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Match Preview: Whitecaps vs RSL

What to watch for

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Whitecaps (7-8-4, 6th place) vs Real Salt Lake (8-5-5, 3rd place)

Kickoff: 7pm
TV:  TSN 1 & 3
Radio: TSN 1040

After blowing another late lead deep into stoppage time, the Whitecaps brought in Canadian internationals David Edgar and Marcel de Jong, with the latter of the two, most likely to see some action.  This is the second meeting of the season, with RSL prevailing at home in April courtesy of a Burrito Martinez goal.

With each time having played on Saturday, and both having home matches this coming Saturday, starting lineups are anyone's guess.  I can give you the following, based on the MLS Game Guide:

RSL:  (4-2-3-1) Rimando, Phillips/Glad/Maund/Beltran, Stertzer/Mulholland, Garcia/Morales/Martinez, Movsisyan

Whitecaps: (4-4-2) Ousted, Harvey/Parker/Waston/Smith, Morales/Laba/Jacobson/Bolanos, Perez/Hurtado

I don't know enough about (RSL coach) Cassar and his tendencies, but the first thing that jumps out at me, is no Kyle Beckerman (yellow card accumulation) and Joao Plata.

As for what Robinson will do, I doubt we actually see what MLS has in their game guide, unless Kudo is ready to play, and his status is only known to the coaching staff.  I think he goes with his usual 4-2-3-1, with Hurtado as the lone striker and either Jacobson or Morales beside Laba.  Robinson hinted at potentially seeing new acquisition Marcel de Jong vs RSL, however, as he usually does, wouldn't commit to anything.  The other new acquisition, David Edgar, will not play and will most likely not see action until the friendly against Crystal Palace.


RSL comes into this match having not won on turf since Aug 2013.  A largely reserve side defeated the hometown Caps 1-0 a few days before the US Open Cup Final.  We will see if that trend continues at BC Place.

Notable absences:
RSL - Kyle Beckerman (yellow card accumulation)
Vancouver - Deybi Flores (Olympic duty with Honduras), Kekuta Manneh (injured)

Matchups to watch:
Waston/Parker vs Movsisyan
While Yura Movsisyan is still somewhat of an unknown to Caps fans, he leads RSL with 7 goals on 18 shots on net in just under 1400 minutes.  The Armenian international is on his second spell with RSL, his first being 2007-2009 after 1+ year with Kansas City.

Caps midfield/forward vs RSL defenders
Can the Caps attacking players penetrate past an RSL defense without Kyle Beckerman?  How and with who?  Hurtado has the speed but, much like all the Caps forwards, hasn't been able to finish.  It would probably surprise some to know that they've scored 29 goals this season.  The only regular outfield players with 5 starts that haven't scored in league play:  Aird, Parker, Laba, Hurtado and Smith.