Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. D.C. United
2017 MLS Match Preview
BC Place – Vancouver, BC
Saturday, May 27 – 7:00 pm ET
WATCH: TSN1/3/4/5 | MLS LIVE in US
Vancouver Whitecaps FC will look to embark on their second winning streak of the 2017 MLS regular season on Saturday as they welcome D.C. United to BC Place. The Whitecaps have won three of their last four league games and are coming off an impressive 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City, also at home.
The opponent is reeling, there's no question. D.C. United have lost their last three games and sit in the Eastern Conference basement. Head coach Ben Olsen has openly admitted the team could use roster upgrades in the next transfer window. Add in the long cross-continental trip to British Columbia, and the decks looks to be stacked against the visitors. But it's MLS -- we know form and distance doesn't always tell the story.
Believe it or not, but the Whitecaps are sitting above the red line in the Western Conference heading into the week's matches. Considering their only streaks have been two losses and two wins in 11 regular season games to date, the jury is very much still out on this team's long-term prospects for the season.
But the Whitecaps will likely be bolstered by their 2017 Canadian Championship semifinal first leg win over the Montreal Impact on Tuesday. They beat the Impact 2-1 at home, so they have an edge going into the second leg next week, and played a combination of starters, youngsters and Whitecaps FC 2 players to good effect in the game, so they'll most likely be fresh even with the fixture congestion.
Arguably the standout in the Canadian Championship game was teenage phenom Alphonso Davies, who set the tone with the opening goal. Still just 16, Davies has been very impressive in non-MLS competition so far in his young career. And while he's seeing consistent minutes for the first time this year in league play, he hasn't quite gotten to the same heights yet. The 'Caps think that is coming very soon.
- Suspended: Matias Laba (yellow card accumulation)
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT – D Brett Levis (ACL tear), M Yordy Reyna (foot surgery), D David Edgar (PCL, MCL tear), D Christian Dean (foot injury), F Bernie Ibini (hamstring strain), F Erik Hurtado (left foot contusion)
Projected Starting XI (4-1-4-1): GK: David Ousted – Jordan Harvey, Tim Parker, Kendall Waston, Sheanon Williams – Russell Teibert – Christian Bolaños, Tony Tchani, Andrew Jacobson, Cristian Techera – Fredy Montero
Notes: Vancouver have won three straight home games, outscoring the opposition 8-3 in the process. A fourth straight home win would tie a franchise best, something they have achieved three other times in MLS regular season history (most recently between July 26 and September 9, 2015)...Tim Parker’s goal last weekend was his first in 54 MLS regular season appearances.
If things seem to be looking up for Vancouver, the same cannot be said for United at the moment. Their potential domestic cup competition boost won't come until next month, and spirits are low after being beaten by road win-shy Chicago at RFK Stadium last week. The problems at the moment are multifold, as they have scored the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference (which is also-joint worst in the league with Colorado) while also being tied for allowing the most goals in the conference. Their -10 goal difference is worst in the East.
Add to that low morale, a three-game losing streak and talk of the team needing upgrades.
“We’re realistic in that we understand we need to get better, and we will get better in the [summer] transfer window,” Olsen said at his postmatch press conference last week.
When asked if the signings would primarily provide depth, Olsen added, “No. We need to get better.”
Perhaps that warning will serve as motivation to the players who are currently on the team, to give them an extra kick in potentially fighting for their jobs ahead of the transfer window.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT – M Rob Vincent (left knee injury), GK Eric Klenofsky (left knee injury), M Patrick Nyarko (hamstring injury), M/D Nick DeLeon (hip/groin), D Sean Franklin (hamstring injury)
Projected Starting XI (4-4-2): GK: Bill Hamid – Chris Korb, Steve Birnbaum, Bobby Boswell, Taylor Kemp – Lloyd Sam, Marcelo Sarvas, Jared Jeffrey, Lamar Neagle – Sebastien Le Toux, Patrick Mullins
Notes: D.C. United have won each of the last two games against Vancouver, outscoring the Whitecaps 6-1 over the two games...D.C.’s 42.5 percent possession rate is the lowest of any team in the league this season.
- Overall: D.C. 2 wins (11 goals) … Vancouver 2 wins (4 goals) … Ties 2
- At Vancouver: Vancouver 1 win (3 goals) … D.C. 1 win (3 goals) … Ties 1
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referees: Jason White, Adam Garner
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal