When I got my "Game Preview" assignment for Eighty Six Forever this week, I realized that I had more questions than answers heading into this (wait for it...) "must-win" match against DC United at BC Place. So, in order to kick things off ahead of this game, I ask for your help, dear reader, to see if you can help me answer the burning questions that have been on my mind for the past few days.
Will the Whitecaps bounce back after last weekend's depressing performance? A lot has been said about the Whitecaps' loss against Portland last Saturday (if you really want to know what I think, you can listen to the latest episode of From the Backline, where Mark and I really dissect things). But the real question is whether or not this team will be able to shake off that devastating loss and bring their performance level back to get a decent showing.
Will the Whitecaps' record against Eastern rivals be enough to take on DC United? It is no secret that the Whitecaps perform well against opponents from the Eastern conference. However this time they will be facing DC United, the best team in the East and second-best team in the league. DC United has won eight out their last 12 games, and although they don't travel well in the West historically, it seems like neutrals would have to give DC the edge to come out with full points.
Will the Whitecaps ever score again? To say that goals have become scarce lately would be an understatement. The ‘Caps haven't found the back of the net in the last three games and in four out of the last five. A few months ago, the Whitecaps created chances by the bunches and while their conversion has been lacking all season long, those chances have dried up and with that, the goals have evaporated.
Will Robbo switch formations? After sticking with the 4-2-3-1 for most of the season, given the recent results, there has been speculation about a possible change in formation in favour of a 4-4-2 diamond in order to change things up and add more offensive weapons into the mix to try to get out of this scoreless funk.
Will the team put together a complete performance? It has proven that whenever the Whitecaps play at a high level as a team, they are able to compete and go toe-to-toe with any team in this league. Recently however, they haven't been able to get a complete performance from everyone.
I don't know the answers to any of these questions. However, I do know one thing: if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Whitecaps have to start winning games fast, and this game against DC United has to be the beginning of a good run.