Vancouver Whitecaps hope to recapture "fantastic attacking play" from season-opening win
VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Vancouver Whitecaps are hoping to bring back the style when they return for their first home game since opening day at BC Place.
When the Whitecaps take on the Houston Dynamo on Saturday (7 pm ET; TSN2 in Canada, MLS Live in the US), it won't just be a result the 'Caps are seeking – but an execution of similar sizzle the team showed against the New York Red Bulls in a 4-1 win on March 8 to kick off the season.
“We try to do it on the road,” forward Kenny Miller told reporters at BC Place on Thursday following a training session, when asked about playing an attractive possession style. “It's just not seemed to come to fruition as yet. But ... that first home game, there was a lot of movement, a lot of fantastic attacking play, a lot of chances created. We're hoping to get back to that on Saturday.”
Still, while the Whitecaps may not have provided the “oohs” and “ahhs” for their fans in two road draws over the past two weeks – at Chivas USA and New England – it was still nothing to sniff at.
In the Dynamo, the Whitecaps face a team known for its organization and athleticism, topped off with the quality of winger Brad Davis.
“They're not going to come here and let us play,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said Thursday. “It's important we put our stamp on the game. We did it in our first home game. It's important we do it in every home game. ... It's important we put our mark on the game.
“We will do it. We'll try and do it the right way. Having said that, they'll mix it up. They're a very physical team, very well coached.”
It's uncertain what sort of lineup Vancouver will field against their Eastern Conference opponents, but there will be at least two changes.
Midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker will miss out after his accident last weekend in which he tripped over a bike rack, meaning Gershon Koffie is set to step in alongside Matías Laba in Vancouver's 4-2-3-1 formation.
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“I hope so,” DeMerit responded when asked if he felt a bit of extra zip ahead of this match given his weekend off. “It's one of those things. I've had a couple days – well, only one day off, actually – so it's not like I was resting that much.
“It's about maintenance, staying fit and making sure I'm ready to go for Saturday, and so far so good.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.