Game 31 Sounders/Whitecaps Game Intro
The most recent ‘pivotal game in Whitecaps history’ has arrived yet again, and here is a case in which the hyperbole is not actually overblown. Vancouver is in the spotlight this evening with their version of a European derby match, the much hyped and anticipated contest with a local neighbour/ competitive rival. Liverpool v. Everton.
Inter Milan v. AC Milan. Spurs v. Arsenal. That is the storied company that Vancouver and Seattle followers wish to keep.
For Van City fans, the atmosphere in BC Place tonight will be truly electric. The Whitecaps’ support has been burgeoning over the past two years and now runs head on with the travelling Sounders fans, who are the best group in the league.
It will make for a thrilling encounter, and Vancouver needs the points against their Cascadia Cup foes to hang on to their playoff dreams.
This is a very solid team from back to front, with few real weaknesses in the side. They draw too many matches, but the worst performances tended to be early in the season. Since then, they have worked hard to iron out those defensive deficiencies.
The midfield with Zakuani and Alonso has been much better with their two way play, dropping back to help out.
Up front is where the Sounders intimidate with the imperious Fredy Montero, who has been a ‘Caps killer. He shines against Vancouver, creating when he is not scoring, and the recent shaky Vancouver defence must find a way to cope with him.
Eddie Johnson is not to be neglected though as he feeds off Montero, and has already scored three times against Vancouver this season.
That needs to continue this week to keep the Vancouver push alive.
Darren Mattocks appears to have hit something of a rookie wall, and Miller needs to lead by example.
The duo up front has all the requisite skills in the Jamaican rookie’s skill and terrific pace and the Scot Miller has the experience, good positioning and patience necessary. However, the chemistry just has not emerged yet. Tonight would be as good a time as any.
It probably won’t happen, but I would like to see Joe Cannon come back into the side at ‘keeper as I feel his leadership and communication would better benefit the back line.
The Whitecaps’ defence is key as they must be steady throughout to hold off the Seattle offence to allow time for the Vancouver forwards to create.
An increasingly desperate Vancouver will turn the tide and forge a 2-1 win.
A preview of Saturday’s match between Vancouver and Seattle from WhitecapsFC.com