VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC are set to take on Portland Timbers at 5 p.m. PT at BC Place in the first Cascadia derby of 2015 (TSN1 and TSN 1410).
Here’s the full story on Vancouver’s starting lineup.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 33.Steven Beitashour, 4.Kendall Waston, 44.Pa-Modou Kah, 3.Sam Adekugbe; 15.Matías Laba, 28.Gershon Koffie; 19.Erik Hurtado, 77.Pedro Morales, 9.Nicolás Mezquida, 29.Octavio Rivero
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 2.Jordan Harvey, 20.Deybi Flores, 26.Tim Parker, 27.Ethen Sampson, 38.Kianz Froese, 88.Robert Earnshaw
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson makes two changes to his starting XI with centre back Pa-Modou Kah in for Diego Rodríguez (suspended) and Erik Hurtado in for Kekuta Manneh (suspended).
Robinson’s XI will include six players 24 or under and an average age 26 years, two months, and four days. Nine different birth countries are represented in the starters - Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, England, the Gambia, Ghana, United States (2), and Uruguay (2).
Goalkeeper David Ousted will be making his 52nd consecutive MLS start, including playoffs, with the club. Last week, Ousted recorded his second shutout of the season and 19th with Whitecaps FC.
Right back Steven Beitashour makes his 118th MLS regular season appearance, including 117 starts.
Centre back Kendall Waston is making his 13th start in MLS regular season play. Outside of his suspension for yellow card accumulation on October 18 at San Jose, Waston has played the full 90 in every match since his first start for the club on August 30, 2014 against Portland.
Waston's centre back partner Pa-Modou Kah returns to the lineup after resting last week against Orlando. Kah, who spent two seasons with the Timbers before joining the ‘Caps, scored the game-winning goal for Whitecaps FC in their 1-0 win over Portland in the preseason.
Left back Sam Adekugbe makes his fifth professional start tonight and the first time he's started three consecutive matches. Last season, the 20-year-old Calgary, Alberta resident started one of his four appearances.
Central midfielder Matías Laba is making his 51st MLS regular season start tonight and his 35th with Whitecaps FC. Coming into the weekend, Laba was second in MLS with 14 tackles.
Laba’s partner in the middle, Gershon Koffie, will be making his 96th in MLS regular season action. This will be Koffie’s second straight start after appearing as a sub in Vancouver’s first two matches.
Laba and Koffie will be making their 17th start together in the middle.
Winger Erik Hurtado will be making his first start of the season and his first start on the wing since August 10 against Kansas City at BC Place. The 24-year-old Beaverton, Oregon resident is making his 24th MLS regular season start and 47th appearance in MLS.
Attacking midfielder Pedro Morales will be making his 32nd MLS regular season start for Whitecaps FC. Last week at Orlando, Morales recorded his first assist of the 2015 season. Last year, Morales led the ‘Caps with 10 goals and 12 assists.
Winger Nicolás Mezquida will be making his sixth MLS regular season start and first at home. Last season, Mezquida’s first in MLS, he started four of 14 appearances. Mezquida and striker Octavio Rivero played together with Uruguay at the U-17 level in 2009.
Rivero, who has scored in each of his first three matches, makes his fourth career start for the Blue and White. Three players all-time in MLS have scored in each of their first four games played: Alex Pineda Chacon (2001), Carlos Ruiz (2002), and Charlie Davies (2011).
Rookie midfielder Deybi Flores is included in the 18 for the first time. Flores, 18, was signed by Whitecaps FC on February 24 and arrived in Vancouver last week.
Rookie defender Tim Parker is included in the 18 for the first time at home. Parker was drafted 13th overall by WFC in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
Experienced striker Robert Earnshaw, who officially signed on Wednesday, will be included in the 18 for Whitecaps FC for the first time tonight.
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