VANCOUVER, BC – After playing to a scoreless draw with Montreal Impact in their first game back from a two-and-a-half week World Cup break, Vancouver Whitecaps FC return to action Saturday against Western Conference rival Colorado Rapids.
Here are three storylines to get you set for the match.
Keep the streak alive
Wednesday’s scoreless draw with Montreal Impact wasn’t the prettiest of games, but the result extended Vancouver’s club record unbeaten streak to eight games – a streak they’ll be hoping to extend again this weekend.
But don’t be mistaken, the ‘Caps won’t be going into Colorado with a draw in their sights. As they’ve shown in their last several road outings, they’ll be playing to win. Vancouver has scored seven goals in their last two road games, which speaks volumes abound their mindset away from home.
Playing at altitude against a stingy Rapids side will be a tough task, but if their recent road form is any indication, they’ll be up for the challenge.
Class of 2013
Saturday’s match could feature as many as four players who were drafted in the first round of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. And all four of them are considered to be among the brightest young offensive players in the league.
For Whitecaps FC, those players are winger Kekuta Manneh and striker Erik Hurtado – drafted fourth and fifth respectively. The Rapids, meanwhile, selected striker Deshorn Brown and midfielder Dillon Powers, the 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year, at sixth and 11th overall respectively.
Adding to the intrigue, Manneh (who at 19 years old is the youngest of the bunch) and Powers were teammates with the Austin Aztex before making the jump to Major League Soccer.
Hurtado and Manneh have combined for seven goals and three assists so far this season, while Brown and Powers have seven goals and four assists. All four of these players have different qualities, but they’ve each proven to be a handful for opposing defenders.
Which duo will have the upper hand on Saturday?
The Rapids are one of just two teams to have beaten Whitecaps FC in 2014. That was back on April 5 when midfielder Jose Mari scored two goals in as many minutes to seal a 2-1 victory over the 10-men ‘Caps at BC Place. Colorado is also the team that officially eliminated Whitecaps FC from playoff contention last season.
Surely, the ‘Caps haven’t forgotten about either of these occasions and will be looking for revenge on Saturday. But revenge aside, picking up points in these Western Conference affairs is always of the utmost importance.
The two teams are currently neck and neck in the standings. In fact, they both have 22 points – though Vancouver has a game in hand. And chances are they’ll be fighting each other for playoff positioning when October rolls around.
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 ($202), 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.