VANCOUVER, BC – After a weekend win over league-leading FC Dallas, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3W-4L-1D) return to BC Place on Wednesday night to host Sporting Kansas City (4W-4L-0D).
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Here’s everything you need to know about the match.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
“Sometimes in seasons, there are defining moments.”
Those were the words of Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson on Monday. Suffice to say, Robinson and the ‘Caps are hoping that Saturday’s 3-0 victory over FC Dallas will be just that. It took some brilliance from goalkeeper David Ousted, and a little luck, but Whitecaps FC got back to their winning ways on the weekend. Now, they’re looking to keep things rolling.
“They were the best team in the league and we managed to get three points, but that’s all it is,” Robinson said. “We won’t get carried away. Hopefully we can kick on now from this point.”
It will be interesting to see how much Robinson rotates his lineup on Wednesday with a visit to New York City FC on tap later this week – though he did admit that he would likely prioritize the SKC match. At the same time, Robinson confirmed that Pedro Morales will be involved on Wednesday. The Chilean playmaker has missed three straight matches with a left hip strain.
“He was good on Saturday,” Robinson said. “There was a temptation to throw him in. If it was a Cup Final, I probably would have. But we’ve got a long season. It’s important I look after Pedro, because past history suggests that we have to be careful with him … but he’s raring to go. He’s looking sharp, he’s looking good, and hopefully that will transfer on Wednesday.”
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Things can change pretty quickly in this league. Just ask Sporting KC.
Peter Vermes’ side got off to a great start to the 2016 MLS season, winning their first three matches. Now, they’ve lost three straight and four of their last five.
Most recently, they fell 1-0 to San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday, though they felt a little hard done by due to a non-call on Dom Dwyer in the box – a play Vermes described as “one hundred percent a penalty and red card.”
You can bet they’ll be raring to go after that one.
Kendall Waston (CB) vs. Dom Dwyer (FWD): These two love a good battle, as they discussed with Perry Solkowski in a video feature this week. It’s a size mismatch – Waston is 6-foot-5 and Dwyer is 5-foot-9, but that certainly hasn’t stopped them from getting in each other’s faces in the past. Dwyer leads SKC with four goals so far this season – two of them came against Vancouver.
Matias Laba (M) vs. Benny Feilhaber (M): Laba is coming off what was arguably his best game of the season. And should he get the start on Wednesday, he’ll have to be on his game again against Feilhaber – a 2015 MLS MVP finalist who is finding his form after a preseason abdomen injury.
Kekuta Manneh (LW) vs. Saad Abdul-Salaam (RB): We saw what a difference Manneh made on Saturday against FC Dallas. And he’s had some success against SKC in the past. He could be a key to Vancouver’s success going forward.
The ‘Caps haven’t had much success against Sporting KC, posting a 1W-5L-2D record in eight previous meetings. That includes a 2-1 loss at SKC earlier this season – Whitecaps FC right back Jordan Smith was shown a red card just before halftime with the ‘Caps already down 2-0.
Sporting KC are currently two points up on Vancouver in the Western Conference standings.
Also on Wednesday, WFC2 will visit the Swope Park Rangers – Sporting KC's United Soccer League side. Watch the match live on whitecapsfc2.com at 5 p.m. PT.
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