Match: Vancouver Whitecaps at Columbus Crew
Time: 3 pm PT
Where: Mapfre Stadium, Ohio
Watch: TSN 2
Listen: TSN 1040
If the Vancouver Whitecaps have any plans of making a run for the post-season, they’ll need a good result against the Columbus Crew this weekend. The Whitecaps are currently in a tail spin, their last win in MLS Regular Season play coming on July 13th versus Real Salt Lake. Since that time, they’ve recorded three draws and five losses, and have only scored three goals. Basically, It’s a bad time to be a Whitecaps fan. Not only is the club losing, they’re incredibly boring while they do it.
If the Whitecaps are struggling, the Crew are essentially dead in the water. They sit last in the Eastern Conference with only five wins. That being said, at home this team hasn’t been awful. They’re sporting a 4-2-8 record at Mapfre Stadium, while the Whitecaps have been putrid on the road, going 3-9-2 so far. That means this is kind of an even match-up, and the Whitecaps absolutely can’t take their opponent lightly. The Whitecaps are four points out of a playoff spot, and there are six regular season matches left in 2016. That means unbelievably, despite their horrible play, the Whitecaps are actually still alive in the playoff hunt. A win over the Crew would go a long way to repairing the team’s confidence, and the fan’s confidence in their team.
Vancouver Whitecaps Head Coach Carl Robinson will miss the match due to suspension, after he was ejected from the New York Red Bulls game last weekend. Assistant Gordon Forrest will also miss the match for the same reason. However, the club will have players returning from International Duty, so there will be some more options for the starting 11.
I’ll be keeping a close eye on Pedro Morales. The Captain has looked awful this season, and looked downright apathetic against the Red Bulls. He’s supposedly the Whitecaps best player, and they need him to rise to the occasion, not wilt under the spotlight of BC Place. The Whitecaps are taking on a struggling team and desperately need three points; If this isn’t the time for Pedro to shake off whatever is ailing him, I don’t know what is. Meanwhile, will Erik Hurtado get another chance up top after squandering a number of scoring chances last week? The kid has hustle and tries hard out there, but that means bupkes if he can’t produce at this point in the season.
The Whitecaps are bad, the Crew are bad. Enjoy the match, folks.
Prediction: Vancouver somehow pulls out a 1-0 victory, and there is much rejoicing.