Whitecaps look to extend winning streak in New England
The Vancouver Whitecaps have won their last give games in all competitions. Now they want to make it six when they take on the New England Revolution on Saturday (7:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
“They’re a good team,” head coach Martin Rennie said from Harvard University following Vancouver’s final training session before Saturday’s match. “I think they’ve shown themselves to be a solid team. They had a good preseason. For us, we’re on a run of winning games and so we just want to be focused on what we have to do to continue that going. We know it’ll be a tough game tomorrow but we always feel that if we play at our best we’ll have a good chance against anybody.
“We make sure that we put in the right preparation now and tonight, tomorrow, and we’ll give it all we’ve got on Saturday.”
A player who could be back in the lineup after playing only eight minutes in the team's last three MLS matches is Davide Chiumiento. The Swiss-Italian midfielder has set up four goals in his last two appearances, including three assists in Vancouver's 3-1 win in the second leg of their Amway Canadian Championship semifinal against FC Edmonton.
“He’s been doing well, especially in the final third,” Rennie said of Chiumiento. “That’s what we’ve been challenging him on. His value is not just his work rate and his general passing, but his final ball – his ability to set up goals or score goals – he’s done that very well in the last two games and we want that to continue tomorrow.”
The ‘Caps will find a familiar face on the other side of the field on Saturday in Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen. The former US international joined Vancouver during the offseason, but never quite fit in with Rennie's plans and never saw time in a competitive match for the club.
Nguyen's fortunes have turned for the better in Foxborough. The Texas-born Vietnamese American has appeared in all nine of New England's MLS matches this season, starting seven and earning an assist in a 2-1 loss to D.C. United on April 14.
“Lee Nguyen is a good player – we never doubted that,” Rennie said. “We just felt it would be better for him to be somewhere else, and that’s proven to be the case with New England. We’re happy for him and we want him to do well. Obviously, we want to shut him down and make sure he doesn’t cause us problems, but with all the players – if they don’t fit with us, it’s not like we don’t think they’re good players.
“There might be somewhere where they fit better, and I think that’s the case with Lee.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.