Two down, six to go.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (12W-8L-3D) continue their busy month of August on Saturday night, when they host Western Conference foe Real Salt Lake (7W-8L-8D) at BC Place.
Match Day: Saturday, August 8
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Venue: BC Place, Vancouver
Radio: TSN 1410
The Western Conference-leading ‘Caps enter Saturday’s contest in fine form.
In league play, Whitecaps FC are unbeaten in three matches and have claimed two straight wins by a combined score of 6-1. Should Whitecaps FC come away with a win on Saturday, they would match their MLS record with 13 on the season – and there would still be 10 matches remaining.
Vancouver’s most recent MLS result was a 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC last weekend at CenturyLink Field, but they were also in action on Wednesday in CONCACAF Champions League play. With an eye towards Saturday and the busy month ahead, Carl Robinson made a complete lineup change and fielded a younger side that played to a 1-1 draw with those very Sounders.
One bright spot from that midweek draw was that another ‘Caps goal came off a set piece, which has previously been a challenge for this group. That’s now five goals off set pieces in the last three matches.
Currently, RSL are just below the red line in the Western Conference.
The Claret and Cobalt enter the weekend three points out of a playoff spot and 10 points back of the first-place ‘Caps. Suffice to say, they have a lot to play for.
Like Whitecaps FC, RSL also opened their 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League campaign this week. Jeff Cassar fielded a strong lineup, featuring the likes of Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, and Joao Plata, and came away with a 1-0 win over CSD Municipal on Tuesday in Guatemala City.
Plata provided the scoring for RSL – his fourth goal in as many games. He’ll surely be a player the ‘Caps will have to key in on – as is attacking midfielder Javier Morales, who leads the team with five goals and nine assists this season. However, there are some reports that suggest Morales, Beckerman, and Rimando did not make the trip to Vancouver.
In league play, RSL’s most recent result was a 6-4 loss to D.C. United last weekend.
This will be the third and final meeting between Whitecaps FC and RSL this season.
The ‘Caps are going for the sweep, having defeated RSL 1-0 on April 18 at Rio Tinto Stadium and 2-1 on May 30 at BC Place.
Vancouver’s all-time record against the Claret and Cobalt is 4W-5L-4D; however, they’re unbeaten in the last five meetings between the two teams.
At 5-foot-2, Whitecaps FC winger Cristian Techera and RSL forward Joao Plata are Major League Soccer’s two shortest players.