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Preview: 'Caps aim to make it three in a row vs. DC

VAN_vs_DC_2012_03_24_DL

Photo Credit: 
MLSsoccer.com

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS vs D.C. UNITED
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.

March 24, 2012 (WEEK 3, MLS Game #24)
10 p.m. ET (SNET Pac; CSN-MA)

Coming off the first league road victory in the club’s MLS history, Vancouver Whitecaps FC return to BC Place to take on D.C. United on Saturday evening. Whitecaps FC are one of three teams with two wins from two starts on the young season, after their 1-0 win at Chivas USA last Saturday. United are still looking for their first result of the campaign, starting their West Coast swing with a 3-1 loss at the LA Galaxy last weekend.

REFEREE: Kevin Stott. SAR (bench): Adam Wienckowski; JAR (opposite): Jeff Hosking; 4th: David Gantar

Stott's MLS Career: 215 games; FC/gm: 25.8; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 58; pens: 44

COMPLETE GAME GUIDE (PDF)

INJURY REPORT: VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC -- OUT: FW Etienne Barbara (groin strain); MF John Thorrington (L quad strain); MF Michael Nanchoff (L heel contusion); FW Darren Mattocks (R shoulder burn); QUESTIONABLE: GK Brian Sylvestre (R knee surgery); FW Atiba Harris (L knee pain); MF Gershon Koffie (R ankle pain); PROBABLE: GK Joe Cannon (L quad contusion) ... D.C. UNITED -- OUT: MF Kurt Morsink (L foot neurectomy); DF Ethan White (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Dejan Jakovic (L groin strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: VAN: Bryce Alderson, Russell Teibert (CAN U-23)... DC: Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen (USA U-23); Andy Najar (Honduras U-23)

SUSPENDED: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (2 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 2 goals ... United 1 win, 5 goals ... Ties 0

LAST YEAR: 8/13/11: DC 4, VAN 0 (Pontius 45, 70; Najar 48; King 81) ... 10/12/11: VAN 2, DC 1 (Camilo 1; Tan 46 – McDonald 57)

RETURN MATCHES: None

  • Coaches record: Martin Rennie vs. DC: first game ... Ben Olsen vs. VAN: P2 W1 L1 D0

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

Vancouver Whitecaps FC went on the road for the first time this season and came away with the first league road victory in club history, a 1-0 win against Chivas USA on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. Whitecaps FC are tied with Real Salt Lake and Colorado atop the Western Conference with maximum points from two games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came in the 68th minute. From a corner kick, Camilo fired in a service that found the head of a completely unmarked Jay DeMerit, who dove to head it past Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for his first career MLS goal.
  • Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made one change to the team that recorded a 2-0 victory against the Montreal Impact at BC Place. Matt Watson came into the team in place of Gershon Koffie.

HIGHLIGHTS: CHV vs. VAN

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): Joe Cannon (Brad Knighton 41) - Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour, Alain Rochat - Jun Marques Davidson, Matt Watson - Camilo (Jordan Harvey 71), Sebastien Le Toux, Davide Chiumiento (Floyd Franks 82) - Eric Hassli.

TEAM NEWS

  • After going winless in 17 league games (0-12-5) in their inaugural MLS campaign, Whitecaps FC finally won an MLS game outside of Vancouver.
  • “It’s a big achievement,” Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie said. “It’s only three points and it’s only our first game on the road, but based on the fact the team didn’t win on the road last season it did make it a bit more significant than normal.”
  • It was a second consecutive shutout for Vancouver – something else they did not achieve over the entirely of the maiden season.
  • “Joe Cannon made a fantastic save in the first half, and he also came off his line well a couple times in the first half,” Rennie said. “Late on, we were under pressure and Brad (Knighton), I thought, managed the goal very well and looked comfortable, but everybody was working hard behind the ball. It made it hard for us to be broken down and on the road it’s a big part of winning on the road.”
  • Whitecaps FC were forced into a goalkeeper change before the first half was over when Cannon suffered a thigh contusion and was replaced by Brad Knighton.
  • “There were points in the game when I thought should I or shouldn’t I and then it came to a point where I really just didn’t want to cost the team,” Cannon said. “It’s a hard decision a for a goalie because you know you only have a limited amount of subs and you really don’t want to waste one on a goalie, but at the same time, I took in all the factors and I’m happy with the decision I made.”
  • Vancouver has now opened the season with back-to-back wins – something it took the club 32 league games to achieve in 2011 (10/6, 3-0 vs RSL; 10/12, 2-1 vs DC).
  • “I think it’s a stepping stone for our confidence, you can see even tonight on the road we looked almost like a different team than last week at home,” Cannon said. “I think it’s really just about creating that belief and that takes time and I think it is coming.”
  • Jay DeMerit scored the game’s lone goal, his first in MLS. “Ultimately, we came in, just like last week with a gameplan and we stuck to it. Sometimes on the road you have to defend well as a team and score on set pieces, and thankfully we were able to do that,” said DeMerit.
  • Darren Mattocks, the No. 2 overall selection in this year’s SuperDraft, suffered burns in a household cooking accident. “It’s obviously disappointing for him and for us,” Rennie said. “He’s right there on the cusp of being in the team. ... It’s just a little setback, but he’ll be fine fairly soon.”
  • Rennie said he expects Cannon to be able to return to full training by week’s end, along with midfielder Gershon Koffie, who missed the Chivas USA match with an ankle injury.

D.C. UNITED

D.C. United suffered a second defeat to start the new season, opening a West Coast swing with a 3-1 loss to the LA Galaxy on Sunday evening at The Home Depot Center. United are one of six clubs in the Eastern Conference still looking for a first point.

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy opened the scoring moments before the end of the first half. Mike Magee floated a cross into the box to defender Todd Dunivant, whose header found Robbie Keane waiting on the right post, and he turned the ball into the goal.
  • LA took a commanding two-goal lead in the 69th minute. Landon Donovan dispossessed Branko Boskovic in midfield before playing the ball across to Keane, who fired home past Joe Willis from 16 yards out for his first brace in MLS.
  • The Galaxy sealed the match in 85th minute, when Marcelo Sarvas knocked the ball wide to David Beckham, then continued into the area to head home Beckham's cross from the spot.
  • United pulled a goal back through rookie Nick DeLeon in the 86th minute, as he whipped in a shot from 16 yards out on the left that struck the far post before going in.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made five changes to the team that fell to a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City at RFK Memorial Stadium. Joe Willis started in goal in place of Bill Hamid, Chris Korb came in at left back for Daniel Woolard, Marcelo Saragosa and Stephen King started in the midfield for Perry Kitchen and Branko Boskovic,and Maicon Santos started up top in place of Hamdi Salihi.

Watch: DeLeon scores on debut

D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Joe Willis - Robbie Russell, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic (Emiliano Dudar 46), Chris Korb - Andy Najar, Marcelo Saragosa, Stephen King (Branko Boskovic 61), Chris Pontius (Nick DeLeon 74) - Dwayne De Rosario, Maicon Santos.

TEAM NEWS

 

  • United have opened the season with back-to-back losses for the third time in the last six years (also: 2007, 2010).
  • “I am disappointed in the group because they are a reflection of me and the organization at the minimum the fight has to be there every game in this league,” United head coach Ben Olsen said. “I thought we gave them too much respect early. We didn’t get that this was going to be one hell of a tough game and that physically you better go out to fight and scrap until the game settles down. That wasn’t there and that is really disappointing.”
  • Olsen made some significant changes to his team, first pairing Maicon Santos with Dwayne De Rosario in attack while sending Designated Player Hamdi Salihi to the bench. “Salihi was in my plans to come in,” Olsen said. “But [with] the injury to Dejan at halftime, I had to bring in a sub.”
  • United’s other Designated Player, midfielder Branko Boskovic, also was dropped from the first XI, coming on for the final half-hour in place of Stephen King in the midfield.
  • Another change will certainly be coming this weekend as Andy Najar has left to join the Honduras U-23 national team for Olympic qualifying.
  • “[Numerous changes are] not going to happen again,” Olsen said, "because I’m not going to put guys out there that that’s going to be a trend with. It’s pretty simple.”
  • There could be another change, in central defense, where Dejan Jakovic was forced off at halftime of the Galaxy match with a groin strain.
  • “He’s day to day,” Olsen said. “We will take a look at him in training, but we will continue to evaluate him. ... I thought [Dudar] did a great job, coming in and filling in for Jakovic. It’s nice to have another reliable center back.”
  • After being held out of the gameday squad for the season opener, rookie Nick DeLeon came off the substitutes’ bench to score United’s first goal of the season.
  • "It just shows his character and the type of player he is," De Rosario said. "After not making the 18, he had a great week. He worked hard and once he got minutes he made the most of them. That was a great finish."