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Preseason Roundtable - Over/Under Predictions

USA TODAY Sports

We conclude this week’s look at the upcoming Vancouver Whitecaps Major League Soccer season by making a couple of fun predictions. Throughout the week we have been asking for your opinion on Twitter, so we will include those as well. Also, make sure to include your predictions, and reasons why, in the comments section.

Part I: Management

Part II: Off Season Moves

Part III: Upcoming Season

Part IV: Upcoming Season

In 2019, Russell Teibert played 2,202 MLS minutes. In 2018, he played 1,604. The Whitecaps have not addressed their midfield much this offseason. Will Teibert get over/under 2,000 minutes?

Andrew: If MDS is going to play a 4-3-3 there is no way he won’t, not unless they sign two more midfielders at the least. Even if reinforcements are brought in, I suspect he will get close—he seems to be in MDS’ good graces.

Caleb: Over

Sam: I’m really hoping that it’s under, but I’m not going to bet against Rusty getting playing time until I see it happen.

AtlantisB: He finds a way. I am hoping that it is well under 2,000, but I suspect that he will get close to 2,000.

Ian: He’ll once again get under 2,000, but more due to the players brought in pushing him down the roster. Nevertheless, I’m thinking he’ll make the most of the time granted him.

Twitter Fans (Sorry, attached polls don’t show up automatically anymore!): 53.1% Over; 32.9% Under; 14% Exactly 2,000

Jasser Khmiri was highly touted last offseason, but did not see the field until the end. He was absent to start the preseason. Will Khmiri start over/under 12.5 games?

Caleb: Under

Sam: I’m going to say under. Even though I’d maybe like to see it happen, health, his inexperience and a deep depth chart at his position will probably get in the way.

AtlantisB: I am high on Khmiri, so I hope that he starts more than 12 matches.

Ian: I’m taking the over, but I’ll admit it has more to do with wanting to see Khmiri flourish with his contribution. Everyone suffers from another season lost to injuries.

Andrew: Yes—I think Khmiri has the potential to be the most talented center back on the roster.

Twitter Fans:

In 2019, Andy Rose somehow started 20 MLS matches (1,850 minutes). The Whitecaps still have no defensive midfielder. Will Rose get over/under 15.5 starts?

Sam: Ummmm…I really like Andy as a person, but for the Whitecaps’ sake, I hope not.

AtlantisB: Like my colleagues, I really, REALLY, hope not! I hope he gets, at most, half of that number.

Ian: I’ll take the under here, though he’ll see a few starts due to international break absences.

Andrew: Sweet Jesus, I hope not.

Caleb: Under

Twitter Fans: 74.1% Under; 25.9% Over

Fredy Montero fell out of favor to end the 2019 season, starting 22 matches. In 2020, will Montero start over/under 15.5 matches?

AtlantisB: Under. If he starts more than 15, then that means the incoming players have really failed.

Ian: Another under here, but I get the feeling his from-the-bench appearances will be clutch.

Andrew: No but I do think he will get over 15.5 appearances. I think last season made it clear that he is bigger asset as a super sub than as a day-in, day-out starter. He will start a few matches (Cavallini isn’t a superhero after all) but his days of being a dominant MLS striker are over.

Caleb: Under

Sam: I’m going to say over, it seems like MDS is keen to keep Montero as a 10, so that should give him some starts.

Twitter Fans: 88.5% Under, 11.5% Over

Lucas Cavallini was brought in to score goals. In 2019, 13 goals got you into the top 10 in MLS scoring. Will Cavallini score over/under 13.5 goals?

Ian: There’s no rhyme or reason to it, but I’m thinking he gets to 15.

Andrew: I say he gets 13 goals—hard to see how he gets too many more barring a dramatic upgrade in midfield or on the wing. But I think this current team is good enough to get him into the top 10 in scoring.

Caleb: It’s going to be very close. It will depend on if he’s on penalties or not. I’m going to say under but it wouldn’t take much to push him over.

Sam: Over. Even with poor service, Cavallini is a clinical finisher, so he should eclipse this mark without too much trouble.

AtlantisB: I REALLY want to say under, but I think he can do it, especially if he is on spot kick duty.

Twitter Fans: 81.4% Over; 18.6% Under

In 2019, Yordy Reyna had seven goals and one assist. In 2018, he had six goals and 11 assists. In 2017, he had six goals and four assists. Will Reyna have over/under 10.5 combined goals and assists in 2020?

Andrew: I still believe in Yordy Reyna, although I’m still somewhat surprised he is still a Whitecaps player. I think a lot of the goals from last year are low percentage chances that are unlikely to repeat themselves. That being said, he would be in line to benefit a lot from a better striker/winger situation. I say his 2020 looks more or less like his 2019 total of 8, just with more assists and fewer goals.

Caleb: Under

Sam: Under, I think there’s a chance that Reyna gets bumped down the depth chart and possibly moved on by mid-season. But that being said, his production has been pretty consistent up until his point.

AtlantisB: Over. I think he should get above 11, with around five goals and, maybe, eight assists?

Ian: Reyna will get a combined over, but it’ll be primarily assists, threatening to score before setting up others.

Twitter Fans: 72.7% Under; 27.3% Over

Last season, the Whitecaps scored a West low (by 12) of 37 goals. In 2018, they had 54. In 2020, does the Whitecaps score over/under 53.5 goals?

Caleb: Under

Sam: I’m going to go under, but I think it will be very close. Cavallini could easily ruin my prediction the way he’s looked so far.

Andrew: I have a hard time seeing them match the 2018 output with a midfield that is still simply not up to snuff. I think it is almost a given they improve on 37 goals but I am still going to take the under.

Ian: Knowing the Whitecaps have never scored more than 54 in a season, I’m leaning hard on the Under. In 2018 the ‘Caps had thirteen goal scorers overall, but four who bagged more than 5, and only one with more than ten (Kei Kamara, with 14). Though I don’t think the Whitecaps will score more than 54, I’m thinking the overall production will be more top-heavy than ‘18, with at least six players scoring more than 5 goals.

AtlantisB: Over. I think they can do it. They weren’t great in 2018. Still, that midfield will be the key. If they can’t get SOMETHING there, they could be down in the mid 40s.

Twitter Fans:

2018 saw the Whitecaps give up 67 goals. In 2019, they improved to only 59 goals against. In 2020, does the Whitecaps let in over/under 51.5 goals?

Sam: I’m a bit more optimistic about the the club defensively this season, especially depth wise, so I’m going to say under. There were lots of teams who kept it under that mark last season.

Ian: Again, going with the Under, but get the sense that everything will go to hell if any two of the centerbacks pick up knocks simultaneously. If that happens, the ‘Caps will be mighty close to 52.

Caleb: Under

Andrew: I’ve been on the record that the defense is a real strength of this team and the underlying numbers from last year show they were a lot more effective than they let on. I think there will be enough changes from last season to prevent the firing squad we often saw the Caps up against. I say the downward trend continues and will take the under, albeit ever so slightly.

AtlantisB: Under. Despite the large number of goals given up in 2019, the defense was actually pretty good. I think that they can improve this season...although, again, it will depend on whether the midfield can maintain possession.

Twitter Fans:

The Whitecaps have NOT been a force at home, getting only five home wins in 2019 and only mildly better seven home wins in 2018. With 17 home matches in 2020, does the Whitecaps win over/under 7.5?

AtlantisB: Over? They have to be over right? I like to think that they will be over but they have never been that good at home. So, hoping for under, pessimistic for under.

Ian: With very little to go on, they’ll definitely hit the over... but I’m thinking there will be more road losses to balance their record out.

Andrew: The Caps are going to have a bad time if they can’t get over 7 or 8 home win—MLS being what it is, you have to take care of business at home. That’s doubly true for a Caps team that will again log so many miles in travel. I think they barely get over the 7.5 mark (they have a relatively friendly slate of home matches against Eastern Conference opponents) but it certainly won’t be enough for them to make the playoffs.

Sam: I’ll give them the over, but if they do hit on it, it’ll probably be with eight home wins.

Caleb: Under

Twitter Fans:

Match Preview: Whitecaps Facing Unpredictable FC Dallas Side as Push for Playoff Continues

Report Card: Whitecaps Living to Fight Another Day

Coffee with the Caps, Monday September 20