Preview: Whitecaps FC head to New York to face Eastern Conference-leading Red Bulls

‘Caps to battle New York for lone time this season

New York Preview

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

VANCOUVER, BC – Following a crushing 2-2 draw at home against Montreal Impact on Wednesday that cost them the Amway Canadian Championship, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3W-4L-4D) travel to the East Coast this Saturday, June 1 to battle New York Red Bulls (7W-4L-4D) in their lone meeting of the season.

Saturday's match between Whitecaps FC and New York Red Bulls kicks off at 4 p.m. PT and is live on Sportsnet Pacific, Bell mobile devices, and FREE stream on MLS Live. 'Caps fans can also listen to Saturday afternoon’s match live on TEAM 1410 radio and teamradio.ca, starting with the pre-game show at 2 p.m. PT. TEAM 1410 will also have a two-hour post-game show, which will begin following the match.

Looking for a great place to watch? Come on down to the official Whitecaps FC Viewing Party hosted by 'Caps legend Carl Valentine, starting at 3:30 p.m. PT at Library Square Public House - 300 W Georgia St.,  Vancouver. Mingle with your fellow supporters and enjoy the match!

WHITECAPS FC

Whitecaps FC train in New York, prepare for Red Bulls

The Blue and White will look to bounce back from the heartbreak of missing out on the Voyageurs Cup as they drew 2-2 against Montreal Impact in the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final this past Wednesday at BC Place, meaning that Montreal took the title on the away goals rule. The 'Caps twice took the lead only to see the Impact claw back, including the dagger from a Hassoun Camara header on 86 minutes.

In their last MLS match, the ‘Caps played to a 2-2 draw at home last Saturday, May 18 against Western Conference rivals Portland Timbers. Goals came from striker Camilo and midfielder Gershon Koffie were cancelled out by a penalty from Timbers captain Will Johnson and a late tally from Jose Valencia.

In terms of injuries for Martin Rennie's side, Kenny Miller and Daigo Kobayashi are now healthy having both made comebacks in the midweek outing against Montreal leaving only captain Jay DeMerit (ruptured Achilles tendon) and winger Omar Salgado (foot surgery) out indefinitely. Centre back Brad Rusin is also out after straining his left calf at Monday's training, while Gershon Koffie left Wednesday's match with a right quad strain. Striker Darren Mattocks is also away on international duty with his native Jamaica.

NEW YORK RED BULLS

Mite Petke and Thierry Henry talk about facing Vancouver

The Red Bulls are coming off of a 2-2 draw against Columbus Crew in their last MLS match this past Saturday, May 25 at Red Bull Arena. Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave scored for the Red Bulls, while Dominic Oduro and Federico Higuain scored for the Crew in a match that featured late-match dramatics. Olave scored in added time to give the Red Bulls the win.

On Wednesday night, the Red Bulls had a cup match of their own as they opened their US Open Cup campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win against United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) side Reading United. Fabian Espindola and Lloyd Sam got the goals for New York.

Led my first-year head coach Mike Petke, the Red Bulls have reached the top of the Eastern Conference table. New York have a plethora of talent in their lineup, including a number of MLS All-Stars such as Olave, Espindola, and world-class striker Thierry Henry.

The Red Bulls will be without several players this weekend due to injuries and international duty. For injuries, the home side will be without Andre Akpan, Ruben Bover, Ian Christianson, Digão, and Peguy Luyindula, while midfielder Tim Cahill has been called up for international duty with Australia.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

2012: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-1 New York Red Bulls

This will be the fourth all-time match between Whitecaps FC and the Red Bulls, with the two clubs drawing every contest so far for an even record of 0W-0L-3D. In their last meeting, the Blue and White drew 1-1 with New York on June 6, 2012 at BC Place.

Despite only playing three MLS matches against the Red Bulls, Vancouver have a long history of playing teams from the city of New York. In the days of the old North American Soccer League (NASL), the ‘Caps faced New York Cosmos and Rochester Lancers, including an epic NASL National Conference championship series versus the Cosmos in 1979. The ‘Caps won the series and advanced to the NASL Soccer Bowl, where they defeated Tampa Bay Rowdies (in New York) to become 1979 NASL champions.

In terms of connections between the two clubs, Whitecaps FC assistant coach Carl Robinson made 12 appearances as a player for New York Red Bulls from 2010 to 2011. New York midfielder Johnny Steele played with Whitecaps FC in the second division during the 2010 season.

Also, Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry and ‘Caps defender Young-Pyo Lee competed once in the English Premier League during a 1-1 draw between Henry's Arsenal and Lee's Tottenham Hotspur. Henry scored the lone goal for Arsenal in the match. Henry and Lee met again in 2006 during the group stage of the World Cup during which Lee's South Korea would draw with Henry's France 1-1. Henry again scored the lone goal for his side.

NEXT UP

Following this clash of East vs. West, the ‘Caps return to the Pacific Northwest when they travel to Washington State on Saturday, June 8 to battle Seattle Sounders FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

The ‘Caps next home match is on Wednesday, June 15 against New England Revolution. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.ca/whitecapsfc.