Both sides will no doubt be a tad rusty when the Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact hit the pitch at B.C. Place Wednesday. The 'Caps haven't played since a 3-3 draw with the Philadelphia Union back on June 7th, while the Impact haven't laced up their boots since a 4-2 loss to DC United on June 11th.
It really is a tale of two teams going in opposite directions; the 'Caps are in a playoff spot, and look like they could be a contender coming out of the Western Conference. The Impact are having a tough year, however, and currently occupy the basement in the Eastern Conference, with just a pair of wins on the season.
The last time these two teams played?
In MLS Regular season, you'd have to go back to September 21st, 2013, when the 'Caps triumphed by a 3-0 final score. If you count the ACC, then you.. actually, never mind.
How about the Impact?
Not a whole lot has gone right for Montreal this season. Marco Di Vaio, who was such a nice story last season with 20 goals, has one this year. As a club, the Impact sit near the bottom of MLS with just 13 goals on the season. (Vancouver, by comparison, has 25) In short, the 'Caps need to take advantage and make sure they secure three points.
The backline of the Whitecaps will no doubt be the subject of some attention, as the club will be down two veterans. Jay Demerit is out likely 4-6 weeks with his left ankle injury, while Steven Beitashour is still doing World Cup duty with Iran. That likely means another week with Nigel Reo-Coker at RB.
At times he's been awful, however, he played much better during the Union match and may have gained some of his confidence back. Carl Robinson will have to go to his bench for the CB spots, perhaps going with the young Christian Dean, Johnny Leveron, or Carlyle Mitchell to pair up with Andy O'Brien.
Will there be any rust?
According to a recent article from Marc Weber of The Province, the 'Caps look more relaxed and refreshed than rusty. Two and a half weeks off from playing competitive matches surely is a slight adjustment for most professional athletes, but with the Western Conference so jam-packed with competition this year, there simply aren't any excuses to be made. The 'Caps need to come out of the World Cup break flying.
This could easily change, especially on the backline, but here goes nothing.
OUSTED, REO-COKER, O'BRIEN, LEVERON, HARVEY, LABA, KOFFIE, MANNEH, MORALES, TEIBERT, HURTADO
'Caps win a match they're supposed to win. 2-0.