The Vancouver Whitecaps will try their luck on the road this weekend, as they battle Sporting Kansas City away from the confines of BC Place. The Whitecaps are looking for their first win of the season, while Sporting KC topped the Seattle Sounders 1-0 to kick off their 2016 season. This is the first road match of the season for Vancouver, who were 7-7-3 in that regard last year.
Where: Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City
When: 5:30 pm on Saturday
Where to watch/listen: TSN 2 (TV), Team 1040 (radio)
The Whitecaps and SKC squared off twice in 2015, with SKC walking away with both victories. Fans will surely remember the heart-breaking-pull-hair-out-of-head-in-frustration 4-3 contest the Whitecaps lost in August.
The Whitecaps will likely be without the services of midfielder Russell Teibert, as he has yet to return to training. Unfortunately, Marc Weber of the Province reports new Whitecaps acquisition, midfielder Andrew Jacobson won't be available for the Sporting Kansas City match. Christian Dean recently underwent foot surgery, and will be unavailable for the next three to four months, and Matias Laba picked up a 'knock' in training this week, according to a tweet from Marc Weber on March 9th.
Laba jogging on his own today. Picked up a knock. Aird and Smith splitting time at RB. Perez and Froese with tidy finishes. #vwfc #mls— Marc Weber (@ProvinceWeber) March 9, 2016
Fiinally, Christian Bolanos will sit out, after he was suspended for one match following a tackle in the Impact game.
Players to Watch
David Ousted had a night to remember against Montreal, and it will be interesting to see how the Great Dane reacts. He proved himself as an elite goalkeeper in MLS last season, although two poor starts to open the season would certainly raise some eyebrows. I'm fully expecting him to have a bounce back match.
Meanwhile, eyes will be on backliner Fraser Aird, who was torched a few times in the loss to the Impact. He's got some big boots to fill in taking over Steven Beitashour's position, and needs to prove he'll be able to handle the responsibility.
Finally, Octavio Rivero; The Whitecaps striker had a good match against Montreal, but didn't find the back of the net. Considering his struggles last season, he'll be a subject of focus for fans every match he doesn't score a goal. That's certainly not an easy position to be in.
It's the first road match of the season, and the Whitecaps are still figuring out what they have from their new additions. I would say they play a safe game, and escape with a point. 1-1.