KEY PLAYERS: ATTACKING
After missing the weekend’s game Eric Hassli should be well rested and start up front for the Whitecaps. After receiving so many cautions, his play was tentative in the game last week versus the Impact as he was not in his normal physical form.
In previous matches in Vancouver, American midfielder David Testo has been a Whitecaps killer as he has found the back of the net when it counted. He was not as effective last week but that does not mean Testo should be discounted.
KEY PLAYERS: DEFENSE
The assignment of marking Ali Gerba will most likely fall to defender Greg Janicki as he has the experience to battle with the striker in the past. The veteran will most likely be paired with rookie Micheal Boxall who had the weekend off.
After being cut in the offseasn by the Caps Zourab Tsiskaridze signed with the Impact and was in top form last week against his former team. His aggressive runs down the left side and strong defensive play will continue this as he returns to Vancouver.
WHO’S ON FORM
In his first start Omar Salgado was able to score his first MLS goal on a beautiful header and more importantly played a full 90 minutes. He may not play the full match this week but should see a start and first action in the Nutrilite series.
Entering the weekend Ali Gerba had been held goalless but that changed against FC Edmonton where he scored a brace in a 5-0 victory. The Impact will need to see more of this Gerba if are to climb back from the 1 goal deficit.
Last Game: 2-1 Loss at Columbus
Last Game: 5-0 Win vs FC Edmonton
The Whitecaps look to give Camilo a rest and should see Hassli,their first designated player, team up alongside Salgado, their first overall pick. Because Dunfield was substituted off in the weekend match, look for him to start with Koffie in the central midfield. Teiebrt may start on the left side while Salinas looked ready for his first start of the season and this would give Chiumiento a game off. Against Columbus, Leathers looked tired and may get a break with Knight starting in his old position and may teamed with Boxall, Janicki, and Rochat along the backline. It could be either Nolly or Cannon in goal with my uneducated guess leaning towards Nolly.
The Impact will start with Gerba as their target man and LeGall as the second striker/attacking midfielder role. The midfield should be similar to last week as Kreamalmeyer and Di Lorenzo start on the outside and Testo teaming up with Lowrey in the center of the pitch. The backline and goal spots should line up similarly as well with their experienced defenders and Gaudette in goal.
QUESTIONABLE: DF Jay DeMerit (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: Hassoun Camara (thigh)
The Whitecaps bring a goal lead into this second leg of the Voyaguer’s Cup semi-final but there is no lead safe when the Impact play in Vancouver and the players should be aware of that. In the previous two games versus Montreal and Columbus, Teitur has had the team play a conservative game in the first half in order to save energy. It worked against Montreal as Dunfield was able to score in the second half which gave the Caps the victory. Obviously the first goal will be very important as it either gives the Caps a 2 goal lead or it will be put both teams on even terms. The Whitecaps will have to watch for runs by the Impact’s wide players and long balls to Gerba as those were the times when Montreal was at its most dangerous. A win or draw tonight will setup a finals matchup with the Toronto FC in a two leg championship for the Cup.