After a disappointing loss to the Portland Timbers last week, the Vancouver Whitecaps will no doubt be extra motivated to put on a good show against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday. The Whitecaps are returning home to BC Place, but will be without the services of a few key players as they try to earn some points in the final match before the two week Copa America Centenario break.
Who: Vancouver Whitecaps and Houston Dynamo
Where: BC Place, Vancouver
When: Saturday, May 28th, 3 pm PT
TV: TSN 1
Radio: TSN 1040
A Shorthanded Squad
The Whitecaps are going to be without arguably their best defender in Kendall Waston and two important pieces of the attack in midfielder Christian Bolanos and striker Blas Perez. All three have been called up for duty in the Copa America tournament, and it means the Whitecaps will need to make some adjustments. We talked about it earlier this week, and while it's definitely a blow for the team, they still have enough talent to make them the favorites in this contest. The Whitecaps are 6-6-2 in 2016, while Houston has struggled to a 3-7-2 record. The Whitecaps and Dynamo have already met once this season, with the Whitecaps taking the 1-0 victory back in March.
The Dynamo are also dealing with some changes in personnel;They fired Head Coach Owen Coyle on Wednesday. Whether that serves to motivate the Dynamo players remains to be seen. You can read more about that from the Dynamo perspective in our Three Questions With feature.
A Pretty Good Month
The Whitecaps have had a pretty good month of May so far, sporting a 3-1 record. That being said, the last few weeks have been an adventure, with a clumsy victory over Toronto followed up by the stinker in Portland. Still, the Whitecaps are a very confident team at BC Place, having gone undefeated in six straight matches at home, sporting a 4-1-2 record in the stadium overall.
This is the perfect rebound match for the Whitecaps. While Vancouver is shorthanded, the Dynamo are a struggling team who will be without their leading goal scorer in Gilles Barnes (4G, 2A). They have yet to win on the road this season with an 0-6-0 record, and it would certainly be a dig at the Whitecaps confidence if they allowed the team to break that streak. It's a match the Whitecaps really should win.
I do think the Whitecaps will be able to take care of business in this one, taking advantage of a struggling team reeling in the wake of the departure of their head coach, and missing their best offensive player. I think Vancouver is able to win this one by a few goals, let's say 3-1.