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Guess the Starting XI - Match Five vs. SKC

Can Vancouver harness some of that CANMNT energy at home against Kansas City?

MLS: Sporting Kansas City vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back everyone.

I hope you enjoyed the international break as much as I did. It was truly a inspirational moment to see Canada qualify for their first world cup since 1986, and this time, I’m hopeful they’ll be able to score a goal and maybe even record a couple of points at the tournament!

Jokes aside, we’re back to the reality of a struggling Whitecaps team that desperately needs to right the ship and build some positive momentum. The opening schedule was tough, so this bumpy start could have been predicted, but the way they’ve started only places more pressure on this team to go on a bit of a run and vault themselves back into the middle of the western conference table.

The middle of the standings is exactly where Sporting KC find themselves. Having taken six points from five matches thus far, they sit 8th in the west. One of the few sides to play during the break, SKC’s most recent result was a 1-0 victory over RSL and Children’s Mercy. While KC held a ton of possession, they didn’t create many high quality chances and are struggling somewhat to adapt to some notable absences from their roster: Ilie Sanchez is now at LAFC and star striker Alan Pulido is out long term with a knee injury. Without these two mainstays of the SKC lineup, Peter Vermes has struggled so far to mirror last season’s campaign.

For the Whitecaps, it’s all about who is healthy. Brian White and Ryan Gauld, Vancouver’s two most important players in late 2021, struggled for fitness prior to the break, so Vanni Sartini will be desperately awaiting the return of those two to the starting XI. Another player to watch out for is Caio Alexandre, who after visa troubles finally looks to be part of team training sessions and hopefully will get some minutes at some point soon.

Ok, now on to rules and standings as always!

  • Predictions will be ‘valid’ if posted HERE (or more accurately, whichever is the correct match thread) before the lineup is officially announced, usually about an hour before kickoff.
  • You receive 1 point for every player you correctly guess to be in the Starting XI. You receive 4 bonus points for correctly predicting all 11 starters.
  • You get 5 points for correctly guessing Win/Lose/Draw, this doubles to 10 if you also predict the right score-line along with the result.
  • All this means, if you correctly predict the Starting XI, Final Score, and Winner, you can earn 25 points!
  • At the end of each half, the contestant’s lowest two scores of that period will be deducted from the cumulative standings.