VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (11W-8L-13D) will be gunning for their fourth straight win on Saturday night when they visit San Jose Earthquakes (6W-15L-11D) in their second to last match of the regular season.
Kickoff for Saturday’s match is set for 7:30 p.m. PT at Buck Shaw Stadium. You can watch the match live on TSN1, Bell mobile devices, and TSN GO. The match will also air live on TSN 1410 VANCOUVER and tsnradiovancouver.ca, including a pre-game show at 5:30 p.m. PT and a two-hour post-game show immediately following the match.
After Portland's scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake on Friday night, the ‘Caps and Timbers are now tied for fifth place in the Western Conference with 46 points apiece. Whitecaps FC have a game in hand, however, meaning they still control their own playoff destiny.
Vancouver's magic number is now down to four, meaning any combination of points earned by Whitecaps FC and dropped by the Timbers totalling four would result in a playoff berth for the Blue and White. For example, the 'Caps would be in with a win and draw. Here's each possible scenario:
- If Portland beats FC Dallas in their regular season finale, Whitecaps FC need four points (win and draw) from their final two games draw to qualify.
- If Portland loses to FC Dallas in their regular season finale, Whitecaps FC need one point (draw) from their final two games to qualify.
- If Portland ties FC Dallas in their regular season finale, Whitecaps FC need two points (two draws or a win) from their final two games to qualify.
In the event that Portland and Vancouver finish level on points, the Timbers would advance on goal differential based on the current standings.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Last match: Seattle Sounders FC 0-1 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
The Blue and White have been on quite the roll as of late, picking up three straight wins over teams above them in the standings. This is the first time Whitecaps FC have won three straight matches this season and only the third time since joining MLS in 2011. They’ve never won four in a row.
Not only would a win on Saturday set a new record for Vancouver’s longest win streak, it would also result in the club’s highest point total in MLS, surpassing their 48-point total in 2013.
A big part of Whitecaps FC’s recent success has been their sound defensive play. Since their 3-0 loss to Portland back on September 20, the ‘Caps have conceded just one goal in three games. They’ve also posted back-to-back clean sheets, increasing David Ousted’s league-leading tally to 11.
Their back line will be missing an important piece on Saturday, however, with centre back Kendall Waston serving his one-match suspension due to caution accumulation.
On the other hand, winger/striker Sebastian Fernandez is available once again after missing Vancouver’s last match due to caution accumulation. Striker Darren Mattocks and centre back Carlyle Mitchell have also returned from international duty and Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson said that midfielder Gershon Koffie is in contention as well.
The Ghanaian, who is back to full training, has missed 10 straight matches with a sprained foot.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Last match: Real Salt Lake 2-0 San Jose Earthquakes
It’s been a season to forget for San Jose Earthquakes, who enter Saturday’s contest winless in 13 regular season matches and at the bottom of the Western Conference table.
As a result, the Quakes announced on Wednesday that Mark Waston had been relieved of his duties as the club’s head coach. Dominic Kinnear will take over next season, but assistant coach Ian Russell will take the reins on an interim basis for the final two games.
Unsurprisingly, Chris Wondolowski had led the way for San Jose this season. The U.S. men’s national team striker, who is expected to be available after returning from international duty, has a team-high 14 goals to go along with four assists and will surely be a key focus of Vancouver's back line.
Saturday will be San Jose’s final match at Buck Shaw Stadium, where they’ve been playing since 2008. The Quakes are set to move into a new stadium in 2015.
September 10: Whitecaps FC 2-0 San Jose Earthquakes
This will be the third and final meeting between Vancouver and San Jose this season. The ‘Caps won both of the previous meetings at BC Place.
Most recently, they got the job done from set pieces in a 2-0 win on September 10. Pedro Morales scored from the penalty spot, while Waston headed in a Morales corner to score his first MLS goal.
Though they’ve yet to win at Buck Shaw Stadium, Whitecaps FC have had San Jose’s number since joining MLS, posting a 5W-1L-4D record overall.
They’re also unbeaten in seven straight meetings dating back to 2012.
Whitecaps FC return to BC Place on Saturday, October 25 for their regular season finale against Colorado Rapids. The match will also be “Fan Appreciation Night” and Jay DeMerit’s retirement ceremony will be held prior to the match. Tickets are still available at whitecapsfc.com/tickets.
Participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver! 2015 Whitecaps FC Season Tickets are on sale now. In addition to Season Tickets, Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including Half-Season Packs, 5-Packs, Student Half-Season Tickets, and a Youth Soccer Half-Season Ticket. For more information on 2015 Season Tickets, visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.