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Pre Match: Vancouver Whitecaps vs LAFC

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MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps at Toronto FC Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

TV: TSN1 TSN4

Radio: TSN1040

Well we’ve got to do this I guess. The Vancouver Whitecaps are currently 6 points outside of a playoff spot and need to win both of their remaining games with massive, almost impossible, goal swings.

So the Whitecaps, who are notorious for not being able to play on the front foot, are in the situation of needing to score nearly 10 goals against one of the top teams in the league. So what do they do? It seems the only, incredibly slim, chance they have is to throw on as much firepower as possible and just go for broke. Unfortunately i’m not sure the Whitecaps are capable of putting that much attacking talent on the field. To win this match will require some incredibly inconsistent players like Brek Shea and Cristian Techera to play at the level they’re capable of. The Whitecaps will of course be without Kei Kamara who is suspended after getting into a post match scuffle against SKC. If ever there was a time for Anthony “7 figure transfer fee” Blondell to come through this would be it. With all of this in mind here’s how i’d set up the ultra attacking Whitecaps team:

I’ve tried to squeeze in as much potential goalscoring as possible but I still have a hard time seeing this team scoring 3 goals let alone 10. This is assuming that they don’t concede at all, which they absolutely would, but when you need 20 goals in two games you’ve got to get a little crazy.

Vancouver’s opponents, LAFC, aren’t exactly defensive juggernauts either but they make up for this by leading the Western Conference in scoring. If you had told me at the start of the year that a team that regularly runs Lee Nyugen and Benny Feilhaber as defensive midfielders would be within a point of first place in the Western conference i’d have slapped you in the face. They sure showed me! In fact LAFC are a team that seem almost set up specifically with taunting the Vancouver Whitecaps in mind. Their success is a standing refutation to every philosophy the ‘Caps have held for the past three years. Spending doesn’t necessarily lead to success? Well LAFC are fifth in league spending, spend around five million more than the ‘Caps, are thirteen points ahead of them, have scored 15 more goals and conceded 17 fewer all in their first year in the league. Can’t risk giving playing time to young Canadians? Well until he got a nasty injury, a key part of LAFC’s success was Mark Anthony Kaye, a player who was cut from an MLS academy and, once he got a chance, turned out to be really good. The Whitecaps need to play two defensive midfielders? LAFC runs Feilhaber and Nguyen and still concede way fewer goals. I rather doubt the front office sees it this way but LAFC has utterly emasculated the Whitecaps in every possible way. It seems fitting that they should be the ones to, most likely, put the final nail in the coffin of the Whitecaps’ 2018 season.

Injuries:

LAFC:

  • OUT: GK - Quillan Roberts (right fibular fracture)
  • OUT: M - Mark-Anthony Kaye (fractured ankle 7/26, out for season)
  • OUT: M - Eduard Atuesta (concussion)
  • QUESTIONABLE: F - Latif Blessing (left hip flexor strain)

Vancouver Whitecaps

  • OUT: F - Marvin Emnes (left adductor strain)

Predicted lineups

VWFC: Marinovic; De Jong, Waston, Henry, Nerwinski; Ghazal; Davies, Teibert, Reyna, Shea; Hurtado

LAFC: Miller; Beitashour, Silva, Zimmerman, Harvey; Nguyen, Feilhaber; Kovar, Vela, Rossi; Diomande