In the back of the homesick Whitecaps player's head's, they know they have to win this game. After three lack luster performances and missed chances, Saturday's 1 o'clock game will probably be a turning point for the season.But our two losses and a tie away from home, Rennie and his boy's only excuse was that they were on the road. Well, know they have the chance to take a win at home, where they beat RSL last season in a exciting match. But is it enough to say that their last few match's losses were because of the location. If we want to succeed this season, it will all start with getting another win, which will be tough after a five week absence from BC place.
Whitecaps Key's to the Match:
1. Jamaican Pride
I'm not sure if Martin's message to Darren Mattocks has sunk it yet, but we would be crazy to leave the speedster out of the lineup. He is important to our squad. I hope that Darren will come out flying, something we haven't exactly seen from him since he struggled to get into the first team last year. Mattocks will need not only his goal scoring, but his assists to score, since the RSL defence isn't the fastest without Olave, so long balls to Darren and him playing back for a power shot are not out of the question.
2. Save them for the Summer
It has been rumoured that in practice this week, Corey Hertzog and Russel Tiebert were training with the same eleven, hinting that Rennie might start them. I urge Rennie not to do this for these reasons.
Let them think: They both just had his first MLS start of the season, and I would assume their mind are racing. Letboth of them think about their mistakes and successes from last week, then maybe they will be ready for another go.
Summer time is Substitute time: Over the summer stretch, if you look at our schedule, we have multiple Wednesday matches over the Summer break, where player's will be tired. That is exactly when player's like Russel and Corey will thrive.
If we can hold those two players of at least till June (or until injuries) we should be better off.
I mentioned this point last week as well (which isn't a good sign). We need to start playing defence like we have in previous years. Just because Jay is gone, doesn't mean our player's can slack off. Someone needs to step up, preferably a center back. Over the past three games, we have conceded 5 goals, which is far from perfect. The box is our kingdom, and our defenders have to stop playing like the village fools, and become knights in shining armour (i.e. our home jerseys, which we our longing to wear).
Predicted Starting Line-Up/ Substitutes:
Cannon, Lee, Rusin, O'brien, Rochat, Davidson, Koffie, Reo-Coker, Kobayashi, Mattocks, Hurtado
Substitutes: Heinemann, Camilo, Harvey
3-1 for the Caps. We have a much more convincing game, similar to our game vs. Columbus.
Rochat (12), Saborio (40), Reo-Coker (51), Hurtado (79)
Rochat picks one up early for us after RSL defenders think he will cross to a looming Mattocks, but shoots one in.
Saborio connects with a header that is too hard to handle for Cannon and is punched over his raised arms.
Reo-Coker scores with a shot from inside the box that sails past Rimando's dive, and into the back of the net. Reo-Coker celebrates like the leader he is and the fans are excited and the Caps continue their excellence.
Hurtado bangs in his first after Koffie sets him free on an excellent ball forward and Hurtado hits it first time to finish it into the far bottom corner to finalize our victory.
Real Salt Lake will press hard but won't get a good chance till the end when Javier Morales breaks free from Jun Marquez Davidson and launches a hard curling effort that Joe is only able to get a finger on.
The Whitecaps come back rejuvenated, with many chances. Our midfield plays how we like to see them (although Davidson will continue his bad spell of games lately). Our defense will look slightly better, but the Real Salt Lake gets some early chances via communication errors with Andy and Brad.
Koffie and Reo-C show their form from our first two matches. Reo-Coker plays a much more attacking role, where as Koffie sits back a bit more then usual, but plays as his strong self.
Kobayashi is somewhat quiet, but has one excellent run through the box, beating numerous defenders through his dribbling abilities, and even with the open shot, a defender back tracks him and blocks the shot.
Although Mattocks does not score, he looks like his old self. Rimando will seem to get the trick of him, making great saves on the Jamaican, but rest assured, Rennie's message to Mattocks was well received and he comes out flying.
Hurtado has a somewhat poor game, other then his run, which leads to his goal. Koffie feeds it after he works himself free from a tackle right onto the already in full gallop Hurtado, who has the easy job of finishing a wide open break away. His dribbling still seems to be a problem, and he forces too many passes. But his goal reassures everyone that he is the talend Rennie has advertised.
Heinemann comes on and looks just as good as he did against San Jose (without the hand ball of course.) He connects with a corner from Camilo, oddly with his shoulder, but it sails just right of the post. His dribbling skills, strength, and stature begin to raise comparisons of a shaggy haired Hassli.
Camilo plays a good game, making great passes and through balls. His offensive side isn't anything special, but Rennie seems to switch the formation to put Camilo into a more Attacking midfielder role. He plays a great ball for Rochat, late on after a counter attack, but the ball skips of Alain's foot.
Harvey gets his first minuted of the season, taking off Reo-Coker (who left to the sounds off a standing ovation.) Harvey plays an extremely defensive midfielder, but continues playing those great crosses we saw last year. He sends a lofted through ball to Kobayashi late on, but the Japanese midfielder is greeted by RSL defenders, after he misses the intial cross and has to retrieve the ball from the far corner. He also whips in a cross that Heinemann gets a head on, but it his Rimando straight in the chest.
Overall, I expect a great game from the Caps, and I see us pulling a victory out.