REUNION, FL - The overall theme that has come forth across the MLS is Back Tournament is that the league's youth are ready to be served.
Whitecaps FC hope to be no different as they look to stay alive in the tournament on Thursday morning against Chicago Fire FC.
Here below is everything you need to know ahead of the early morning matchup.
Chicago Fire FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
MLS is Back Tournament - Group B - VWFC Tournament Match #3
Thursday, July 23, 2020 - 6:08 a.m. PT
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Reunion, FL
TV: TSN1/4 - RADIO: TSN Radio 1040
GO OUT BATTLING: The 'Caps will need a win by two or more goals against new-look Fire FC, as well as other results across the tournament to go their way, in order to advance. Also up for grabs are points that count toward the 2020 MLS regular season standings.
SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITY: With the youngest roster in the league, the 'Caps have seen a number of their bright prospects get their first MLS exposure during the tournament. Goalkeeper Thomas Hasal and centre back Ranko Veselinovic, both 21 years old, hope to build on their strong starts and douse the Chicago Fire FC attack, led by new DP striker Robert Berić. Ryan Raposo, 21, and Theo Bair, 20, have shown they could provide a spark when called upon as well.
FINDING SPACE: Wingers Cristian Dajome and David Milinkovic worked well together against San Jose and their activity along the wings may be key in applying pressure on the Chicago backline. New Fire FC head coach Raphael Wicky has employed three centre backs in each of their two previous tourney matches.
SPORTING DIRECTOR COUNTERPARTS: The two clubs are spearheaded by two European first-year MLS sporting directors in Axel Schuster and Georg Heitz. The two have had numerous previous dealings when Schuster was at FSV Mainz 05, and Heitz was at FC Basel, and have maintained their communication since moving to MLS as they each build their respective clubs.