The Vancouver Whitecaps return to Commerce City to visit the low flying Colorado Rapids looking to improve upon their performance from last May 23rd when they lost by a score of 1-0. In fact, that win is the only victory that the Pablo Mastroeni's boys have earned in the last 12 games and one of only two recorded all season long.
Dick Sporting Goods Park seems to be a place where the Blue and White struggle often having lost in their last four visits. However, on paper, that record should change this Saturday as a motivated Whitecaps squad makes a return having earned victories in their last three road outings in Los Angeles, New York and New England. A fourth win in a row would be a new franchise record.
This game, however, is less about the Rapids and more about the Whitecaps. It will be interesting to see if this game proves to be one of those famous "banana peel" games where the Blue and White dropped to their performance to the level of their lesser opponents. Based on their current form, the Whitecaps should have a feasible in the horizon but one must remember that this is MLS and, just like Big Brother, you have to expect the unexpected.
There are three interesting storylines to be followed as the Whitecaps battle the Rapids this Saturday afternoon:
Pedro Who? The Chilean maestro has missed the last two games with a nagging calf injury and it seems that the captain will sit this one out again. The Whitecaps form, however, has not dropped and wins continue to come in. What does that indicate about the Morales and the squad? Especially considering that Morales is in the last year of his two year deal. Who will step up this week in his place? So far we have seen Nicolas Mezquida and Mauro Rosales playing in the number 10 role, both bringing different things to the table but both with passing grades.
Will Rivero start scoring? El Cabeza got back in the score sheet thanks to a ghost penalty kick drawn by Cristian Techera. That was the first time the Uruguayan found the back of the net since back in May. Considering that he will face a team that has lost four out the last six games, the stage seems conducive for a resurgence of the scoring ways that left us open-mouthed in the first six weeks of the season.
Will the Great Dane have a night off? David Ousted has received a plethora of individual accolades as of late including player of the month of June. Oh yes, Ousted has come up and has come up big, arguably single handedly earning the last six points of the ‘Caps. While it is reassuring having a netminder that you can rely on, it is true that the Whitecaps cannot continue to give up so many chances that force Ousted to continue to be the man of the match. That model is simply not sustainable and it will eventually catch up with the Whitecaps.
If you want to listen our thoughts on this match and in other Whitecaps related topics, make sure to listen to the latest episode of From the Backline, the official podcast of Eighty Six Forever.