Preview: Whitecaps FC host Orlando City SC for the first time Saturday night at BC Place

VANCOUVER, BC – After a 2-0 midweek win over Real Salt Lake, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8W-8L-4D) return to BC Place on Saturday night to host Orlando City SC (4W-5L-9D) for the first time.

TICKETS: http://ow.ly/HWCz302g1py | KICKOFF: 7 p.m. PT  |  TV: TSN1/4 |  RADIO: TSN 1410

Here’s everything you need to know about the match.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

Saturday’s match is Vancouver’s third in the span of a week.

Last weekend, they drew 2-2 with Colorado Rapids before bouncing back with a 2-0 win vs. RSL on Wednesday in front of a sold-out BC Place crowd. Tim Parker said the ‘Caps are looking at Wednesday’s match as a “stepping stone,” and Jordan Harvey was singing a similar tune.

“We’re still looking to play our best soccer,” Harvey told reporters on Thursday. “I still feel like we haven’t reached our potential. Building on this last game, hopefully we can start to build some momentum and carry that into the playoffs.”

The ‘Caps currently occupy the sixth and final playoff position in the Western Conference; however, they now trail third-place RSL by a single point.

“It’s going to be a battle throughout the season to get in those six playoff spots,” Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted told reporters. “There are a lot of good teams in the Western Conference so I think it’s going to be a battle.”

ROSTER UPDATES

Friday was a busy day for Whitecaps FC, as the club announced that Sam Adekugbe joined English side Brighton on loan, Kekuta Manneh underwent successful right foot surgery, and 15-year-old Alphonso Davies signed an MLS contract, becoming the youngest active player in the league. Davies could make his MLS debut on Saturday night.

ORLANDO CITY SC

It’s been a tough month for Orlando City SC.

After Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to New York Red Bulls, they’ve now been shut out in three straight matches. They also parted ways with now former head coach Adrian Heath last week and enter Saturday’s match shorthanded with Kaka (calf) reportedly not making the trip and Brek Shea suspended due to caution accumulation. 

The Lions do, however, have Canadian national team striker Cyle Larin, who has a team-high eight goals. And they’re only one point out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Safe to say the ‘Caps won’t be expecting a walk in the park.

KEY MATCHUPS

Cristian Techera (W) vs. Kevin Alston (RB): After a slow start, Techera has now scored in two straight games, including a 25-yard golazo on Wednesday. Can he keep things going vs. Orlando?

Tim Parker (CB) vs. Cyle Larin (FWD): If Orlando is going to get a result on Saturday, chances are Larin will be involved in one way or another. The Canadian national team striker leads Orlando with eight goals this season. He was drafted first overall in 2015 – 12 spots ahead of Parker, who has turned into one of the gems of the draft class. Parker and Larin played against each other in college, too, so there won’t be any surprises. This should be a doozy.

Jordan Harvey (LB) vs. Kevin Molino (RW): Kaka and Larin get most of the headlines, but the ‘Caps can’t sleep on Molino, either. The Trinidad and Tobago international, who came through Orlando’s USL team, is second on the team with six goals and tied for first with five assists.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Whitecaps FC record vs. Orlando City SC: 1W-0L-0D

This will be the second-ever meeting between the two clubs. The ‘Caps won the first one 1-0 last year in Orlando courtesy of a stoppage-time Octavio Rivero header.

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