with five goals – his last goal scored was on September 13 against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium.
Whitecaps FC have posted four consecutive clean sheets and have not allowed a goal in 393 minutes, which is the longest streak by any team in MLS this team. The longest streak in Vancouver’s MLS history is 428 minutes, which was between March 10 and April 7, 2012.
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