Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Real Salt Lake | 2018 MLS Match Preview

ExLink - 04/27/18 - VANvRSL

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Real Salt Lake
2018 MLS Regular Season - Week 9
BC Place - Vancouver
April 27 - 10:30 pm ET
WATCH: TSN (in Canada), ESPN+

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Two teams desperately seeking consistency square off at BC Place as Vancouver Whitecaps FC looks for their first win of April against a Real Salt Lake team that hasn’t won — or lost — consecutive games all season.

This is the second meeting between the Western Conference rivals. Real Salt Lake won 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium on April 7, with Luis Silva striking late in first-half stoppage time and Jefferson Savarino netting the winner two minutes from full time.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

After winning three of their first five games, the Whitecaps FC (3-4-1) have lost three consecutive games and dropped to sixth in the Western Conference following a 6-0 drubbing by Sporting Kansas City Friday night.

Vancouver played the final 50 minutes with nine men after Yordy Reyna and Efrain Juarez were send off as part of a scuffle with Johnny Russell, who struck for a hat trick.

It was the most lopsided MLS loss in Vancouver history.

“If you’re not embarrassed or you’re not mad about the result and the way it ended you shouldn’t be here,” midfielder Felipe told reporters after training Monday. “Now everyone needs to man up. We’ve got to regroup, everybody together. It’s not only one or two guys that can do it. It’s everyone. Every day in training, everyone needs to show up and show life, show heart. That’s what we’ve got to do. This is unacceptable. It cannot happen anymore.”

  • Suspended: M - Yordy Reyna, M - Efrain Juarez
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: QUESTIONABLE: M - Jordon Mutch (left hamstring strain), F - Kei Kamara (adductor strain); PROBABLE: D - Sean Franklin (quad strain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-1-4-1, right to left)
GK: Stefan Marinovic — Jakob Nerwinski, Kendall Waston, Jose Aja, Marcel de Jong — Russell Teibert — Cristian Techera, Aly Ghazal, Felipe, Alphonso Davies — Anthony Blondell

  • Notes: In the 341 minutes Kei Kamara has missed this season, Vancouver is averaging 0.3 goals per 90 (averaging 1.4 in the 446 minutes with him on the field). … Vancouver’s 2-0 loss to LAFC snapped an 11-game home unbeaten run (6W-5D inc. playoffs). Additionally, they’ve been held scoreless in three of their last four home matches after scoring in 12 straight (inc. playoffs).

Real Salt Lake     

The good news for Real Salt Lake (3-3-1) is they appear to respond well to adversity. The bad news is they don’t appear to deal well with success. For the third time this season, RSL bounced back from a disappointing defeat to come up with an important win, defeating rival Colorado Rapids, 3-0, at Rio Tinto Stadium last Saturday.

Joao Plata, Damir Kreilach and Albert Rusnak each struck in the final eight minutes for RSL against 10-man Colorado, which had Tim Howard sent off for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity for handling the ball outside of the box in the 20th minute.

Mike Petke went with a 4-3-3 formation and made three changes to his starting XI from the side that lost 4-0 at NYCFC, bringing on Nick Besler for his debut, Danilo Acosta into the back four and Plata up front.

“This is a confidence builder for sure,” Petke said after the match. “We had a great week of practice leading into this so we just have to gain momentum off of this leading into Vancouver. It’s going to be a very difficult game. We were fortunate enough to get a result off of them at home, but going to Vancouver is a different animal, with the turf and the way they play.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Tony Beltran (right knee surgery), M - Jordan Allen (knee), D - Taylor Peay (knee); QUESTIONABLE: D - Shawn Barry (hamstring), M - Luke Mulholland (hamstring), D - Demar Phillips (ankle), D - Marcelo Silva (groin)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Nick Rimando — Brooks Lennon, Justen Glad, Nick Besler, Danilo Acosta — Kyle Beckerman, Albert Rusnak, Damir Kreilach — Jefferson Savarino, Luis Silva, Joao Plata

  • Notes: Nick Rimando's next victory will be his 200th in MLS play. Only one other goalkeeper has more than 131 (Kevin Hartman, 180). … Real Salt Lake is winless in their last seven road games in league play (5L-2D), conceding 3+ goals four times.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 8 wins, 24 goals … Real Salt Lake 6 wins, 20 goals … 4 ties
  • At Vancouver: Whitecaps FC 7 wins, 19 goals … Real Salt Lake 1 win, 7 goals … 1 tie
  • Last meeting at Vancouver: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3, Real Salt Lake 2 (Sept. 9, 2017)


Referee: Sorin Stoia
Assistant Referees: Jeff Hosking, Chris Wattam
4th Official: Daniel Radford
VAR: Alex Chilowicz