Preview: Whitecaps FC clash with Chivas USA

'Caps looking to bounce back after home defeat to LA

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10W-9L-6D) host Western Conference basement-dwellers Chivas USA (5W-14L-6D) Sunday at BC Place with an important three points up for grabs. 

Kickoff for Sunday's match between Whitecaps FC and Chivas USA is set for 4 p.m. PT and is live on Sportsnet Pacific, Sportsnet ONE, and Bell mobile devices. 'Caps fans can also listen to Sunday’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.

On Sunday, Whitecaps FC will be presenting a special halftime performance featuring a number of dancers throughout the Lower Mainland performing a choreographed routine. Fans can also purchase tickets to Kickoff with Canada's Culinary Teams for a face-to-face culinary experience at Edgewater Lounge with chefs from Culinary Team Canada and Culninary Team Canada. Those who attend the event will get to sip craft beers and wines and watch the match from a private setting.  

Sunday's contest will be the third and final meeting between Whitecaps FC and Chivas USA this season – the two teams swapped home wins in their previous two meetings. It is another crucial matchup for Whitecaps FC, as the Western Conference standings seem to become more and more crowded with every passing week. Whitecaps FC, who currently sit seventh in the Western Conference, are separated from second place LA Galaxy by just four points. A win is crucial to further cement their chances of securing a playoff spot for the second straight season. 

WHITECAPS FC

The ‘Caps are coming off a hard-fought 1-0 loss at home to LA Galaxy in front of a sellout crowd at BC Place. The Blue and White surrendered just one shot on goal – a third-minute tally from American international Landon Donovan – but could not find the back of the net against the two-time defending MLS Cup champions. 

Last match: Whitecaps FC 0-1 LA Galaxy

Head coach Martin Rennie will be looking to right the ship this week after suffering just their second home loss this season. However, they will be facing a feisty Chivas USA side who are coming off a 3-2 home victory over the star-studded New York Red Bulls.

This weekend's contest could mark the return of Camilo, who was held out of the starting lineup last weekend due to a tight groin suffered against Colorado Rapids on August 17. It was the first time Camilo didn't see any minutes since Vancouver's March 2 season opener against Toronto FC. The Brazillian striker is enjoying a career season, in which he has scored a team-high 14 goals – second only to Montreal Impact striker Marco Di Vaio. 

Although Camilo could return, the 'Caps will be without midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker against the Goats. The Englishman was suspended for caution accumulation after receiving his eighth yellow card of the season last weekend against LA Galaxy. Captain Jay DeMerit, who tied the knot with Canadian Olympic ski scross gold medalist Ashleigh McIvor over the weekend, is still listed as questionable. The 33-year-old centre back, who played 70 minutes in a scrimmage with the UBC Thunderbirds last week, continues to inch closer towards a return after rupturing his Achilles tendon in Vancouver's March 2 regular season opener. 

Whitecaps FC made a significant announcement on August 28, announcing the signing of Residency defender Sam Adekugbe as a Homegrown player. Adekugbe became the seventh Homegrown player to sign with the club in their three-year MLS history and the first defender to achieve this feat. The 18-year-old left back started 55 of his 57 appearances with Whitecaps FC's U-16 and U-18 teams over the past two seasons and will continue to be a member of the club’s U-18 team for the 2013-2014 USSDA campaign.

CHIVAS USA

It's been a disappointing season for Chivas USA, but there was a lot to like in their most recent outing – a 3-2 home victory over New York Red Bulls at the StubHub Center.

Last match: Chivas USA 3-2 New York Red Bulls

The Goats opened the scoring in the 30th minute off the foot of Julio Morales, who scored his first ever MLS goal to give them the lead. Also contributing was rookie striker Erick Torres, who potted a brace to lead the Goats to victory. The 20-year-old Mexican now has four goals and an assist in just six appearances this season. 

Scoring on the road has been a challenge for Chivas USA this season. They are currently tied for the lowest amount of road goals in the Western Conference with nine. On the other hand, the 'Caps have been quite stingy at home as of late – conceding just three goals in their last five matches at BC Place. 

If the Goats are going to pick up their second straight win on Sunday, they'll have to do it without midfielder Daniel Atunez (left ACL reconstruction), defender Carlos Bocanegra (right popliteus strain), forward Caleb Calvert (right metatarsal fracture), and goalkeeper Tim Melia (lumbar distectomy). 

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Saturday’s match will be the eighth MLS meeting between the two clubs. Whitecaps FC hold the edge with a 3W-1L-3D record. 

June 19, 2013: Whitecaps FC 3-1 Chivas USA

The previous meeting between the two teams saw Whitecaps FC pull away with two first half injury time markers to secure a 3-1 victory at BC Place in June. Camilo scored two of his team-leading 14 goals en route to a Budweiser Man of the Match performance. 

Whitecaps FC remain undefeated against Chivas USA at home (2W-0L-1D record) – their other home victory took place on October 3, 2012 when the Blue and White cruised to a 4-0 win. 

Among the player connections, 'Caps goalkeeper Joe Cannon played with Chivas USA centre back Bobby Burling at San Jose Earthquakes from 2009-10. Left back Jordan Harvey also played with Chivas USA midfielder Gabriel Farfan at Philadelphia Union.

NEXT UP

Following Sunday's meeting with Chivas USA, Whitecaps FC will be off to Texas to face FC Dallas in a match that is sure to have major playoff implications in the Western Conference. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PT at FC Dallas Stadium. It will be the first of three straight road matches for the 'Caps. They're not back at BC Place until September 28, when they host first-place Real Salt Lake.