Three storylines to watch as Whitecaps FC host San Jose Earthquakes Saturday at BC Place

Can Beitashour contain former teammate Shea Salinas?

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC are set to host longtime Western Conference rival San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday in the club’s 40th anniversary match at BC Place.

KICKOFF: 4 p.m. TV: TSN2 RADIO: TEAM 1410 MOBILE: bell.ca/mobiletv ONLINE: TSN GO

Here are three storylines to watch.

Turning back the clock

On May 5, 1974, the Vancouver Whitecaps officially began their journey with a match against San Jose Earthquakes. Forty years later, Whitecaps FC will commemorate that first-ever game as the two teams meet again Saturday at BC Place.

To celebrate the occasion, the inaugural 1974 ‘Caps team will be honoured prior to the match and Bob Lenarduzzi will be the first inductee into the club’s newly launched Ring of Honour.

Make sure to be in your seats early so you don’t miss out on this historic occasion.    

Switching sides

One player who’s had Saturday’s match circled in his calendar is Whitecaps FC defender Steven Beitashour. The San Jose native spent the first four years of his professional career with his hometown Quakes before joining the ‘Caps at the end of January. This will be Beitashour’s first-ever game against San Jose – the ‘Caps played them in the preseason but he wasn’t in the lineup.

The match couldn’t have come at a better time for Beitashour, who has picked up an assist in each of his last two games – his first points with Whitecaps FC.

Though Beitashour is known for his ability to get forward, he’s proven to be a reliable defender as well. And the right back’s defending will be put to the test on Saturday against former ‘Caps midfielder Shea Salinas, a left winger who has assisted four of San Jose's six goals this season. 

Decisions, decisions

Do Pedro Morales and Jay DeMerit draw back into the starting lineup? How about Uruguayans Sebastian Fernandez and Nicolas Mezquida, whose late goals salvaged a point for Whitecaps FC last weekend. Should Kekuta Manneh get his second straight start?

These are some of the decisions Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson and his technical staff will have to make in advance of Saturday’s clash with the Quakes.

The first eight weeks of the 2014 MLS season have shown the amount of depth Robinson has at his disposal – Vancouver’s seven different goalscorers are tied for the most in the league. Now, it will just be a matter of finding the right combination this weekend against San Jose. 

It’s not too late to participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including prorated season tickets ($294), half-season tickets ($244), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets ($199), and a youth soccer half-season ticket ($100). Single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.