Preview: Whitecaps FC visit D.C. United

'Caps aim for third straight victory as they face former teammates

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6W-5L-4D) look to make it three wins in a row when they visit D.C. United (2W-11L-3D) on Saturday. This is the first and only meeting of the season between the two teams.

Saturday's match between Whitecaps FC and D.C. United kicks off at 4 p.m. PT and is live on Sportsnet Pacific and Bell mobile devices. 'Caps fans can also listen to Saturday night’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.

Following Saturday's match, the 'Caps will continue their road swing by flying to Kansas for a Wednesday night match with Sporting Kansas City. Kickoff for that match will be 6 p.m. PT.

WHITECAPS FC

'Caps train in preparation for D.C. United

The ‘Caps carry the momentum of two consecutive come-from-behind victories into RFK stadium, and 13 points from their past six matches.

In their most recent match versus Chivas USA last Wednesday, the Blue and White got off to a shaky start when Tristan Bowen’s strike gave Chivas a 1-0 advantage in the 18th minute. However, the comeback ‘Caps continued their entertaining ways and were up 2-1 by halftime on goals from Jordan Harvey and Camilo. The Brazilian then added another in the second half for a 3-1 final.

The ‘Caps now sit in sole possession of the fifth and final playoff of spot in the Western Conference.

Camilo’s performance versus Chivas USA earned him MLS Player of the Week award, marking the second straight week a member of the ‘Caps has been awarded the honour; Kenny Miller held the award last week. Camilo is now up to eight goals in MLS this season, good for fourth in league scoring.

Good news came for the ‘Caps this week as centre back Brad Rusin and midfielder Gershon Koffie are now healthy after recovering from injuries and should be available come Saturday. However, head coach Martin Rennie will continue to be miss captain Jay DeMerit (ruptured Achilles tendon) and winger Omar Salgado (foot fracture), while centre back Andy O’Brien (strained hamstring) also looks unlikely to play this weekend.

Following Saturday’s match, both Russell Teibert and Carlyle Mitchell will depart to represent their respective countries at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Teibert will join teammate Simon Thomas with Canada, while Mitchell will join his native Trinidad and Tobago.

D.C UNITED

Last MLS match: D.C. United 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes

D.C. United will be looking to continue their climb out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a positive result versus Vancouver.

In their most recent MLS match, D.C. United downed San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 courtesy of a successful penalty kick from Chris Pontius in the 10th minute. The win was the team’s first MLS triumph since March 9, a span of 105 days between victories in league play.

Despite their struggles in MLS play, the Eastern Conference club do have a 3W-1L-1D in their last five matches overall.

A shining light for United has been their run in the 2013 U.S. Open Cup. On Wednesday, D.C. advanced to the semifinals of the competition with a 3-1 victory over New England Revolution. Canadian Dwayne De Rosario notched the game-winning goal with a header on 69 minutes.  

On the injury front, D.C. United will be missing a litany of players due to injury. Dejan Jakovic and Lewis Neal (pubic stress reaction) are unavailable for Saturday’s bout. While the following players are listed as questionable: Carlos Ruiz (right groin strain), Marcelo Saragosa (right knee surgery) and Ethan White (left hip flexor strain).

The club also announced on Wednesday that they have released Brazilian Designated Player Rafael.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

March 24, 2012: Whitecaps FC 0-0 D.C. United

Saturday’s match will be the fourth meeting between Whitecaps FC and D.C. United in MLS, with the ‘Caps holding a record of 1W-1L-1D versus the Black and Red.

In their previous meeting on March 24, 2012, the two teams battled to a scoreless draw at BC Place.

In terms of player connections, three former ‘Caps now play for D.C. United. Kyle Porter is a Whitecaps FC Residency graduate who left the club in 2010. John Thorrington made 35 appearances in two seasons he spent in Vancouver (2011-2012) before being picked up by D.C. in the 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft. And most recently, Swiss-Canadian left back Alain Rochat was traded from Vancouver to D.C. United for a pair of future draft picks on June 6, 2013.

On another interesting note, Vancouver’s new signing, goalkeeper David Ousted, was a neighbour of former D.C. United striker Charlie Davies when the two were teammates at Randers FC this past season.

NEXT UP

Following Saturday’s match, Vancouver are back in action soon after when they travel east to face Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday July 6; kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT.