Preview: Vancouver, Columbus both hoping to rebound

Vancouver Whitecaps FC make a quick trip back home for a midweek meeting with the Columbus Crew when the clubs clash Wednesday at Empire Field. Whitecaps FC are coming off a 1-0 league loss at Toronto FC, compounded a few days later with a loss to the same club in the final of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship. The Crew saw their two-game winning streak come to a swift end last weekend in a 2-0 loss at FC Dallas.

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REFEREE: Chris Penso. SAR (bench): Darren Clark; JAR (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Ricardo Salazar. MLS Career: 4 games; FC/gm: 19.8; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 0; pens: 2

INJURY REPORT:
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – OUT: DF Jay DeMerit (R adductor strain); FW Atiba Harris (R knee surgery); DOUBTFUL: MF John Thorrington (R calf strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Davide Chiumiento (R hamstring strain); FW Eric Hassli (R foot contusion)
COLUMBUS CREW – UT: DF Josh Williams (R hip labral tear); MF Dilly Duka (R ankle sprain); DF Rich Balchan (L adductor strain); MF Leandre Griffit (abdominal strain); DOUBTFUL: DF Shaun Francis (L hamstring strain); FW Emilio Renteria (L quad strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED:
CLB: Emmanuel Ekpo (caution accumulation; through July 6); Andy Iro (through July 6)

WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Terry Dunfield
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CLB: Kevin Burns, Tommy Heinemann, Julius James … VAN: Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Leathers, Alain Rochat

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (1 meeting): Crew 1 win, 2 goals … Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0
  • Emilio Renteria scored twice for the Crew in the first meeting between the teams, a 2-1 Crew win April 30 at Crew Stadium.
  • Coaches' records: Tom Soehn v CLB: P7 W2 L4 T1 … Robert Warzycha vs. VAN: P1 W1 L0 T0

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • 4/30: CLB 2, VAN 1 (Renteria 50, 59 – Salgado 69)
  • The Crew broke through just after the second-half restart. Emilio Renteria pounced on a loose ball, and after he was tripped up in the box by Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Jay Nolly, he converted his own penalty.
  • Just nine minutes later, Rentería made it 2-0 when Rusmir took a pass from Dilly Duka, spun and found Rentería in stride in the box. The Venezuelan international got inside of his defender to finish with a first-time left-footed shot.
  • Vancouver reduced the deficit in the 69th minute when Omar Salgado scored his first professional goal, heading home a cross from the left by Terry Dunfield.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): William Hesmer - Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, Josh Gardner - Dilly Duka (Leandre Griffit 88), Dejan Rusmir - Eddie Gaven, Kevin Burns (Emmanuel Ekpo 67), Robbie Rogers - Emilio Renteria (Jeff Cunningham 78).
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-4-1-1): Jay Nolly - Jonathan Leathers, Greg Janicki, Mouloud Akloul, Alain Rochat - Wes Knight (Shea Salinas 66), Terry Dunfield (Jeb Brovsky 74), Gershon Koffie, Davide Chiumiento - Camilo (Nizar Khalfan 56) - Omar Salgado

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

Vancouver Whitecaps FC went down to defeat for a second consecutive match, falling 1-0 to Toronto FC on last Wednesday evening at BMO Field. Whitecaps FC have 14 points from 18 matches, sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal finally came in the 54th minute. Nick Soolsma drew Whitecaps FC defender Greg Janicki into a challenge from a jinking dribbling run, and referee Mark Geiger immediately pointed to the spot. Soolsma converted a first attempt, but it was ruled out after Joao Plata entered the area too soon. Soolsma made no mistake either, with the second.
  • TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei was not called upon to make a single save for the victory. Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Jay Nolly was credited with a single save.
  • With the Canadian Championship final second leg three days ahead, Whitecaps FC head coach Tom Soehn kept just three players from the team that fell 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park: Michael Boxall, Shea Salinas and Jeb Brovsky.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-4-1-1): Jay Nolly - Wes Knight, Greg Janicki, Michael Boxall, Blake Wagner - Shea Salinas (Nizar Khalfan 77), Peter Vagenas, Gershon Koffie, Russell Teibert (Camilo 58) - Jeb Brovsky (Eric Hassli 46) - Omar Salgado.

TEAM NEWS

  • Since the June 18 victory against Philadelphia that ended a 14-game winless streak, Whitecaps FC have now lost three games in a row in all competitions, all away from Empire Field.
  • “We’ve been a little bit unlucky this past week, two penalty kicks and also I think it’s a matter of, we’ve got players who can do things on set pieces and against the run of play,” goalkeeper Joe Cannon said. “But as a group, we’re still trying to find our identity, whether that is sitting back and absorbing pressure and becoming a counterattack team, or trying to play possession, we’ve still got to figure that out.”
  • At the weekend, three days after the league match, Whitecaps FC saw a chance to win a trophy in their first season put to an end, falling 2-1 to Toronto FC in the second leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship final, losing the series 3-2 on aggregate.
  • After Camilo put Whitecaps FC into the lead with a brilliant free kick in the 21st minute, Joao Plata converted his own penalty to level terms, then Mikael Yourassowsky tapped into an open goal from a Plata pass for the game-winner.
  • Here’s the Whitecaps FC team: Joe Cannon – Michael Boxall, Alain Rochat, Jay DeMerit, (Blake Wagner 62), Terry Dunfield, Jeb Brovsky (Nizar Khalfan 72), Shea Salinas (Russell Teibert 46), Jonny Leathers, Gershan Koffie, Eric Hassli, Camilo
  • Davide Chiumiento, second in MLS with seven assists, missed both games in Toronto after suffering a hamstring injury June 25. Terry Dunfield played in an attacking midfield role in the Canadian Championship\ final vs. TFC.
  • “We had a triangle and some freedom between the three to move and make things less predictable, and having guys come from deeper spots to join in,” Soehn said. “We missed Davide in that hole. We’ll reassess and see what we do for Wednesday (against Columbus)."
  • There were other injury concerns out of the second TFC match after Jay DeMerit was forced off the field just after the hour with an adductor injury.
  • “It’s just a kind of recurring thing,” DeMerit said. “I had a good run of games there, but groins are always tricky. All it takes is one little slip or one little time where you tweak your injury and it’s back. It’s not as serious as it was the first time, which is positive.”
  • Whitecaps FC coach Tom Soehn said a push up the table toward a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs is still within reach.
  • “We have to roll up our sleeves and work harder and make sure we give ourselves every chance,” Soehn said. “We'll look to be active [acquiring new players] in the [upcoming] transfer window.”

COLUMBUS CREW

The Columbus Crew saw their two-game winning streak come to a crashing halt, falling 2-0 to FC Dallas on Saturday evening at Pizza Hut Park. The Crew have 24 points from 17 games on the season, in third place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • FC Dallas took the lead in the 58th minute as winger Brek Shea continued his rich vein of form.
  • Goalkeeper William Hesmer spilled a Marvin Chávez shot from close range and Shea was able to corral the rebound and fire home from close range.
  • FCD doubled the lead as Jackson continued his recent hot hand, racing onto a through ball from Andrew Jacobson and chipping Hesmer from the center of the box to put the game away.
  • The Crew finished the game with 10 men after Andy Iro was sent off for a second bookable offense.
  • Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made no changes to the team that eased to a 4-1 victory against the Colorado Rapids at Crew Stadium
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-1-3-2): William Hesmer - Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Andy Iro (sent off 82), Josh Gardner (Robbie Rogers 60) - Rich Balchan (Danny O'Rourke 69) - Eddie Gaven, Emmanuel Ekpo, Bernardo Anor - Tommy Heinemann (Jeff Cunningham 65), Andres Mendoza.

TEAM NEWS

  • After scoring six goals in the previous two games, the Crew were shut out in Dallas. The Crew have scored 12 goals in the last nine games – but have been shut out four times in that span.
  • “We have to play better. We have to keep the ball for longer periods of time instead of giving it up so easily. We need someone to step up and score a goal to give us a chance to win in Vancouver,” said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha.
  • The Crew were able to see out the first half without allowing a goal – while they’ve allowed five in the opening 10 minutes of games, they’ve conceded just seven in the first half all season, behind only the LA Galaxy (6). However, they’ve scored just four time in the opening 45 minutes, fewest in MLS.
  • “We weren’t playing our best in the first half,” defender Chad Marshall said. “We were definitely scrambling. We had our chances and so did they. We knew at halftime our problem was we were turning the ball over and being careless. We gave them the ball on our side of the field and we couldn’t stop doing it in the second half.”
  • Danny O’Rourke made his season debut, coming on for an injured Rich Balchan in the 69th minute.
  • “It’s bittersweet, obviously,” O’Rourke said. “It’s another step in my personal goal to get back out there at 100 percent …When I came on, it wasn’t as compact as it was maybe in the first half. By the time I got in there, it was a track meet. It was hard to get up to speed.”
  • Robbie Rogers also made his first appearance in league play since May 28, missing five games while on national team duty for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Rogers did return to the first team for the U.S. Open Cup loss to the Richmond Kickers.
  • Both could play roles in Vancouver with Emmanuel Ekpo and Andy Iro both suspended for the match, and Balchan not likely to figure after suffering a groin injury.
  • “They’re important parts of our team,” defender Chad Marshall said. “We’re going to miss them, but we have a deep team. I’m sure guys will step up.”