Preview: Whitecaps FC return to BC place to host All-Star laden Sporting Kansas City

“They’re the best team in MLS at the moment"

 

VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6W-4L-11D) face one of their biggest tests of the season on Sunday as they host reigning MLS Cup winners Sporting Kansas City (11W-5L-6D) at BC Place.

Kickoff for Sunday’s match is set for 5 p.m. PT - PVR Alert: due to the rain delay, the PGA Championship will most likely not be completed before 5 p.m. PT. The 'Caps match will start on TSN2 and asap on TSN. Also, please note that TSN2 will show a replay at 10:30 p.m. PT. Fans can also watch the match live on Bell mobile devices, and TSN GO. The match will also air live on TEAM 1410 and teamradio.ca, starting with the pre-game show at 3 p.m. PT. TEAM 1410 will also have a two-hour post-game show immediately following the match. Sunday's match will also be replayed on TSN2 at 10:30 p.m. PT.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

Last match: Chicago Fire 0-0 Vancouver Whitecaps FC

In their last outing, Whitecaps FC picked up another critical point, as they battled to a 0-0 draw against Chicago Fire at Toyota Park.

David Ousted turned away everything that came his way to earn his fifth clean sheet of the 2014 campaign, bettering his total of four from a year ago. In front of Ousted, the ‘Caps were defensively airtight, with Matías Laba leading the charge. The Argentine midfielder, who was named Budweiser Man of the Match, led the way with a game-high with seven tackles and was a disruptive force down the middle of the pitch all night long.

With the result against Chicago, the ‘Caps now have four draws in their last four matches, although head coach Carl Robinson says that recent results aren’t indicative of the squad’s overall performance, and the boys are now focused on looking ahead.

“Their performances have been excellent, they really have, and we probably should have won more games than we have, but we can’t get them back," said Robinson. "We can talk about it till midnight if we want, but there‘s no point to doing that. We’ve got 13 games to go, and we need to pick up a number of wins."

The 'Caps further bolstered their backline on Friday with the addition of Costa Rican centre back Kendall Waston. While he's eligible to suit up immediately, it's unlikely that the 6-foot-5 defender will play on Sunday after only joining up with the team on Saturday.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY

Last match: Sporting Kansas City 1-1 Philadelphia Union

Kansas City, who lead both the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield race with 39 points in 22 games, come into Sunday’s contest riding an eight match unbeaten streak, putting up a 6W-0L-2D record since June 7. Sporting have also won their last five matches on the road and have the best record in MLS away from home at 7W-4L-0D.

In their last match against Philadelphia Union, SKC fought to a 1-1 draw at Sporting Park. Midfielder Graham Zusi potted a goal for the second straight match, while goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum made six saves to earn the point against Philadelphia.

Their excellence over the course of the season isn’t a surprise to most, as Kansas City are loaded with talent at both ends of the pitch. Zusi, defenders Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin, and striker Dom Dwyer, who ranks second in MLS with 14 goals on the season, were all named to the MLS All-Star team that topped German superpower FC Bayern Munich 2-1 on Wednesday evening.

The formidable challenge that Kansas City poses definitely isn’t lost on head coach Carl Robinson, but he’s confident that his squad is up to the task.

“They’re MLS Cup champs, have four MLS all-stars, and maybe future coach of the [United States] men’s national team in Peter [Vermes],” said Robinson. “They’re the best team in MLS at the moment, arguably. So, it’s going to be a great test for us, but it’s a test we’re ready for. It’s a test that’ll show us whereabouts we are, in relation, and it’s a game that I feel we can get a result out of – not a draw, but a win.”

HEAD-TO-HEAD

This will be the fifth all-time meeting between Whitecaps FC and Sporting Kansas City in MLS. Kansas City holding a decisive edge in the series thus far, with a 2W-0L-2D record, including last season’s 1-1 draw at Sporting Park on July 3, 2013.

NEXT UP

Whitecaps FC head right back out on the road for the first of two consecutive matches at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles as they take on Chivas USA on Saturday, August 16 at 7 p.m. PT. 

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, 5-packs, 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.