It’s a massive cross-conference game in MLS this weekend as the Vancouver Whitecaps finally return home to BC Place, sitting sixth in the Western Conference, to play D.C. United.
The Black-and-Red are in need of a win, looking up into the Audi MLS Cup Playoff spots above them.
Jack Collins here from The Game Day to look at a matchup between two sides still harboring big postseason aspirations on Matchday 35 in Major League Soccer, happening on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. D.C. United CF Odds
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs D.C. United betting lines are current as of Thursday, Sept. 28, at 11 a.m. ET at bet365 Sportsbook.
- 3-Way Moneyline: Vancouver (-134) • Tie (+280) • D.C. United (+320)
- Total Goals: Over 2.5 (-150) • Under 2.5 (+115)
- Both Teams To Score: Yes (-163) • No (+120)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. D.C. United Match Prediction
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3:1 D.C. United
After seven straight games on the road, Vancouver Whitecaps fans will be delighted to have their side back on home soil as we head into the final four games of this MLS regular season.
With their side being forced into a marathon away tour, as BC Place played host to the likes of Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, and Beyonce.
Many supporters would have been concerned that the trip might put paid to the club’s playoff aspirations - especially given their torrid away record early in the season - but those fears were somewhat allayed.
Despite two losses in a row on their journey, the Whitecaps have acquitted themselves well since they last played in Vancouver.
Wins at Portland Timbers, Chicago Fire, and Toronto FC were backed up with credible draws at NYCFC and, midweek, at Colorado, making it 11 points from seven games and keeping them well in the hunt for a home playoff berth.
Now, with three of their four remaining games on their own soil, it’s in their own hands to make sure they capitalize and continue the home form that kept them in contention ahead of the Leagues Cup break.
It will be by no means easy, though, with three of the West’s top four sides left to play - in the shape of St. Louis CITY SC, LAFC, and the Seattle Sounders, which means the pressure piles up ahead of this weekend’s visit from D.C. United.
The Black-and-Red come to town sitting in 10th spot in the Eastern Conference, just one point below NYCFC in 9th, but with the looming presence of Inter Miami lurking a few places and points back with games in hand.
And Wayne Rooney’s men find themselves winless in four games, with three straight draws followed up by a chaotic 5-3 loss to the New York Red Bulls in Washington last time out.
With back-to-back away games now, before returning home to play a Decision Day Hudson River Derby against NYCFC, the path to the postseason looks increasingly fraught with danger for D.C. United.
Vancouver Whitecaps come in as heavy favorites, with the emotional boost of returning to play in front of their own fans combined with displays of unheralded resilience in the last few weeks.
It helps that in Ryan Gauld, they have one of the most in-form players in the entirety of the league in the last few months.
Breaking double figures in the league for both goals and assists for the first time in his career, Gauld has become the captain and heartbeat of this Whitecaps team.
On a journey that has taken him from his native Scotland, to Portugal, and on to Canada; Gauld has shaken off the expectations he was burdened with and found a home at BC Place, where his versatility has been a key part of his success.
But in partnership with Brian White up front, both have reaped the rewards. White has scored 13 times in his 28 games this season and picked up 5 assists - a career-high for goal contributions from the 27-year-old.
As a pairing, they have been amongst MLS’ most productive, but their work rate and leading the defensive push from the front has been equally important to coach Vanni Sartini, whose emphasis on teamwork ethic has pushed Vancouver onwards.
Rooney’s D.C. United will have to try and deal with both of them if they are to come out of Canada with any points, but it’s easier said than done. In the Whitecaps’ last seven games, only Open Cup winner Houston has managed to stop one or the other from getting on the scoresheet.
Given their form coming into it and the tide of emotion that should accompany the Whitecaps on their home return after over a month away, it’s hard to see anything but a home win here.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs D.C. United Best Bets
Both Teams To Score: Yes (-163) • bet365 Sportsbook
A couple of defensive frailties have started to creep in during recent games for the Whitecaps, conceding twice to Colorado Rapids and to Real Salt Lake and four times away in Houston.
While D.C. United might not have an answer for this Vancouver attacking line, but they have the personnel and capability to put the ball in the back of the net.
Ryan Gauld Anytime Goalscorer (+140) • bet365 Sportsbook
White might have topped him in the goalscoring stakes recently, but Gauld will be feeling very special as he leads the team out at BC Place, still very much in the playoff hunt.
Many expected his team to fall away on their travels. He doesn’t need much encouragement to shine, but he’ll have it here - and may well reward his adoring fanbase.