VANCOUVER, BC – After seeing Erick Torres score 12 goals in 17 games, including one against his team back on March 16, Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson knows where to look for danger when Chivas USA come to town on Saturday (7 p.m. PT, TSN2).
Breaking down Saturday's Western Conference tilt
"They've got weapons that can hit you; obviously Torres is a fantastic finisher," Robinson said this week. "He keeps his totals going along by nicking and scoring at every opportunity. Scored a wonderful goal on the weekend. So it's important we take care of ourselves and focus on what we're good at and what we can do, which we have been doing. If we do that, then if we can keep the back door shut as always, then hopefully we can get a result."
The 'Caps have been getting results, suffering just one loss in their last nine and bouncing back to form in a 1-0 win over Seattle last Saturday, while Chivas have won all three of their games since the World Cup break, each by a single Torres goal. That comes as no surprise to Whitecaps FC, who had to come from behind for a tie last September after Torres scored two goals against them in the first 14 minutes at BC Place. Understandably, he is the man the 'Caps are keen to stifle on Saturday.
"He gets a little chance, and he creates an amazing goal," Whitecaps FC left back Jordan Harvey said of the Chivas striker at training on Thursday. "We're just going to have to eliminate him getting the ball into his feet and try to cut it off at the source if possible. Obviously he's going to get some chances, but [we want to] try to limit those to outside the box, hopefully, and just track runners, because they've got a lot of movement, a lot of speed."
Buoyed by last weekend's win over their Cascadian rivals, Whitecaps FC are looking to solidify their playoff spot against what many perceive to be one of the weaker sides in the Western Conference, although Chivas USA has climbed out of last place due to their recent hot streak. Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted has two shutouts in his last three games, and although he is hoping for another strong defensive performance against Chivas, he knows nothing can be taken for granted.
"I know people are thinking we should get a win, but [they] shouldn't be thinking it's an easy game, as there's no such thing in MLS," Ousted told reporters Thursday at training. "The Seattle games are always great, the Portland games as well. The whole of Cascadia. But these are the important ones. We're getting into BC Place against Chivas. We need to show we can control that game and be at it at the same pace against Seattle. I think this is an even more important game than Seattle."
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 ($184), 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.