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Game Preview: Whitecaps vs. Chivas USA

The Vancouver Whitecaps resume hostilities on Saturday night when they battle Chivas USA at BC Place in an always important Western Conference clash.

Matias Laba slide tackles former Sounder Mauro "Snape" Rosales
Matias Laba slide tackles former Sounder Mauro "Snape" Rosales
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Whitecaps will play host to Chivas USA on Saturday night at 7pm. On a regular day, a home win over the Goats would be expected and feasible and would have held true even just a few weeks ago when the SoCal squad were the bottom dwellers in the Western Conference. Now, however, the squad, led by Colombian head coach Wilmer Cabrera, has not lost in their last four matches including three straight 1-0 wins.

As a result of this surge of wins, the Goats now sit only 5 points behind the Whitecaps although still in 8th spot in the conference. Chivas have been led by Mexican striker Erick "El Cubo" Torres who sits second in the scoring race and who has scored all four goals in each of the team’s last four games. The combination of their in-form striker and the return of their World Cup bound midfielders Marvin Chavez and Osvaldo Mina will make the Goats a very tough test for the Whitecaps who will try to build on some momentum after their 1-0 victory over the Sounders last weekend.

The ‘Caps offense will be facing a solid and organized defensive line that has earned three straight clean sheets and that is marshaled by goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and former USA international Carlos Bocanegra. It will be imperative for the boys in Blue and White to dictate the tempo of the game and play with the quick, fluid one-touch passes that take advantage of their explosiveness up front and make the Whitecaps so dangerous.

On the other side of the pitch, Honduran central back Johnny Leveron is coming off what was arguably his best game in 2014 and, in tandem with Carlyle Mitchell, they were able to earn a clean sheet against a depleted but always dangerous Seattle Sounders.

With a win and a combination of results, the Whitecaps could climb all the way to third spot in the West. Will Pedro Morales and company be able to crack a defense that hasn’t conceded a goal in three games? Will the ‘Caps’ defensive pairing be able to solve this Rubik’s Cubo? Find out this Saturday night!

You can also check out the last episode of From The Backline where we discussed the win over Seattle and preview the Chivas USA game among other football news and topics!