Whitecaps/ FC Edmonton Game Intro
Last week the Vancouver Whitecaps opened their Amway Canadian Championship campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over FC Edmonton with a mostly second string starting lineup.
The game proved to be very valuable on two levels.
First of all, it got the Vancouver mission to take the lone Canadian spot for the North American version of the Champions League off to an excellent start, and allows the team to focus on further preparations to earn the coveted berth by providing more playing time for the second string.
Secondly, it helped re-energize the team’s regular season campaign by enabling some of the team’s stars such as Eric Hassli, who opened this season’s goal account, to regain confidence and raise their level of play.
Edmonton had struggled mightily this year until the past weekend, when they finally earned a win over any type of competition with a 3-0 league success over the Carolina RailHawks (Coach Martin Rennie’s previous charges).
Talented midfielder Shaun Saiko led the way with the hat-trick and the defence held firm for once with the leadership of team captain and central defender Paul Hamilton.
They are almost completely healthy again, and their players have been rotated successfully through the roster recently by Rennie, earning valuable experience.
Expect a mixture of starters and a few backups to start this match, with some key stars held back on the bench for support to hold off the Eddies.
Edmonton has played better recently, but will not have the depth to recover from the two goal deficit. Vancouver will have to be somewhat careful here to manage their game plan.
Expect the ‘Caps to look and press early for a goal to kill off the two legged tie.
Vancouver will produce a solid 2-1 home victory over FC Edmonton.