The Vancouver Whitecaps play the San Jose Earthquakes tonight at 8PM at BC Place. Home turf, home cooking and the home fans will be a welcome boost to a struggling Whitecaps team that is in desperate need of points. Going into the game the team sits in seventh place, outside of the playoffs, with only 10 games to play in the season. Right behind them, and only two points back, sit tonight's opponent with two games hand. It has been said by the talking heads that the ‘Caps will need twenty points to get into the post season. That would involve winning seven of the last ten games. Needless to say they need to start winning now.
The ‘Caps come off a dispiriting road trip where they scored no goals in a Houston tie and losses to Dallas and Colorado. Worse than the score is they looked like they could easily continue that dubious streak with their uninspired play. The two losses sandwiched a trip to Trinidad and Tobago for their Champions League debut. In total, the four game road trip amassed 14,594km and one wonders if the rigor of the trip will continue taking its toll. But, many of the MLS starters stayed behind on the Caribbean trip to rest and cavort in their Texas hotel before the Colorado game. I'd like to think the rest kept the first team relatively fresh for tonight's game, but their flat performance in Colorado makes me wonder.
David Edgar made his MLS debut in Colorado and pushed Tim Parker to RB. Will we see him there again? Also making his debut last week was Giles Barnes. Robbo mentioned in an interview that Barnes would be on the pitch tonight, only he didn't know where. Perhaps, this is a big part of the problem with the ‘Caps. They are moving into the final stretch run and they are still trying to find their best line-up. Speaking of searching, will we see Morales on the wing again like he was in Colorado or farther back next to Laba? Cristian Techera and Mezquida played in Colorado and Trinidad & Tobago, do we see them back in the line-up tonight?
The one good thing is San Jose comes to town. This is a game the stats say we should win. The Quakes have lost their last six appearances at BC Place with their most recent 3-1 loss on July 26, and the away team has never won in the all time series. Sounds promising right? But, the Quakes have also lost the third fewest games in MLS this season. They also don't win much.
This is a game the ‘Caps need to win. They are playing a team they have dominated at home. But, if anything is going to go their way they will need to put in a better effort.