The Vancouver Whitecaps are looking for an ounce of redemption, after they put forth perhaps their worst effort of the season their last time out, a 2-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo. The loss saw the 'Caps reduced to 9 men as their two best defensive players, Kendall Waston and Matias Laba, were sent off. It's a match the Whitecaps can't linger on, as they get ready to host the Colorado Rapids.
Don't Be Mistaken..
Let's be honest; The Rapids aren't having a great season. The club sits in 9th place, 7 points out of a playoff spot, and they've been equally unimpressive at home (5-5-4) as they have been on the road (3-4-5). They've also scored the second lowest amount of goals in the entirety of MLS (25).
Now, with all that being said, the club is currently riding a three match win streak, and their defensive prowess shouldn't be discounted. The Rapids have only allowed 27 goals this season, which is the lowest in the league, one fewer than the Vancouver Whitecaps and New York Red Bulls. In short, the Rapids aren't a pushover team, and the Whitecaps shouldn't be expecting a cakewalk.
Time off for Both Sides
Both clubs haven't played since August 29th. The Whitecaps lost to the Dynamo, while the Rapids eked out a 2-1 win versus Sporting Kansas City. The Whitecaps have had plenty of rest after playing a ton of matches in the month of August, so they should be ready and raring to go.
The Rapids, meanwhile, have had to sit for a bit after winning three straight matches. In my opinion that's a bit of a disadvantage for the club, as it's a bit tougher to keep that momentum going with a lengthy break in the schedule. In any case, neither side can complain about being tired.
The Whitecaps will be without the services of Laba and Waston, as they serve their red card suspension. Russell Teibert is also away for International duty, while Darren Mattocks is missing for the same reason. It means Carl Robinson will have to make good use of his bench.
If I were a betting man, I'd wager Center Back Tim Parker will make his return to the starting lineup, while Gershon Koffie could be paired up with Deybi Flores, although the young Flores didn't exactly light the world on fire the last time he took a turn in the defensive midfield. As for Mattocks, he is usually found on the bench to begin most matches anyways.
The Whitecaps may have a short bench, but there is plenty of talent available for them to call upon. If the Whitecaps want to be looked upon as one of the best teams in MLS, they have to win matches like this. I think they will.