Preview: Whitecaps FC off to the East Coast for early morning encounter with New England Revolution
VANCOUVER, BC – After picking up four of a possible six points in their first two matches of the season, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1W-0L-1D) are back on the road on Saturday for an early morning encounter with New England Revolution (0W-2L-0D).
Kickoff for Saturday’s match is set for 11 a.m. PT at Gillette Stadium. You can watch the match live on CTV BC (view channel listings here) and Bell mobile devices. The match will also air live on TEAM 1410 radio and teamradio.ca, starting with the pre-game show at 9 a.m. PT. Following the match, TEAM 1410 will have a two-hour post-game show.
Whitecaps FC fans are invited to watch the match at the Official Whitecaps FC Viewing Party at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar (765 Beatty St., Vancouver), hosted by ‘Caps legend Carl Valentine. Festivities will get underway at 10 a.m.
Including their 4-1 win over New York Red Bulls on opening day, Whitecaps FC have posted a 8W-2L-1D record in their last 11 matches against Eastern Conference opponents dating back to their 2013 season opener against Toronto FC.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Highlights: Chivas USA 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
The ‘Caps are coming off a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA last weekend in Carson, California.
After Erick Torres gave the 10-men Goats a lead just before halftime, substitute Kekuta Manneh scored his first goal of the season in the 81st minute to help Vancouver claim a point in their first road match of the season.
Jamaican striker Darren Mattocks, who found Manneh in the box after making a lively run down the left flank, now has assists in each of Whitecaps FC’s first two matches of the season.
Leading into this weekend’s contest, Whitecaps FC are one of four teams tied with four points atop the Western Conference table. Their five goals scored are also more than any other Western Conference team.
- LISTEN: Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson speaks to media
Aside from midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy, who continues to recover from a torn ACL in his left knee, it appears that Carl Robinson will have a full squad at his disposal against New England.
After missing last weekend’s match against Chivas USA with a hamstring strain, midfielder Russell Teibert trained in full this week and is expected to be available against New England – as are defenders Johnny Leveron, who is back to full training after undergoing the league’s concussion protocol, and Andy O’Brien, who came out early against Chivas with what Robinson referred to as a “dead leg.”
One player who didn't make the trip to New England, however, is captain Jay DeMerit.
"It's important I look after Jay," Robinson told TEAM 1040. "He's too valuable of a player to only play 10 or 15 games for me this season. We made a decision to leave him behind to rest and recover in preparation for next week."
For those of u asking, I'm being rested this wknd. I won't play every game this year so w travel & big W conf games coming up, nows the time
— Jay DeMerit (@D6MERIT) March 21, 2014
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Highlights: Philadelphia Union 1-0 New England Revolution
It’s been a disappointing start to the season for the Revs, who lost both of their first two matches without scoring a goal.
After a humbling 4-0 loss to Houston Dynamo on opening day, New England’s most recent outing was a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia Union last weekend at PPL Park.
Despite New England’s early season struggles, the ‘Caps are expecting a motivated side on Saturday in the Revolution’s home opener. Last season, the Revs posted an 8W-5L-4D record at home en route to a third-place finish in the Eastern Conference.
Also of note, the Massachusetts outfit enter Saturday’s match undefeated in seven straight home openers (6W-0L-1D).
New England’s roster features three former Whitecaps FC players: midfielders Daigo Kobayashi and Lee Nguyen and goalkeeper Brad Knighton. Kobayashi has played 94 minutes in New England’s first two matches, while Nguyen started his first appearance last weekend after a groin injury. Meanwhile, Knighton has yet to see any minutes in the regular season.
On the injury front, midfielder Kelyn Rowe was kept on the bench last weekend due to some tightness in his right hamstring, but the 22-year-old is expected to be available against Vancouver.
Saturday’s contest will be the fifth all-time MLS regular season meeting between Whitecaps FC and the Revolution. New England has the slight edge with a 2W-1L-1D record, though Vancouver won the most recent meeting in June of last year – a thrilling 4-3 victory at BC Place.
Scottish striker Kenny Miller led Whitecaps FC with two goals on that day – both of which were nominated for MLS Goal of the Year.
Vancouver hasn’t fared as well away from home against the Revolution, losing both of their previous matches at Gillette Stadium by a combined score of 5-1.
This will be the lone meeting between Vancouver and New England this season.
The ‘Caps are back at BC Place on Saturday, March 29 for a meeting with Eastern Conference side Houston Dynamo, who currently sit atop the league standings with six points to their name.
Retired defender Young-Pyo Lee will be honoured prior to the match. The South Korean legend will also be signing autographs at the Bell Box on Terry Fox Plaza from 3 to 3:30 p.m.
Whitecaps FC season tickets start at the prorated price of just $331 and single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. The 'Caps also offer a flexible range of ticket products, including half-season tickets ($244), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets ($199), and a youth soccer half-season ticket ($100). For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.