PORTLAND, OREGON – Asked what he expects from Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s preseason finale vs. Portland Timbers, Carl Robinson smiled and said:
“A nice quiet match.”
Which, of course, means it will likely be the exact opposite.
It is a Cascadia derby, after all. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT on Wednesday night at Providence Park. The match will be streamed online at whitecapsfc.com.
Wednesday’s match comes exactly one week ahead of Vancouver’s much-anticipated CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal vs. New York Red Bulls.
Vancouver’s preseason record currently sits at 2W-1L-2D, including a pair of 1-1 draws with Minnesota United FC and Real Salt Lake as part of the Timbers Preseason Tournament. At this point, however, it’s not about results. It’s all about preparing for that Champions League game.
And this is their final chance to do so in a competitive environment.
MAKE IT REYNA
Newcomer Yordy Reyna has certainly made an immediate impact with Whitecaps FC.
Last Thursday, the Peruvian attacking midfielder/forward dazzled in a brief 25-minute debut, helping setting up Russell Teibert’s long-range effort with some fancy footwork in the box. And on Sunday, he opened his Whitecaps FC account with a well-taken strike after subbing on at halftime.
What might Reyna have in store on Wednesday?
SO WE MEET AGAIN
The last time these two teams met, of course, was in last year’s MLS regular season finale, when Whitecaps FC cruised to a 4-1 win to win the Cascadia Cup and eliminate Portland from playoff contention. No, Wednesday’s match doesn’t have as much on the line. Not even close.
But we can still expect some fire.
Two years ago when Vancouver and Portland met in the preseason, for example, there were 43 fouls, eight cautions, and two Timbers red cards. It’s unlikely we’ll see anything like that again, but both teams will want this to be a high-intensity affair.
And, if nothing else, that should be fun to watch.