VANCOUVER, BC – The boys are back in town. And they’re going to be here for a while.
After a weekend off for the FIFA international break, Vancouver Whitecaps FC kick off a four-match homestand on Saturday night vs. Real Salt Lake. TICKETS: http://ow.ly/qB1h30eZoxv.
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. PT | TV: TSN2 | RADIO: TSN 1040
Here are the key storylines to watch.
MAKING A MOVE
Many observers have been pointing to this four-match stretch as a real opportunity for Vancouver to make some noise in the Western Conference.
The ‘Caps are already in fourth place, which would be good enough to host a MLS Cup playoff knockout round match, but they have games in hand on all three teams above them.
Can they take advantage? We’re about to find out.
Real Salt Lake enter Saturday’s contest as one of the hottest teams in MLS.
They’re coming off two big victories over Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes, outscoring them 8-1 in the process, and have lost just once in their last nine matches.
That has them up to eighth in the West, three points back of Vancouver. They have played three more games than the ‘Caps, however, which means a loss on Saturday could prove detrimental.
Carl Robinson said this week that Aly Ghazal is “definitely in the equation for the weekend.”
The ‘Caps acquired the 26-year-old Egyptian international last month and he’s been working up his fitness levels ever since. Ghazal is a big, tough, central midfielder who is “comfortable on the ball and strong defensively,” Robinson said last month.
He might not be ready to start just yet, but it’s safe to say we’re going to be seeing a lot more of him in the coming weeks.