MATCH AT A GLANCE
This week the Vancouver Whitecaps travel to Denver to face the Colorado Rapids for the first time this season. This is the first of three matches that these two sides will play against each other before the MLS Regular season comes to an end on October 27th. These two teams fared differently in their last games - Vancouver defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 at home and the Rapids drew 1-1 in a nasty affair against Chivas USA that saw multiple sendings off. Whitecaps fans may be interested to learn that while the Caps have dealt with injury problems this year it is a shadow of the injury problems that Colorado has been dealing with. The Rapids currently have 29 players on their roster (out of a maximum 30 players allowed under the league rules) and out of those 29 players 10 of them are injured leaving them with 19 men available for the 18-man game day roster. Two of the Rapids key players, midfielders Pablo Mastroeni (quad strain) and Martin Rivero (broken foot), have been out of action for most of the year, but have recently returned to practice. Tony Cascio will miss the match after being sent off last week at Chivas USA. It's not all bad news for Colorado as they made some moves to acquire strikers Gabriel Torres from Venezuelan club Zamora FC and Vincente Sánchez from Club America in Mexico. Torres has received his work visa and will be available for selection for tomorrow's match.
- Camilo's goal last week against San Jose was his 14th goal of the season. He is currently tied with the Chicago Fire's Mike Magee in the race for the MLS scoring title.
- David Ousted kept a clean sheet in his home debut at BC Place last Saturday. Ousted has only allowed one goal in two MLS starts.
- Deshorn Brown leads the Rapids with 6 goals. Former Whitecap Atiba Harris is second in scoring with 5.
- Only three points separate 2nd place Vancouver (36 pts) from 7th place FC Dallas (33 pts)
- These two teams last played to a 2-2 draw in Vancouver when they last played on Sept. 23, 2012.
According to some pundits (most likely based south of the border) Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane are THE attacking partnership in MLS this season. These same people probably don't realize that Donovan and Keane have scored only 13 goals between the two of them while Camilo and Kenny Miller have 21. This is even more impressive because Miller missed a fair amount of time to injury and Camilo started the season on the bench. The unknown factor in all of this is whether or not fatigue will affect Miller who has just returned from national team duty with Scotland. Miller will be playing his third match in a week and has traveled to the UK for one of those games. Russell Teibert's performance last week was reminiscent of his form prior to his Gold Cup duty with the Canadian Men's National team and 'Caps fans will hope that he continues this positive trend.
With Brad Rusin injured and Jun Marques-Davidson likely not to start again this week, look for Gershon Koffie to slide into the holding midfield role. Nigel Reo-Coker had a strong performance against the 'Quakes last week, and it was his cross that set up Camilo for the game's opening goal. It will be interesting to see if Rennie starts Kobayashi again in midfield, or whether he will call upon the services of the usually reliable Matt Watson.
IT'S A DRAW
We will see whether or not Rennie will stick with the same back four that he did last week at home to San Jose or whether Andy O'Brien will regain his starting position at the expense of Carlyle Mitchell. Rennie's fullbacks have not performed well on the road at times this season, and despite Jordan Harvey's four goals for the Blue and White, questions linger about his attack-minded style of play and his defensive positioning.
IT'S A DRAW
David Ousted is looking more and more like the goalkeeper that the Whitecaps have been looking for to take them to the next level. His spectacular reflex save against the 'Quakes Cordell Cato proves that he is indeed a very good goalkeeper. However, Ousted has only started two MLS matches, so it is still a little early to anoint him as an elite goalie. He also looks to be quick to move the ball out of the Caps' defensive third, and that could prove to be a dangerous tool for the Caps' counterattack. Given his performances so far, it might not be too long before we can safely say that Ousted gives the 'Caps a definite advantage in goal over their opponents.
Even though the 'Caps have improved on the road as the season has progressed, they have still lost 19 of their past 21 road games. The Whitecaps' road form is often hard to predict, but I believe that they will stand firm and split the points in a 1-1 draw with Colorado.