Three storylines for Sunday's match vs. Chivas USA

Centre back connection among storylines for tilt with Chivas

DeMerit and Bocanegra United States

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VANCOUVER, BC – After a thrilling opening day victory, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will play their first road match of the 2014 Major League Soccer season on Sunday against Chivas USA.

KICKOFF: 4 p.m. PT TV: CTV2 BC RADIO: TEAM 1410, teamradio.ca MOBILEbell.ca/mobiletv

Here are three storylines to get you set for the match.

Goals, goals, goals

Whitecaps FC and Chivas USA were two of the highest-scoring teams last weekend, combining for seven goals in their respective victories. Coincidentally, six of those seven goals were scored in the second half. 

Both teams have injected some exciting talent into their lineups this season. In addition to returning striker Erick Torres, the Goats have added former Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Mauro Rosales, who picked up a pair of assists last weekend, and Mexican striker Adolfo Bautista – among others.

Meanwhile, the ‘Caps have added a South American flair to their squad this season, and it was on full display last weekend as Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales scored MLS Goal of the Week nominees in their respective debuts. Fernandez took home the award with 39 per cent of the vote. 

Centre back connection

Sunday’s match will be a reunion of sorts for centre backs Jay DeMerit and Carlos Bocanegra, who have become good friends after spending over three years together with the United States men’s national team.

The centre back duo started all four matches for the U.S. at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, helping the Americans go undefeated in the group stage and win their group for the first time since 1930.

Bocanegra, who spent four seasons with Chicago Fire before venturing off to Europe in 2004, joined the Goats midway through last season and started each of his 12 appearances. He played against Vancouver on September 1, but DeMerit wasn't in the lineup. He hadn't yet returned from injury.

Sunday will be the first time the two players go up against one another since DeMerit was with Watford and Bocanegra with Fulham back in the 2006-07 English Premier League season. 

New men in charge

The ‘Caps and Goats find themselves in similar positions heading into this weekend’s encounter. Both sides are coming off exciting opening day victories after undergoing major changes in the offseason.  

In addition to their new players, both teams have new head coaches at the helm. In Vancouver, former assistant Carl Robinson has taken the reins while former Colorado Rapids assistant Wilmer Cabrera is the new man in charge at Chivas.

Both coaches have spoken about playing with an aggressive, possession-based style, which should make for an entertaining affair this weekend. Which rookie head coach will come out on top?

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.