It’s been a busy week for Vancouver Whitecaps FC – and it’s not over yet.
The ‘Caps defeated FC Edmonton 2-1 on Wednesday in a thrilling midweek Amway Canadian Championship fixture. Then, they flew back to Vancouver on Thursday morning.
And now, they’re off to Denver for a weekend clash with Colorado Rapids.
Who needs rest anyway?
Match Day: Saturday, May 23
Kickoff: 6 p.m. PT
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Radio: TSN 1410
Looking for a place to watch the match? Join Carl Valentine and fellow ‘Caps fans at the Official Whitecaps FC Viewing Party in South Surrey.
Saturday’s match will be Vancouver’s fourth in 11 days and sixth of the month.
In league play, their last result was a 2-0 loss to Seattle Sounders FC, but Carl Robinson’s side will surely be looking to ride the momentum of their midweek win over FC Edmonton.
It won’t be easy, though.
Robinson revealed earlier in the week that Erik Hurtado (right hip) and Robert Earnshaw (calf strain) picked up knocks that ruled them out of Wednesday’s match – joining Sam Adekugbe (ankle sprain) on the injured list. And a number of regulars, including captain Pedro Morales, midfielder Russell Teibert and centre back Kendall Waston, played big minutes on Wednesday and last Saturday.
“The group I probably took to Edmonton, barring Kah and Harvey, are the 20 players that I’ve got fit because no one else is quite ready yet,” Robinson said, adding that Mauro Rosales and Diego Rodriguez are both close to returning.
Rodriguez, however, is expected to get some minutes for WFC2 on Sunday at UBC Thunderbird Stadium.
The ‘Caps currently sit second in the Western Conference with 20 points thanks in large part to a 3W-1L-1D record away from home.
After four straight 1-1 draws, the Rapids enter Saturday’s contest at the bottom of the Western Conference table. They’ve played fewer matches than most teams, but have still just earned one win and 10 points from their first 10 matches.
Their lone win, however, was a 4-0 thrashing of Western Conference leader FC Dallas.
Colorado’s defence has held their own this season, conceding just nine goals. At the same time, the Rapids have only scored nine goals. And striker Gabriel Torres has four of them.
But they could have some reinforcements on the weekend. Designated Player striker Kevin Doyle, an Irish international, has joined the team and could feature. That is also the case for recently-acquired Argentine striker Luis Solignac.
In contrast to Vancouver, the Rapids haven’t played a match since May 8.
“They’re pretty similar to ourselves in relation to the style they play,” Robinson said. “They’re very good in transition, they play a lot of young players, they like to get the balls in behind and play through centrally sometimes. Don’t be fooled by their results … they’ve been very close to winning games and they’re very well rested.”
This will be the 12th all-time meeting between Vancouver and Colorado in MLS. Colorado has the edge with a 6W-4L-1D record, including a 4W-1L-0D record at home.
Whitecaps FC winger Kekuta Manneh and Rapids attacking midfielder Dillon Powers, who has a team-high four assists, were teammates in 2012 with USL PDL side Austin Aztex. Both players were also selected in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft – Manneh at fourth overall and Powers at 11th.
Whitecaps FC 2 are also in action this weekend, hosting Real Monarchs SLC on Sunday at UBC Thunderbird Stadium. The young ‘Caps are undefeated in three straight home matches to start the season.