Koffie out versus Red Bulls

Rich Lam

The Whitecaps will have a very thin lineup against the New York Red Bulls

It's slim pickings indeed for the Vancouver Whitecaps midfield. According to Cam Cole on twitter, Bob Lenarduzzi confirmed Gershon Koffie will not make the trip to New York to take on the Red Bulls.

It's yet another harsh blow for the Whitecaps, as they'll already be missing Nigel Reo-Coker due to suspension, and Darren Mattocks due to International Duty. That means Russell Teibert will likely get a larger role in mid, while Matt Watson seems to be the most obvious choice to get a start, after sitting for pretty much the entire season. Daigo Kobayashi is another candidate to sneak into the starting 11, after injury and then the emergence of Russell Teibert, forced him to sit for a while.

Mattocks' departure hurts the club, but Kenny Miller has returned from injury and should be good to go with Camilo up front. Or, Rennie might use one of his young stars like Erik Hurtado or Kekuta Manneh. At the very least, we should see one of them as a second half substitution.

It'll be interesting to see if Rennie throws in the towel and fields a reserve heavy lineup against the Red Bulls, currently the second best team in MLS. Rennie could point to a compressed schedule (even though they did have a bye week) as a reason for giving his big guns more rest, although that would be disappointing for fans that have seen this club string together a few solid performances now. (Remember, they didn't lose against Montreal in either Championship match)

Or, he could play the best players he has available and hope for a draw. Call it pessimistic, but I think that's as good as the Whitecaps can do on the weekend.

One thing's for sure; Reo-Coker is an immense loss for the Whitecaps in every, single facet of the game. He's a field general, he's the pulse of the offence and you know the Whitecaps will miss those surging runs so dearly.

What do you think? What type of lineup should Rennie field, with so many strong players unavailable?

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