Whitecaps down Carolina, seek third-straight road win tonight - The Province

Caps 3 Railhawks 2: Facing Key Match Against the Battery Vancouver Whitecaps look to extend their lead in the USL First Division standings tonight when they visit Charleston Battery. Teitur Thordarson's side made it three wins in a row on Friday night, as the Whitecaps struck early to defeat the Carolina RailHawks 3-2 in Cary, North Carolina. Charles Gbeke's second goal for Vancouver was followed by Omar Jarun's first-ever Whitecaps goal early in the first half. The winning goal came late in the first half as Eduardo Sebrango struck his team-leading eighth goal of the season. The win came despite Vancouver playing the second half with 10 men after left fullback Takashi Hirano was sent off just before halftime. With home-and-home wins over the RailHawks and a 2-1 midweek victory over Miami FC Blues, the Whitecaps (10-4-4) now sit three points clear of second-place Charleston (9-6-4) in the standings as the two rivals square off today at Blackbaud Stadium. The Whitecaps have good memories of their last visit to Charleston back on May 28. Jason Jordan's first goal of the season and a first-ever USL-1 goal for Nicholas Addlery gave the Whitecaps a 2-0 win, their first-ever in South Carolina. Their last meeting came July 23 at Swangard Stadium as Gbeke scored his first competitive goal for the Whitecaps in a 1-1 draw with Mike Anhaeuser's resurgent Battery side. Having reached the halfway stage of their four-game road trip, Thordarson is delighted that maximum points have been taken from their stops in Miami and North Carolina. However, with a dozen games remaining in the regular season, Thordarson feels every game increases in importance, with the postseason just over the horizon. "All these games are so important and vital," he said following Friday's win. "With Charleston being in second place, Sunday's game will be even bigger for us. Our plan is to attack that game the same way as we have with our previous games. We will just focus on our game plan and the job that we have to do." The Whitecaps' last two wins are particularly impressive considering the hot, humid conditions they've experience in the southeastern U.S. "The heat is a big factor down here, especially when you play two games in a few days like we are doing this weekend," said Thordarson. "Obviously, the guys will have to rest well on Saturday, but I think we will be ready to go on Sunday." -- News Services © The Vancouver Province 2008