First place hopes fade for Caps - 24 Hours

By BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS The Vancouver Whitecaps will finish no worse than second in the United Soccer Leagues' First Division. First place is not probable, but it is not impossible. The Puerto Rico Islanders have a two-point lead and require only a tie to clinch the Commissioner's Cup either Friday when they host the Atlanta Silverbacks or Sunday when they end the league schedule in Montreal against the Impact. With the trophy comes a first-round bye. The Whitecaps played their final home regular season game Saturday, blanking the Impact 1-0. Charles Gbeke exacted revenge on his former squad by heading Lyle Martin's pinpoint cross for the 45th minute marker. "I knew I was going to score, I knew that I was going to bring three points for my team," Gbeke said. "It's all about confidence." What Gbeke didn't know, however, was that he would leave the game injured in the 51st minute, thanks to the errant elbow of former teammate Antonio Ribeiro. Gbeke may have a dislocated jaw or suffered a concussion. The 14-7-8 Whitecaps complete their regular season when they visit the Sounders in Tukwila, Wash., on Saturday. It could be the last meeting between the teams because the Sounders are moving to Major League Soccer in 2009.

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