Preview: Whitecaps FC continue road swing in Kansas City

'Caps aim for fourth straight victory on Wednesday, 6 p.m. PT

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7W-5L-4D) will be looking for consecutive road victories on Wednesday when they take on Sporting Kansas City (7W-5L-5D) at Sporting Park. This is the lone meeting of the season between the two teams.  

Wednesday's match between Whitecaps FC and Sporting Kansas City kicks off at 6 p.m. PT and is live on TSN 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 4 p.m. PT. TEAM 1410 will also have a two-hour post-game show, which will begin following the match.

Following Wednesday's match, the 'Caps return home to BC Place Saturday night to face Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle Sounders FC. Kickoff for Saturday's match is scheduled for 8 p.m. PT.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

'Caps prepare for Sporting Kansas City

This past Saturday night, the ‘Caps managed to fight off a pesky D.C. United side to pick up their second road win of the season at RFK Stadium. A Camilo penalty kick on 48 minutes was the difference in the 1-0 triumph after Matt Watson was taken down in the box to earn the spot kick. D.C. United had several chances during the match but were turned away time after time by Brad Knighton, who recorded his first shutout in MLS play this season.

Vancouver’s third straight win coupled with L.A. Galaxy’s 3-2 loss to San Jose Earthquakes gave the ‘Caps sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference with 25 points from 16 games.

Head coach Martin Rennie welcomed back midfielder Gershon Koffie and centre back Brad Rusin, who made their return from injuries as second half substitutes versus D.C. United. However, Rennie will still be missing captain Jay DeMerit (ruptured Achilles tendon), winger Omar Salgado (foot fracture) and centre back Andy O’Brien (strained hamstring) on Wednesday.

The ‘Caps are also missing three players due to international duty for their countries at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Goalkeeper Simon Thomas (Canada), midfielder Russell Teibert, and centre back Carlyle Mitchell (Trininad and Tobago) are unavailable until at least July 16, depending on if their teams progress from the group stage.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY

Last MLS match: Sporting Kansas City 3-2 Columbus Crew

Like Vancouver, Kansas City are also heading into the mid-week bout with a win. SKC defeated Columbus Crew 3-2 this past weekend.

Kei Kamara’s strike on 34 minutes gave KC a 1-0 advantage heading into the half. Then, things opened up as the teams shared three goals in the first eight minutes of the second half to even things up at 2-2. Kamara grabbed the late winner for Sporting KC in the 80th minute.  

Sporting KC sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 26 points and are 4W-3L-2D at home this year. Vancouver will be in tough against SKC, as they have only lost once in their last six MLS matches.

On the injury front, Peter Vermes’ side may be without the service of Paulo Nagamura (left ankle), Ike Opara (left thigh) and Seth Sinovic (right hamstring) on Wednesday night.  

HEAD-TO-HEAD

First meeting (April 2, 2011): Whitecaps FC 3-3 Sporting KC

This will be the fourth all-time MLS meeting between Whitecaps FC and Sporting Kansas City. Vancouver will be searching for their first win versus Kansas City since entering MLS. The ‘Caps hold an all-time record of 0W-2L-1D against their Eastern Conference counterparts.

In their previous meeting, the ‘Caps fell to a 3-1 loss on April 18, 2012 at BC Place. The lone goal for the home side came from former ‘Caps and current Philadelphia Union striker Sebastien Le Toux.

There are multiple player connections between the two sides. 'Caps goalkeeper Joe Cannon and Sporting Kansas City striker Kei Kamara were teammates on San Jose Earthquakes in 2008. Kansas City midfielder Jacob Peterson was also teammates with Cannon as members of Colorado Rapids in 2006.

Collegiately, both Greg Klazura of the ‘Caps and Sporting’s Michael Thomas captained the University of Notre Dame at separate times; Klazura from 2009 to 2011 and Thomas from 2006 to 2009.

NEXT UP

Following the midweek clash with Sporting KC, the Blue and White host Seattle Sounders FC this coming Saturday, July 6 at 8 p.m. PT.