Point will do for the 'Caps - The Province

Marc Weber

Tilt to feature send-off for Olympic team

The Vancouver Whitecaps women have a simple challenge in front of them at 4 p.m. today at Swangard Stadium: Win or tie and they host a Western Conference playoff game; lose and they hit the road.

At least one point for Vancouver (6-2-3) against the Real Colorado Cougars (5-3-3) would set up a postseason clash against I-5 rivals the Seattle Sounders in Burnaby.

Seattle beat Real Colorado 1-0 on Friday and that result, combined with the Pali Blues of California (12-0-0) topping the entire USL W-League, set up today's scenario.

Pali has automatically qualified for the W-League Final Four in Virginia Beach and will be joined there by one team from each of three conferences.

The Whitecaps tied Real Colorado 1-1 away on May 28 and will be facing a fired-up squad this afternoon. Not only do the Cougars' playoff lives ride on a win, but they would host Vancouver, too.

American international Tiffeny Milbrett is coming off a two-goal, one-assist performance against Fort Collins and leads a squad that will likely be without strikers Jodi-Ann Robinson and Amy Vermeulen for the playoffs.

Both women were named as alternates to the Canadian Olympic team on Tuesday. The Whitecaps have asked Canada head coach Even Pellerud that Robinson and Vermeulen join the group in Beijing after the W-League playoffs, but Caps' head coach Bob Birarda wasn't holding his breath earlier this week.

At the game today, the Whitecaps will honour the Olympic team with a send-off. Other Canada players who have played at least twice for the Caps this season are Emily Zurrer, Sophie Schmidt and Jonelle Filigno, while veteran stars Christine Sinclair and Randee Hermus made one-night appearances.

Today's game
Vancouver vs. Real Colorado
4 p.m. at Swangard Stadium
© The Vancouver Province 2008