Despite the match against TFC not counting Eric Hassli has scored in each of his last two matches after going through a long drought. He should have an advantage against the Red Bulls with Rafa Marquez missing from the backline.
After being acquired in a trade Dwayne DeRosario has made a difference with his playmaking skills from the central midfield. The team is still working out the kinks but his presence has improved scoring for New York since his arrival from TFC.
With Leathers being out with injury Wes Knight will face MLS competition from the right back position for just the third time this season. He will be up against Lindpere of the NY who while not the fastest winger is very crafty and a solid playmaker.
With Marquez off for international duty Tim Ream becomes the leader of the backline and will have to deal with Hassli. The best rookie defender last year will play his last match for the Red Bulls before joining the national squad at the Gold Cup.
WHO’S ON FORM
After missing a start to get some rest against San Jose, Gershon Koffie has played some of his best football this season. He will most likely get the assignment of marking De Rosario and will need to perform his normal job of winning the ball and then moving it forward.
After being brought over from League One Notts County in the offseason Luke Rodgers was expected to come off the bench and have the occasional start. However his play has pushed rookie sensation Juan Agudelo as he stands second on the team with four goals.
9th in Western Conference
Last Game: 1-1 Draw vs Toronto FC
1st in Eastern Conference
Last Game: 2-2 Draw vs Colorado Rapids
DOUBTFUL: MF John Thorrington(calf), Jonathan Leathers (calf)
DOUBTFUL: MF Carl Robinson (knee)
After playing their best 150 minutes of football since early in the season the Whitecaps return to league play desperate for a victory versus the Red Bulls. After this match Vancouver will play their next three games on the road starting against Chivas and ending with Seattle with a match versus Real Sal Lake sandwiched in between. That’s why this match is so important for the Caps and the need for three points where their opponents are missing their two designated players.
Thierry Henry did not make the trip because of a nagging knee injury while Rafa Marquez is off with the Mexican national team in preparation for the Gold Cup. New York is still a dangerous team with the likes of DeRosario, Rodgers, Lindpere and Agudelo available in the attack. Both teams are travelling from the east after playing in mid-week matches so there should be little advantage for either.
The Whitecaps will need to press the midfield and win the battle there which will slow down the service to their strikers. With Knight playing in the starting eleven at RB, the Caps will need to provide cover for him with the rest of the backline assisting as well as whoever plays in front of him in the midfield. Their two most important weapons in attack, Hassli and Chiumiento, seem to be clicking with their teammates and will need to be the main catalysts in the final third. An early goal and lead for the Caps will be imperative if Vancouver wish to get their second victory of the MLS season.