2:30 Kick Off at B.C Place
TV: TSN1, TSN 3, TSN 4, TSN 5.
Radio: TSN 1040
The Vancouver Whitecaps return to B.C Place to take on the New England Revolution. When Brad Friedel took the helm at the Revolution it looked like his tenure was going to be a disaster. He benched star player Lee Nguyen and was criticized for emphasizing physicality over skill. But 11 games into the season New England are in a playoff spot in the very competitive Eastern Conference. Friedel’s men have one more point than the Whitecaps with two fewer games played. New England played a 3-5-2 against in their most recent game against Columbus but for the most part they’ve run a 4-4-1-1. They play a style based around a very high press, and physicality. The Revs have gotten a number goals from surprising places. MLS journeyman (and traitor to the crown) Teal Bunbury leads the way with 5 goals followed closely by 27 year old Pachuca loanee Cristian Penilla chipping in with 4. It’s possible that Vancouver’s deep defensive line and long ball game could be a good counter to New England’s style. Especially if they play three at the back again which could allow players like Alphonso Davies more space to operate in. By the same token though, the ‘Caps backline aren’t the best on the ball so the press could catch them off guard.
The Whitecaps are coming off the latest in a series of 2-2 draws. Fans continue to be frustrated with the poor run of form the ‘Caps have been on (incidentally some variant of this line will almost certainly be included in the next match preview as well). Carl Robinson has more or less a full squad available to him so there aren’t many questions as to how he’ll line up. Only Stafan Marinović and Jordon Mutch aren’t available.
Out: Jordon Mutch, Stefan Marinović
Out: Juan Agudelo, Isaac Ankling.
This game is going to be grim. With the physical and direct styles of both team it probably won’t be that great of a match. It will be boring, there will be lots of long balls and it will probably end in a tie. Typical Whitecaps stuff.
Predicted Line Ups:
New England: Turner; Farrell, Anibaba, Dielna, Somi; Bye, Caciedo, Zahibo, Penilla; Fagundez; Bunbury
Vancouver Whitecaps: Rowe; Nerwinski, Waston, P̶a̶r̶k̶e̶r̶ Aja*, De Jong; Techera, Ghazal, Felipe, Davies; Reyna; Kamara
*My apologies for that freudian slip of the fingers
Final Score: 1-1