Year on the Rails - 24 Hours


By BOB MACKIN

- THE BUZZ:

The Vancouver Whitecaps must derail the Carolina RailHawks tonight and Sunday if they want to prolong their season and continue the quest to repeat as United Soccer Leagues' First Division champions.

- GAME ONE:

The Caps host the 'Hawks at 7:30 p.m. in Swangard Stadium to start a two-game, total goals playoff series. Vancouver finished 11-10-9 for the seventh and last playoff spot. The 16-7-7 'Hawks were second. The Whitecaps were 4-1-5 in their last 10 games.

- POWER CHUCK:

The Caps rely on league scoring champ Charles Gbeke (12 goals) to beat the 'Hawks for the first time in 2009. Carolina had a 2-1 July win and 1-1 August draw on an 88th minute goal.

- THOR THOUGHTS:

"The games have been tight and these are two teams who will again match up very well," said Caps' coach Teitur Thordarson.

- NEXT:

The series shifts to Cary, N.C. for Sunday at 2 p.m.