Three storylines to watch as Whitecaps FC host Montreal Impact Wednesday at BC Place

Can the 'Caps extend their unbeaten streak to eight?

Goal celebration with crowd, fans

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USA Today Sports Images

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC are back in action on Wednesday, when they host Canadian rival Montreal Impact at BC Place. Tickets: http://ow.ly/yhjQT

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. PT, TV: TSN (prematch show starts at 6:30 p.m. PT) , RADIO: TEAM 1410 (prematch show starts at 5 p.m. PT), MOBILE: bell.ca/mobiletvONLINE: TSN GO

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

Back from the break

It’s been over two weeks since Whitecaps FC played their last match – a 3-3 draw with Philadelphia Union on June 7 at PPL Park – and over a month since they’ve had a match at BC Place. This lull in action came as a result of Major League Soccer’s break for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The break “came at the right time” for Whitecaps FC, according to head coach Carl Robinson. The team was given a week off after the draw with Philadelphia before returning to training last week. It almost felt like preseason all over again, as David Ousted noted, only that we’re almost midway through the season.

The ‘Caps entered the break undefeated in seven straight league fixtures, which is already a new record for the club in MLS. Can they make it eight on Wednesday?

Red-hot Hurtado

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Second-year striker Erik Hurtado is still one of the hottest players in MLS, having scored in each of his last five games in all competitions.

In league play, Hurtado has four goals in four starts. He’s averaging 0.76 goals per 90 minutes, which is among the best in the league. The 23-year-old also has a pair of assists this season, which already matches his total from last season.

These numbers shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Hurtado scored 15 goals and added seven assists as a senior at Santa Clara University. There’s a reason why Whitecaps FC selected him at fifth overall in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.

Lineup decisions

Robinson will be forced to make at least one change to his starting lineup on Wednesday, as centre back Jay DeMerit suffered a tendon tear in his left ankle in Vancouver’s last outing. It was announced on June 12 that DeMerit is expected to miss at least six weeks.

Though Robinson admitted the loss of his skipper is a “big blow,” the ‘Caps still have four other centre backs on their roster: Christian Dean, Carlyle Mitchell, Johnny Leveron, and Andy O’Brien. Mitchell started both of Vancouver’s Amway Canadian Championship fixtures – as did Dean – but has yet to appear in MLS play. Dean, meanwhile, has one MLS appearance in a substitute’s role.

With a busy schedule upcoming – Wednesday’s match kicks off a stretch of six games in four weeks for the Blue and White, including two games this week – it will be interesting to see how Robinson handles the centre back situation.  

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 ($220), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets, and a youth soccer half-season ticket. 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.