Red, White and Green: Vancouver Whitecaps-Real Salt Lake Match Preview


Author’s note: Red, White and Green is Playing for 90′s newest column aimed at focusing on the Cascadian (Pacific Northwest) teams. In MLS, three teams – Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver – battle for the Cascadia Cup each year. Red, White, and Green will give a critical eye to Cascadia teams. The column is named Red, White, and Green based on the team colors. Red for the Portland Timbers as they are known as “Rose City”, white for the Vancouver Whitecaps as it is their primary color when they play, and lastly green for the Seattle Sounders as they wear “Rave Green” for most matches, home or away.

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After beginning the year as one of the hotter teams in MLS, the Vancouver Whitecaps have struggles as of late. Winners of only two of their last 13 matches, the Whitecaps welcome Real Salt Lake to BC Place in Vancouver, Canada, B.C. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm EST and can be seen on MLS Live.

The Whitecaps currently sit in sixth place, two points out of a playoff position. If Vancouver has any hope of making the playoffs, they must win this match at home against one of the better teams in MLS. They can’t allow themselves to fall even further back from fifth place.

That fifth place team, the Portland Timbers, face off against Toronto FC. That is a match that I have the Timbers winning, so it is imperative the the Whitecaps pick up the full three points and not settle for just one.

I expect Head Coach Carl Robinson to present a strong lineup and play a high-line with his back four to push for goals early in the match. I think it will be key for the Whitecaps mid-field to have a huge game. Control the center of the pitch and make sure they are in the correct spots to stop Salt Lake on the attack.

This is the third and final meeting between these two teams in the regular season. Both prior matches were unable to see a winner as the first match was a 2-2 tie in Salt Lake way back in April. The second match ended in a 1-1 tie in July also in Salt Lake.

It’s not as if the season will be over if they lose this match, but it might as well be as it will be extremely hard for them as they have FC Dallas and Seattle Sounders as their next two opponents following this match.

Prediction: It won’t be easy and it won’t be pretty, but Vancouver will pick up a much needed three points. I see the Whitecaps winning this one 2-1.