Last Time: The Vancouver Whitecaps have been spotty with their play recently, but they managed to claw back into the playoff picture with a greasy win versus the New England Revolution. Camilo scored on a penalty, Jordan Harvey earned a goal, while Kenny Miller scored two beauties to power the 'Caps, while Brad Knighton gave up three goals against a Revolution team that was down a man for most of the match.
This Time: Not a whole lot has gone right for Chivas USA this season. After a great March (3-1-1), the Goats haven't won a match since, as their front office seems to be the subject of controversy every, single, day. On the pitch, Chivas has been outscored an astounding 15-1 in their last five matches, and they haven't scored a freaking goal since May 19th against Real Salt Lake. Given those horrible statistics, it's no surprise to see them dead last in the Western Conference, with just 11 points on the season.
Scratches/Injuries: The Whitecaps have a lengthy list of walking wounded, starting with Captain Jay Demerit and his achilles injury. Andy O'Brien's hamstring isn't 100% yet, while Brad Rusin is still dealing with the effects of a concussion. Gershon Koffie will miss the match with a quad injury, while Omar Salgado, (remember him?) is still recovering from a fractured foot.
Johnny Leveron is expected to play, but he will be fresh off a plane from Honduran International duty so expect him to have some heavy feet (not in the good way). Kekuta Manneh will also miss the match because of suspension, after MLS took another look at his challenge on goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth on the weekend. Questionable, but whatever.
The Projected Lineup: GK-Knighton, D-Lee, D-Mitchell, D-Leveron, D-Harvey, M-Watson, M-Kobayashi, M-Reo-Coker, M-Teibert, F-Miller, F-Camilo.
The trio of Miller, Camilo and Teibert up front has looked terrific, and Rennie splits them up I will drive him to the airport myself. As for the makeshift backline, those are the best we have healthy, and hopefully they can perform better than they did against the Revolution. Brad Knighton gets the start in net in my books, as he's playing for his professional life with David Ousted on the way. In mid, I like Matt Watson instead of Jun-Marques Davidson, as I believe Watson brings more upside to the table, and isn't afraid to push the ball forward. Kobayashi gets in my lineup merely because Koffie is out; Kobayashi has been very forgettable this season.
What should happen: The Whitecaps will questions aplenty if they fail to at the very least score a decision from Chivas USA at home. This is a club that's lost to the Carolina-freaking-RailHawks recently, and their confidence couldn't be lower. Plus, the Whitecaps have home pitch advantage.
Chivas haven't won a regular season match outright since March, and they have trouble keeping the ball out of their net. If the Whitecaps don't absolutely dominate the Goats, this match will be viewed as a complete failure. THIS IS ONE MATCH THE WHITECAPS SHOULD NOT LOSE. I've written that statement before, but come on guys, this one should be easy.