The Vancouver Whitecaps (5-5-2) will need to be quick to collect themselves after Wednesday's dramatic 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire, as they head east to face Toronto FC (4-3-2). The Reds are coming off their own victory, downing FC Dallas at home last Saturday, 1-0.
Where: BMO Field, Toronto, ON
When: Saturday, May 14th at 4:30 pm PST
Where to watch/listen: TSN4 (TV), Team 1040 (Radio)
Toronto gave Vancouver their first ever season-opening loss, defeating the Whitecaps 3-1 at BC Place. Jozy Altidore recorded a brace in his first match for Toronto, and he certainly didn't endear himself to the home faithful that day.
We all know what happened to Masato Kudo on Wednesday, but the match against Chicago also saw Kendall Waston draw his fifth yellow card of the season, meaning he'll serve a one-game suspension. As a result, Pa Modou Kah will most likely pair up with Tim Parker. And after all the swirling trade rumors that didn't come to fruition, Octavio Rivero didn't travel with the team to Toronto, so we won't yet see if the "trade talk" will affect his on-field performance.
As for Toronto, the MLS Injury Report presently lists Clement Simonin, Benoit Cheyrou, and Jonathan Osorio as unavailable, though Toronto's own Projected Lineup shows Osorio pairing up with Will Johnson in the middle.
Who's Worth Watching?
We've definitely got options, what with former Whitecap Steven Beitashour, Vancouver nemeses both new and old in Altidore and Will Johnson, and US Men's National Team Captain, Michael Bradley. But I've got to go with reigning MVP and Golden Boot winner, Sebastian Giovinco. He was a pain in his first MLS match last season, and I'm sure he'll be a handful again on Saturday.
After three games in eight days, it's hard to say who exactly Carl Robinson will start, but I'm going with the in-form Christian Bolanos. With three goals and an assist in the last four games, we're starting to see the skilled veteran we hoped for when Bolanos was signed in the off season.
Who's Going to Win?
This may be tricky and, unfortunately, a little pessimistic. Toronto FC will have had a full week of rest since winning their first match at the newly renovated BMO Field. Whereas the Whitecaps are coming down from the high of Wednesday's exhausting, exhilarating win against Chicago.
Here's hoping the drain of travel, short recovery time, and all the other drama we went through won't be too overwhelming, but I've got a feeling Toronto will take this one, 2-1.