Columbus Crew vs. Vancouver Whitecaps | MLS Match Preview

COLUMBUS CREW vs VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
COLUMBUS CREW STADIUM, Columbus, Ohio
May 10, 2014 (WEEK 10, MLS Game #87)
7:30 p.m. ET (TWCSN-OH; TSN2)

The Columbus Crew return home looking to return to their winning ways when they entertain Vancouver Whitecaps FC in an intraconference matchup on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew saw their winless run reach six games in a 1-0 midweek loss at Houston. Whitecaps FC won for the first time in five league matches last time out, a 3-2 home win against San Jose, though they lost in the Canadian Championship at midweek.

REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. AR1 (bench): C.J. Morgante; AR2 (opposite): Jason White; 4th: Younes Marrakchi
MLS Career: 103 games; FC/gm: 24.3; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 18; pens: 16

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CLB: Federico Higuain, Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp … VAN: Matias Laba
DISABLED LIST: CLB: Matthew Wiet
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Crew 2 wins, 4 goals … Whitecaps FC 2 wins, 4 goals … Ties 0
AT COLUMBUS (2 meetings): Crew 1 win, 2 goals … Whitecaps FC 1 win, 2 goals … Ties 0

LAST YEAR (MLS)
3/9: VAN 2, CLB 1 (Kobayashi 6; Miller 57 – Arrieta 46)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • Whitecaps FC have won the last two meetings between the teams, over the last two seasons. They won on their last trip to Columbus, a 1-0 win in 2012.
  • Coaches record: Gregg Berhalter v VAN: first game … Carl Robinson vs. CLB: first game

COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew had their winless streak extended to six matches with a second consecutive shutout, falling 1-0 to the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Crew are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, with 12 points from 9 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came five minutes after the second-half restart. Brad Davis put a free kick into the middle of a group in the Columbus' penalty area and it was the back of Will Bruin’s head that made the contact to fool Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark and loop the ball into the back of the net.
  • Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall was credited with five saves in recording the clean sheet, the second blanking in a row for the Crew.
  • Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter made two changes to the team that dropped a 2-0 decision to Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park. Agustin Viana came into the midfield for the suspended Wil Trapp, and Dominic Oduro started in place of Hector Jimenez in the midfield.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): Steve Clark - Josh Williams (Adam Bedell 77), Michael Parkhurst, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Waylon Francis - Tony Tchani, Agustin Viana (Daniel Paladini 65) - Dominic Oduro (Justin Meram 69), Federico Higuain, Bernardo Anor - Jairo Arrieta.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Crew have suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season while seeing their winless streak extended to six matches, after winning their first three games of the season.
  • “Disappointed to lose two games and I think we need to look at our performance. I think it’s time to be a little bit critical of the performance and I think today’s especially is a game where we should have gotten something out of the game and that’s what I’m disappointed about,” said Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter after the game. “I don’t want to take anything from Houston and their effort, but I think on this night we should have come away with something.” Said Dominic Oduro: “The players, we're exhausted, we're tired of losing.”
  • The Crew were also shut out at the attacking end for a second consecutive match, their goalless streak now at 231 minutes, the fifth-longest in MLS this season.
  • “We’ve got to be hungry, we’ve got to want it, we’ve got to need it. That’s something we have been working on,” said Oduro. “It’s a little bit hard when you have teams again sitting a little bit back just waiting to counter you, but it’s something we need to try and find a way to penetrate behind defenses.”
  • With Wil Trapp suspended after being sent off in the Sporting KC match, Agustin Viana made his first appearance of the season, coming into a central midfield role and playing 65 minutes.
  • “I thought we controlled possession the whole game. I didn’t feel like things changed necessarily. The goal obviously changed things but that’s something we need to work on,” said defender Josh Williams. “We can’t wait for them to punch us in the mouth first, we need to punch a team in the mouth first and score so they start pressing and then we open them up.”
  • For the first time this season, Berhalter started both Jairo Arrieta and Dominic Oduro, Arrieta playing the lone striker role and Oduro wide on the right of the midfield.
  • “We knew that we had to keep getting the ball wide. We could get the ball in some dangerous positions if we did that,” Berhalter said. “That was one of our focuses, on where our full backs are and how to get them to attack and people driving with the ball instead of passing it if they are thirty yards in front of them to bring an opponent to them, so we were focused on trying to open them up a little bit.”
  • The Crew gave up a goal from a free kick for the first time this season, their second this year from a set piece.
  • “We gave up a set piece goal that we talked about all week, we can’t do that. We got caught sleeping there. That’s something we need to work on,” said Williams. “We need to be better on set pieces. We prepare all week for something like that and it’s disappointing to give up one like that.”

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC recorded a victory for the first time in five matches, hanging on for a 3-2 win against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon at BC Place. Whitecaps FC sit in fifth place in the Western Conference with 13 points from 9 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Whitecaps FC scored the opening goal 10 minutes in when Kekuta Manneh ran into the box and crashed his first effort off the near post before recovering the rebound and curling it in off the far post for his third goal of the season.
  • The home side then made it 3-0 by the 20th minute when Pedro Morales scored twice in the space. He first converted a 19th minute penalty – drawn by Darren Mattocks – and quickly followed that up 54 seconds later with a low, 20-yard effort that beat goalkeeper Jon Busch and nestled in the bottom left corner.
  • The Quakes pulled a goal back through a Chris Wondolowski penalty on the stroke of halftime after Jay DeMerit was called for a foul against Alan Gordon.
  • Wondolowski finished from close range a minute into second-half stoppage time to bring San Jose back to within a goal, but the home side saw out the rest of time for a vital three points.
  • Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made three changes to the team that claimed a 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Jay DeMerit came into the back four for Johnny Leveron, and Pedro Morales and Sebastian Fernandez started in midfield in place of Russell Teibert and Kenny Miller.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): David Ousted - Steven Beitashour, Andy O'Brien, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey - Gershon Koffie, Matias Laba - Kekuta Manneh (Kenny Miller 57), Pedro Morales, Sebastian Fernandez (Nicolas Mezquida 69) - Darren Mattocks (Erik Hurtado 30).

TEAM NEWS

  • While the victory was the first for Whitecaps FC since a 2-1 win against Houston on March 29 at BC Place, they have now gone three games without loss following back-to-back defeats by Colorado and LA.
  • I think the 30 minutes we were absolutely sensational and we scored three goals which is always nice, but we also had a number of other good chances as well,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “Then we started to take too many touches and we didn’t need to and then obviously letting them back up before halftime, that made it interesting the second half.”
  • Pedro Morales became the 15th player in Major League Soccer to score goals in consecutive minutes when he netted in the 19th and 20th minutes. Camilo had also done it for Whitecaps FC on April 2, 2011, with both goals coming in second-half stoppage time.
  • “He had a little bit of a cramp and I thought he was brilliant today. He got two goals and about seven other shots so I’m not worried obviously,” said Robinson. “I’ll protect him this week. We’ve got a busy week ahead with the Amway Canadian Championship so I’ll look after him with that, but as we’ve seen after today he’s a very special player.”
  • There was an injury concern after Darren Mattocks was forced from the field at the half-hour mark, replaced by Erik Hurtado. Mattocks has started every league match for Whitecaps FC this season.
  • “I thought he was brilliant in the first 30 minutes. He really was stretching them and he had a big impact in the game,” said Robinson. “I think he’s hurt his hamstring. I’m not sure how bad it is … He didn’t feel it so it is a concern for us and it is a worry.”
  • Sebastian Fernandez returned to the starting lineup for the first time since the first LA Galaxy match on April 12, and Morales came back into the team after not featuring at all in the Real Salt Lake match.
  • “The front four were excellent and really were electric. Pedro’s passing obviously we all know. Seba, coming in off his goal last week, started very brightly and Kekuta is a young special player and Darren is causing a threat at the moment, he really is. And the reason I went for that system and formation is because I knew that would happen,” said Robinson.
  • Kekuta Manneh made his second start of the season and came through with his third goal of the season, his second in the two starts (also scoring in the second LA Galaxy match as part of the first XI). Manneh also collected his first assist of the season, the second time in his MLS career he had a goal and an assist in the same game (also April 27, 2013 vs. FC Dallas).
  • There was a major transaction the day following the match when Kenny Miller and the club agreed to terminate his contract. Miller had come on as a substitute for the final 33 minutes.
  • “When we were talking about Kenny's status, there were a number of factors that went in to it,” Robinson said. “It was his decision, my decision and a financial decision. From my perspective, we have an exciting group of young players, talented attacking players, and I think that everybody has seen over the first eight, nine games, that we have got great potential in these players.”
  • On Wednesday, Whitecaps FC dropped the first leg of their Canadian Championship semifinal tie vs. Toronto FC, 2-1 at BMO Field. Kekuta Manneh scored the lone Vancouver goal in second-half stoppage time, after goals from Jermain Defoe (28) and Michael Bradley (89) had given TFC the advantage.
  • Here’s the Whitecaps FC team: Marco Carducci; Nigel Reo-Coker, Carlyle Mitchell, Johnny Leverón, Christian Dean; Russell Teibert, Bryce Alderson; Kianz Froese^ (Sebastian Fernandez 77’), Nicolás Mezquida, Marco Bustos^ (Omar Salgado 64’); Erik Hurtado (Kekuta Manneh 77’)