Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8th in West, 8-8-10) vs San Jose Earthquakes (10th in West, 8-10-9)
Location: BC Place, Vancouver
Date and Time: October 2nd, 10:00 pm EST, 7:00 pm PST
Watching: TSN (in Canada) & MLS Live on ESPN+ (in US)
Following a pretty stale scoreless draw, the Whitecaps return to BC Place with their playoff hopes in their own hands. They are within reach of making it to postseason, yet a result at Houston would have gone a long way. Unfortunately that’s not what happened and now the Whitecaps, who can very well still make it to playoffs, are pushed to performing in all of the remaining games to do so. The mounting pressure will for sure be felt by the players as it has definitely been felt by the fans.
It has been a solid end to what was a stagnant season, and even if the ‘Caps don’t make it to playoffs, there is much to look forward to going forward. Unlocking the potential of the current roster should have been the priority for the latter end of the season, and so far it has gone according to plan- any more than this is a cherry on top.
As has been proven recently, the defense is probably the Whitecaps’ biggest asset this season with midfield also being generally a good. But ever since the first couple of matches under new management, the MO has been playing for draws or narrow wins in a very Mourinho-esque fashion. Not terribly fascinating but establishing stability.
San Jose on the other hand have had less of a successful season but recently have been putting in stellar performances that have caught the eye of MLS. Javier “Chofis” Lopez has been on fire in the recent weeks and continues to be a threat to any defense that underestimates the Californian team. If the Whitecaps aren’t careful, a well placed strike could open the floodgates for a player that is very in-form at the moment.
In my personal opinion, I don’t know how much more the Whitecaps can change formation or strategy much from the midweek games. It’s all about containing one player and keeping the defense tight. Where the goals will come from for the Whitecaps, I’m not too sure, but I feel like defending will be the key to getting a result for the game rather than exploiting San Jose’s back line. I see the Whitecaps’ offense woes continuing and the complacency of settling for low scores finally catching up to them and leading to a 2-0 loss for the Whitecaps.
Eighty Six Forever Staff Picks:
Caleb: 1-0 VAN
Ian: 2-1 VAN
Andrew: 2-1 VAN
Sam: 3-2 VAN