Three storylines for Saturday's match against Houston
VANCOUVER, BC – Three weeks after their last home match, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1W-0L-2D) return to BC Place on Saturday to host Eastern Conference leaders Houston Dynamo (2W-0L-0D).
Here are three storylines to get you set for the match.
BACK TO THE FORTRESS
It’s been three weeks since Whitecaps FC’s home opener – a thrilling 4-1 win over New York Red Bulls in front of a sold-out crowd at BC Place. An explosive ‘Caps attack was on full display under first-year head coach Carl Robinson, with Scottish striker Kenny Miller and new South American acquisitions Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales each finding the back of the net.
Following their opening day triumph, the Blue and White hit the road for two matches and earned a point in each of them. Now, they return to BC Place, where they’ve been a hard team to beat over the last few seasons.
In fact, Vancouver went undefeated at home in their first 10 matches of the 2013 season. Can the ‘Caps continue their home dominance on Saturday?
“It’s always nice when you go on the road to come back home,” Miller told reporters on Thursday. “Especially after that first game, it was a fantastic result and great performance in front of a great atmosphere. The fans were superb, getting right behind the team … we’re looking forward to getting back on this pitch and hopefully getting a good result.”
SHUTTING DOWN BRUIN
Despite having only played two matches, Dynamo striker Will Bruin is currently tied for the league-lead with three goals. The 6-foot-4 forward notched a brace and added an assist in Houston’s 4-0 opening day win over New England Revolution, before scoring their only goal in a 1-0 victory over Montreal Impact two weeks ago.
Bruin, who has two international appearances with the United States senior men’s national team, has a goal and an assist in three career appearances against the ‘Caps. The 24-year-old scored his first professional goal in a 3-1 win over Whitecaps FC in April 2011.
“He’s a quality player,” said Whitecaps FC defender Jordan Harvey. “Big, fast, strong … he’ll definitely cause problems. But I think we have capable centre backs to handle him.”
LIFT OFF FOR DARREN MATTOCKS?
One 'Caps player to look out for on Saturday is striker Darren Mattocks.
The 23-year-old Jamaican has scored three goals in two career appearances against the Dynamo, which is the most he’s scored against any team in Major League Soccer. Mattocks doesn’t think his success against Houston is anything to read into, however.
“I don’t think that says anything, really,” Mattocks told reporters after training on Thursday. “Houston are obviously going to look at that, but it’s a different season and a different game.”
Though he’s yet to find the back of the net, Mattocks is off to a strong start to the 2014 season with two assists in three matches. And on a Saturday, he will be going up against a Dynamo backline that features his former University of Akron teammate Kofi Sarkodie.
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.