By Ian Walker
Only once since joining the W-League in 2001 has the Vancouver Whitecaps women's team not made the playoffs. Anything but a win tonight against the Colorado Force and the girls of 2007 could very well have some company in the no post-season club.
It's a tight race atop the league's Western Conference, with Vancouver trailing second-place Seattle and Colorado by one point heading into the final weekend. A victory for Vancouver -- which comes into the pivotal matchup well rested after not playing a competitive game in more than two weeks -- would go a long way towards putting the Whitecaps in control of their own destiny. A loss and ... well, head coach Alan Koch isn't ready to go there.
The Whitecaps conclude their season Sunday against the Real Colorado Cougars.
"I think we are capable of doing the business in Colorado, which I think will be enough to get us into the playoffs," said Koch, whose team will be scoreboard watching as the Sounders face the last-place Los Angles Legends tonight and the first-place Pali Blues on Sunday.
"To achieve that, we have to win both games, which will be very difficult to do."
As if playing at altitude with the season on the line isn't enough, the Whitecaps will be without four key players for the weekend trip to Colorado. Carmelina Moscato, Jodi-Ann Robinson, Chelsea Stewart and Shannon Woeller have been called up to Canada's national team for a pair of international friendlies against the United States. Koch is also without Paige Adams, Sophie Schmidt and goalkeeper Jaclyn Dunnett due to injury.
The Whitecaps men will be looking to return to their winning ways against the Carolina Railhawks today in a game which will mark the end of what has been a disappointing first half for the defending USL-1 champions.
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