The Impact’s run to the CONCACAF final has resulted in them playing only 8 league games thus far. As a result, they are sitting near the bottom of the MLS standings. However, prior to this past weekend loss at Chicago, the Impact won their first two games of this campaign. Despite the poor showing in MLS, the Impact are poised to once again compete in the Champions League, if they can defeat the Whitecaps in August.
Yes, Wednesday will be the first of three matches this summer against Montreal. While potentially less is riding on this match than the two in August, it is important for the Whitecaps to come out strong and take it to the weaker Impact. Both teams will be playing their second of three games this week, so expect to see some ‘reduced’ lineups for both teams in this one.
The Whitecaps come off a solid victory on Saturday night, looking to continue their winning ways. Prior to this past weekend, the Whitecaps had just two wins in their last eight, after their four-game win streak at the beginning of the season. Despite their poor run, the Whitecaps sit in second place in the West, three points behind Seattle. In fact, if the Whitecaps had defeated Seattle last week, they would currently be leading the Supporter Shield standings. It will be important for the team to maintain their previous game form as they face a difficult portion of their schedule with their next five games on the road, including this upcoming weekend in LA Galaxy; a place they have not fared well.
With the tough road ahead, and squad rotation anticipated, expect to see a few key changes. Tim Parker and Diego Rodriguez were taken out of the ThunderCaps Sunday game at halftime, probably to preserve their legs for Montreal. I expect Rodriguez to play his first MLS game in quite some time, slotting in for Kah. Meanwhile, Parker may see a run out at RB to give Steven Beitashour a rest, or Parker may be used as the defensive substitute. Russell Teibert should also be back in the lineup, excited to face his old friend Nigel Reo-Coker. Given Gershon Koffie’s great play Saturday, do we see a 4-3-1-2 again on the road? Doubtful that Laba sits correct? If the ‘Caps play with three ‘defensive’ midfielders, how does the front three shape up? Morales? Techera? Rivero? Manneh? Mattocks?
Let us know what you think will be the formation and the starters in the comments.