VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC will look to put themselves pack in a playoff position in Saturday afternoon when they host Real Salt Lake at BC Place. Tickets: http://ow.ly/BZggd.
KICKOFF: 4 p.m. PT TV: TSN2 RADIO: TSN 1410 MOBILE: bell.ca/mobiletv ONLINE: TSN GO
Here are three storylines to get you set for the match.
With five matches remaining, Whitecaps FC remain very much in the playoff picture.
The ‘Caps enter the weekend two points back of Portland Timbers for the fifth and final playoff position in the Western Conference. Vancouver’s magic number is 16, meaning any combination of points earned by the ‘Caps and dropped by the Timbers will see the Blue and White quality for the postseason.
“It’s crunch time,” defender Steven Beitashour told reporters this week. “We’re pretty much fighting with Portland right now for that final spot … but we can’t get ahead of ourselves. It’s Saturday, a big game against Salt Lake. We have to do all the little things, get a win, and go from there.”
After Real Salt Lake, Vancouver’s remaining opponents are: FC Dallas, Seattle Sounders FC, San Jose Earthquakes and Colorado Rapids.
Saturday’s match will be the third and final meeting between Whitecaps FC and Real Salt Lake this season.
The previous two matches both ended in draws at Real Salt Lake’s Rio Tinto Stadium, which is always a tough place to play. RSL’s 9W-1L-5D home record is one of the best in MLS.
The most recent meeting between these two teams was a heated battle in July that saw seven players booked. After that game, Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson said he believed that RSL had become one of Vancouver’s rivals, so you can bet the boys will be up to the task on Saturday with the season series on the line.
“Absolutely,” midfielder Russell Teibert told reporters this week. “These are all going to be tough games. We know we’re going into battles. And we’ve had a good battle with Salt Lake all year along. I’m really looking forward to it and speaking on behalf of the boys, I know they’re really looking forward to it as well.”
MORALES VS. MORALES
Will we finally see a Pedro Morales vs. Javier Morales matchup on Saturday? Pedro didn’t start the two previous meetings between Vancouver and RSL this season, but the third time could be a charm.
If they’re both in the lineup on Saturday, we should be in for a treat. Pedro and Javier Morales are two of the top attacking midfielders in MLS – both players are among the top five in chances created this season. They also happen to come from the same part of the world and share the same last name.
The winner of Saturday’s contest could very well be determined by the Morales who has a bigger impact on the game.
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