*This story was originally posted on September 23 and updated on September 27
Through 25 Major League Soccer regular season matches, Vancouver Whitecaps FC have tallied a total of 33 points and find themselves in contention for a spot in the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
In the past couple months, the ‘Caps have showed they can be one of the toughest teams to beat in the Western Conference, going on a 10-game unbeaten streak between mid-July and early-September while showing plenty of promising signs throughout the streak.
After a massive 1-0 win over FC Dallas at BC Place this past week, we look at some updated statistics ahead of another Texas showdown for the ‘Caps against Houston Dynamo FC.
One of two Western Conference teams to lose only once in their last 13 games
Throughout the second half of their first 25 matches played so far this season, the ‘Caps have made it difficult for opposing teams to break them down, losing only once and recording the fewest defeats in the Western Conference in that span.
Colorado Rapids are the only other team to have achieved the feat.
During the last 13 games, the ‘Caps have also scored 19 goals and registered 24 points (6W-1L-6D).
Second longest active away unbeaten streak in MLS
If teams are to make the playoffs by the end of the MLS regular season, it’s essential teams are able to grab points on the road and that’s exactly what the ‘Caps have been doing.
The Blue and White are currently on the second best road unbeaten run in MLS, picking up points in their last seven away matches (1W-0L-6D) dating back to late June.
During the run, the 'Caps have scored 12 goals, which averages to 1.71 goals per game, and have only conceded six.
Averaging 1.8 goals per game at BC Place
It’s an early sample size, but on average the ‘Caps have been scoring 1.8 goals per game at home, which puts them third in the Western Conference alongside Sporting KC.
In addition, the ‘Caps have registered a total of 8.1 expected goals in their five games at BC Place so far this season, which averages to about 1.6 expected goals per game.
The ‘Caps have also come from behind to win twice in two of those four matches at BC Place, winning both matches by a score of 2-1.
It’s safe to say BC Place is quickly becoming a fortress for the ‘Caps and could turn into a massive advantage in the latter stretches of the season to claim a playoff spot.
10 comebacks this season, second most in MLS
Speaking of coming back in games, the ‘Caps have come back from losing positions to capture points ten times this season, securing four wins and six draws.
Memorable comeback results this season have come against LA Galaxy (2-1 W, 1-1 D), LAFC (2-1 W) Seattle Sounders (2-2 D) and twice against Austin FC (both 2-1 W).
Undefeated when scoring first in a match this season
While the ‘Caps have been able to show their comeback mentality this season, the squad has also been able capture points when scoring first.
The Blue and White are undefeated when scoring first, tallying a 4W-0L-2D record.
39 big chances created
Staying on the topic of scoring, the ‘Caps are currently tied for sixth in the West for most big chances created this season with 39.
The only other Western Conference teams ahead of them in the category are LAFC (55), FC Dallas (44), Sporting KC (42), Portland Timbers (41) and LA Galaxy (40).
In terms of other scoring statistics, the ‘Caps also sit first in the West in non-penalty expected goals per shot with 0.11 as well as first in MLS in completed dead ball passes that lead to a goal with seven.
Overall, the ‘Caps have had 59 completed dead ball passes that lead to a shot attempt (third in the West), meaning they’ve created plenty of chances off set pieces.
0.92 goals conceded per match
As good as the ‘Caps have been offensively, they’ve also established themselves as one of the best defensive teams in the West, conceding only 0.92 goals per match over the past 13 matches.
The 'Caps have not conceded more than one goal in an MLS match since July 31.
Over the course of the full season they've conceded 1.36 goals per match to put themselves fifth least amongst teams in the West.
Individual player statistics
Throughout the season, the ‘Caps have had plenty of key difference-makers at both ends of the field.
In terms of statistics, attackers Déiber Caicedo, Cristian Dájome and Ryan Gauld have been a big threat going forward for the ‘Caps, while rookie right back Javain Brown has quietly become one of the league’s best tacklers in his position.
Caicedo currently ranks second in the West in big chances created with 10 and is fourth in the West for successful dribbles per match with two.
Meanwhile, Dájome has registered 7.9 expected goals so far this season, placing him sixth amongst active players in the West.
As for Gauld, the Scottish playmaker is averaging 2.7 key passes per game to put him second in the West in the category, only Minnesota United’s Emanuel Reynoso has more with 3.4.
At the back, Brown has shown his defensive prowess by ranking fourth in the West in successful tackles per match with 1.8.
As shown by all the previous statistics though, it really has been a full team-effort by the ‘Caps to put themselves in contention for a playoff sport and arguably become one of the toughest teams to play against in the Western Conference.
The ‘Caps will look to continue their fine form in another crucial Texas match-up this Wednesday, September 29 against Houston Dynamo FC at BBVA Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. PT. You can catch the match live on TSN1 and AM730, with the radio pre-game show starting at 5 p.m. PT.