As ever, the Eighty Six Forever Game Day News and Notes is a grim tome filled with stories of blood and pain and injuries that are reducing the Whitecaps to a stumbling, half-dead heap of miserly old cripples, petitioning Don Garber to let them bring their electric scooters onto the field and taking as many as two water breaks mid-game at the referee's discretion.
Frankly, it's a miracle the Vancouver Whitecaps could even get on the plane to Houston, as one assumes that the metal detectors finding every pin and every screw holding their broken bones together would delay any flight by days. However, somehow, they have dragged a group of eighteen moderately healthy young 'Caps into the Lone Star State to take on
Pat Onstad Andre Hainault and the Houston Dynamo.
To be fair, I do have some news about Whitecaps who are returning to the lineup instead of departing from it. But let's face it, it's much more fun to moan about all our injuries since that way if we win we look totally badass.
The Whitecaps Injured List (Special Central Midfielders Edition):
- Okay, to get it out of the way, Gershon Koffie is not injured. He is, however, suspended because a certain referee is a moron. He's also off with Ghana's U-20 national team, and congratulations to Gershon for that: this is his first call-up to represent his country at any level and he should be justly proud of his achievements. However, Koffie will miss at minimum the Whitecaps' next three games.
- Terry Dunfield is suffering from a groin injury he picked up going down awkwardly against the new England Revolution and is not even on this road trip.
- According to Marc Weber, John Thorrington's calf injury has flared up and he also hasn't made the trip.
- Alexandre Morfaw, who I bet you forgot even played with this team, is also out: he has a broken hand.
- Of course, as ever, Michael Nanchoff is nowhere to be found.
People Who Are, Amazingly, With the Whitecaps:
- Russell Teibert's back! Yes, Canadian Soccer Jesus is in Houston with the team after surviving the Canadian U-20 team's debacle of a loss to Mexico last week. Canada's eliminated from U-20 World Cup qualifying, and sad though it is to say that might be good news for the Whitecaps, who have missed Teibert on the left-hand side while he's been gone.
- Omar Salgado is here! His American U-20 team suffered arguably an even more ignominious 2-1 loss to Guatemala on Wednesday and as a result the first overall pick in the most recent MLS SuperDraft is now available to help the Whitecaps in their time of need. Bear in mind that Salgado wasn't even a core player on the American U-20 team; it's not like he's going to run straight into the Vancouver starting eleven and set their world on fire. But still, he's useful to have around.
- Jay DeMerit (groin) is with the team on this trip. If DeMerit can walk, you have to figure he will play.
- Finally, Mouloud Akloul has also made the trip to Houston. Akloul signed with the team a couple of weeks ago but said he still had some work to do if he wants to get into shape. Happily for all us Mouloud maniacs, Akloul will almost certainly be on the bench in tonight's game. At least the bench, depending on Jay DeMerit's situation.
Other Missing Whitecaps at Other Positions:
The Obligatory Houston Dynamo Injuries Section:
- Forward Brian Ching, the Dynamo player other than Hainault you've probably heard of, is confirmed out for this game with a rib separation.
- Also out but less Ching-tastic are forward Calen Carr (concussion) and defender Jermaine Taylor (foot sprain).
- Midfielder Brad Davis (hamstring) was initially expected to miss this game but took light practice earlier in the week. The expectation is now that he'll be somewhere in the match-day eighteen.