It will be their second attempt this year for the Whitecaps to win the Canadian Championship and capture the Voyageur’s Cup. The previous game in Toronto was abandoned after 60 minutes when the match was called off due to rain and poor pitch quality.
With Chiumiento unavailable because of injury, Camilo will play as the second striker and be asked to support Hassli up front. The Brazilian striker scored a goal last week against Sporting Kansas City and the Caps hope he can duplicate the feat this week.
Maicon Santos was unavailable for the mid-week game as being rested with an injury but TFC need his scoring ability for the return match. He has scored in each of the two games against Vancouver with both being against the run of play.
The job of marking the diminutive but speedy Plata will fall to Jonathan Leathers at the right back position. While he isn’t the fleetest of foot Leathers has good defensive awareness and positioning which will help him in the game.
The Whitecaps would like to play a possession type game and control the midfield but Julian deGuzman with his tackling ability could disprupt that plan. The defensive midfielder has a calf injury and is still listed as questionable for the match
WHO’S ON FORM
There is very little doubt that Joe Cannon was the best Whitecap on the Livestrong pitch last week in Kansas City. While he did allow two goals, one from a PK and one from point blank range, he kept the game and scoreline respectable for the Caps.
With so many injuries on the backline Richard Eckersly has been a pleasant surprise for the TFC brass at his normal right back position. The Manchester United Academy player is very solid defensively and played well at center back in the mid-week game.
9th in Western Conference
Last Game: 1-0 Loss at Toronto FC
6th in Eastern Conference
Last Game: 1-0 Win vs Vancouver Whitecaps
QUESTIONABLE: DF Mouloud Akloul (hamstring)
PROBABLE: DF Jay DeMerit (groin), DF Alain Rochat (quad)
QUESTIONABLE: MF Julian deGuzman (calf), MF Tony Tchani (ankle), DF Nana Attakora (quad), FW Maicon Santos (hamstring), MF Jacob Peterson (hamstring), FW Alan Gordon (abdominal)
While it may be harsh to say but the success of this season for the Whitecaps hinges on this game with TFC. The idea of making the playoffs in their first year are looking further and further away as they continue to lose points in the table. What could salvage the season is if they could capture the Canadian Championship and the Voyageur’s Cup for the first time in their club history.
The rested players will have to come out and pressure the makeshift backline of TFC, something they didn’t do in the mid-week match. They will continue their possession strategy but need to turn that possession into scoring opportunity or the possession will be wasted. Too many times on Wednesday did the Caps waste the ball and were unable to connect the strikers in the box.
With the first leg ending in a 1-1 draw and TFC getting the away goal, the Whitecaps will need to get at least one goal in order to have a chance. This gives a clear advantage to TFC as they will be satisfied with a scoreless draw which will win them the championship. A win and the Whitecaps will represent Canada at the CONCACAF Champions League while a loss could turn a promising season into a failed one.