EDMONTON, AB – Vancouver Whitecaps FC are set to take on FC Edmonton at 7 p.m. PT in the decisive second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship semifinal (Sportsnet ONE/World, TSN 1410 radio).
Here’s the full story on Vancouver’s starting lineup.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
70.Paolo Tornaghi; 27.Ethen Sampson, 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 22.Christian Dean; 28.Gershon Koffie, 31.Russell Teibert; 9.Nicolás Mezquida, 77.Pedro Morales, 13.Cristian Techera; 11.Darren Mattocks
1.David Ousted, 7.Mauro Rosales, 15.Matías Laba, 23.Kekuta Manneh, 29.Octavio Rivero, 33.Steven Beitashour, 38.Kianz Froese
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson makes four personnel changes to his starting XI from the first leg in Vancouver last Wednesday with Kendall Waston in for an injured Sam Adekugbe as Christian Dean moves to the left side, Russell Teibert in for Deybi Flores (away on international duty), Pedro Morales in for Kianz Froese as Nicolás Mezquida moves to the right, and Cristian Techera in for an injured Erik Hurtado. Waston, Morales, Teibert, and Techera started last weekend against Seattle Sounders FC, while Koffie and Mattocks were second half substitutes.
In 14 matches to start the season, Robinson has now used 14 different starting XIs. Robinson starts an XI with an average age of 24 years, three months, and 16 days – an average that is nearly two years older than the side that started last Wednesday in Vancouver (22 years, five months, and 21 days).
Goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi made his long-awaited WFC first team debut last Wednesday in the first leg. As the 'Caps backup prior to last Wednesday’s match, the 26-year-old Italian had dressed but not played in 45 MLS regular season matches, one MLS Cup Playoff game, and two Amway Canadian Championship matches. However, Tornaghi has played in two USL matches this season with WFC2.
Right back Ethen Sampson makes his third first-team start this year. On May 2 at Portland, the 21-year-old defender made his season debut and helped Vancouver post a clean sheet. Sampson has also made four appearances, including three starts, this season with WFC2 in USL.
Rookie centre back Tim Parker makes his fourth appearance and third start for Whitecaps FC tonight. On May 2, the 22-year-old made his first -eam debut at Portland as a late second half substitute. Parker made his first start for Whitecaps FC in Vancouver’s 3-0 win over Philadelphia Union on May 9. In addition, Parker has started five matches for WFC2 in USL.
Centre back Kendall Waston is making his 22nd start for Whitecaps FC and his first appearance in the Amway Canadian Championship. Outside of his suspension for yellow card accumulation on October 18 at San Jose and last week against FC Edmonton, the 27-year-old defender has played the full 90 in every match since his first start for WFC on August 30 against Portland. Waston leads MLS in clearances (94) and is second in aerials won (50).
Second-year defender Christian Dean makes his second start of the season but moves to the left side for the second leg at FC Edmonton. The 22-year-old started both ACC matches in 2014 at left back and made four appearances, including one start, in MLS regular season action during his rookie season. This year in USL action, the U.S. U-23 international has started three matches – one at left back and two with Parker as his centre back partner.
Midfielder Gershon Koffie, who scored for the ‘Caps in the first leg, makes his sixth start and 10th appearance of the year. The 23-year-old Ghanaian is Vancouver’s all-time leader in MLS regular season starts with 98 (113 appearances) and tonight will be his 11th Amway Canadian Championship start, second only to former keeper Jay Nolly who started 15 matches for WFC in the annual tournament.
Midfielder Russell Teibert will be making his 10th start and 11th appearance of the year. This season, Teibert is sixth in MLS with an 89.43 per cent passing completion rate (among players who have completed at least 100 passes). The 22-year-old Canadian international is Vancouver’s longest serving player – he made his first team debut on July 31, 2010. Tonight will be Teibert’s ninth start and 11th appearance in the Canadian Championship.
Right winger Nicolás Mezquida makes his seventh start and ninth appearance of the year for Whitecaps FC. The 23-year-old Uruguayan started both matches for WFC in last year’s ACC.
Attacking midfielder Pedro Morales will be making his 12th start of the year. In MLS regular season action, the 29-year-old Chilean leads MLW with three game-winning assists and 34 chances created.
In last year’s ACC semifinal second leg, Morales set up Vancouver’s first goal and scored the series-tying goal late in the second half.
Winger Cristian Techera, Whitecaps FC’s newest addition, makes his fourth appearance of the year. The 5-foot-2 Uruguayan made his first start last the weekend against Seattle and was named the WFC Budweiser Man of the Match.
Striker Darren Mattocks is making his seventh start on the year and is second in goals scored with three. The 24-year-old native of Portmore, Jamaica, who was named to Jamaica's 30-man preliminary roster for the 2015 Copa América last week, is making his ninth ACC appearance for WFC.
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