Where: BC Place, Vancouver
When: 7:30 pm PST
The Whitecaps have grown into their season unlike any team in the league, and going down the stretch, the power is in Vancouver’s hands to raise their bar of success even higher. With the recent signing of Alessandro Schopf, the midfield which the Whitecaps employ looks to be midtable league standard, which hopefully points as a sign of things to come. Sure, there are still glaring problems which the team needs to address, but with the Whitecaps look to be taking their time to carefully address them. It’s a tough stretch of games ahead, with many teams around the playoff line fighting for a spot(Positions 5-12 are only nine points apart). As such, it is imperative that the Whitecaps get on their feet running and set the tone for their home games, as they currently sit five points behind seventh place. As I often tend to say in these pre-matches, Houston will be the perfect training ground for the Canadian Champions to show that can do more than just win a thirteen team competition.
Houston has had a pretty similar season to Vancouver so far, albeit losing two more than the Whitecaps have drawn. They’ve been able to score more than Vancouver, and that comes down to Sebastian Ferreira and Darwin Quintero, who combined, have half of their teams’ goals. Vancouver, on the other has their goals spread out across more of their players, with Cavallini tallying up at 7 goals, putting him neck in neck with the aforementioned Houston players.
Given that it is a home game, the Whitecaps have all the power to dictate how they want the game to be played, and deciding whether BC Place will remain a fortress going forwards. Given that Ferreira and Quintero are both players who play centrally, Cubas will have his work cut out for him to prevent any attacks coming from that part of the field. Choking out the winger options will be key if they want to funnel and disrupt Houston’s attacks. Their away record has been woeful as well, only notching three wins against the likes of San Jose, LA Galaxy, and Inter Miami this season. Not to mention, their recent three games have them with 3 goals for versus 10 goals away.
This doesn’t mean that it’ll be easier for the ‘Caps, but it does mean that they have the freedom to experiment in ways they can’t against other opponents. If they play into the inferiority mentality that Houston may have, (Along with the mentality of having lost 6-0 the week before) maybe a rotated roster could be seen at BC Place later today, which more likely will happen due to the league COVID protocols being recently activated for Vancouver.
Overall, I do feel optimistic about this game, and can see a 2-0 victory coming in the way of the Whitecaps, with Cubas and White getting the goals.
Agree? Sound off below.