Fans at Thunderbird Stadium may be getting an early playoff preview on Wednesday when top-ranked Whitecaps FC 2 host eighth-place Orange County Blues FC.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT.
WHITECAPS FC 2
The 'Caps emerged from a tough stretch that saw them battle the summer Texas and Arizona heat while missing players who were called up to a pair of first team matches.
Despite a bit of a stumble, winning only one match in the last six outings, the young 'Caps continue to show growth and resilience, thanks in large part to the leadership of Daniel Haber.
A natural striker, the Ontario native has settled in quite comfortably on the wing, and has kept the 'Caps afloat atop the Western Conference, putting a string of four straight matches where he has scored or assisted.
Haber has linked up well with Marco Bustos in the attack. The first-team player from Winnipeg assisted on Haber's equalizer versus Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Saturday, while also scoring himself in the last match at Thunderbird.
Ben McKendry mans the midfield for Alan Koch, along with Will Seymore. Headlining the backline for the 'Caps is dynamic left back Brett Levis, who has impressed in his two outings with the first team recently.
ORANGE COUNTY BLUES FC
Blues FC are currently in a deadlock with Saint Louis FC for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference but three points on the road can vault them to a much more comfortable spot. Such is the story in the crowded conference, where three points separate sixth from 11th place.
Orange County are led by Trevin Caesar and Didier Crettenand with seven goals apiece, while on the other end, Brandon Miller (1.57 goals-against average) and Joshua Cohen (1.62 GAA) split time in net.
The visitors will be missing the services of German defender Maurice Pluntke, who will be serving a one-match suspension due to yellow card accumulation. The 22-year-old, who has represented Germany on the U-18 level, has played in 20 of Orange County's 22 games this year.
With two teams looking to improve their position on the table coming down the stretch, it promises to be another exciting evening on the pitch at the 'Bird.
Fiery performances are expected on and off the pitch so make sure to be there.
This year, every Tier 1 ‘Caps Club MLS membership includes three open tickets to WFC2 matches. Members can select their matches and theme days online through Account Manager. Information on theme days is available at whitecapsfc.com/wfc2/themedays.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-484-7862.