Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Real Salt Lake vs Whitecaps FC Match Preview


After a disappointing result and performance in their debut on the BC Place pitch, the Vancouver Whitecaps hope for better results against a depleted Real Salt Lake club.  This match is a makeup date for the original one that was rained out when a temporary grass field was deemed unplayable by MLS.  The two teams faced each in June where RSL dominated the Caps at Rio Tinto and came away with a 2-0 victory.


KEY PLAYERS

ATTACKING

The Whitecaps will be missing Hassli from the lineup so Camilo will be needed to provide the goals as the team’s second leading scorer.  He will most likely return to a striker’s spot which means he will deal with the bigger RSL defenders in the final third.

In his third appearance since his injury, Javier Morales is looking to go a full 90 minutes and improve his fitness for the playoff run.  The club’s attack will run through the all-star and he will be vital with so many regulars missing from the lineup.

DEFENSE

The Whitecaps signed central defender Carlyle Mitchell just before the roster deadline and there is very good chance of starting after playing in Monday’s reserve match.   The T&T international is a mobile defender who is good on the ball and could be a good compliment to Jay Demerit.

Veteran defender Jamison Olave adds quite a bit of muscle to RSL’s backline as well as leadership which will be vital with so much attack missing from the lineup.  He will be a threat in the box on set pieces as the Colombian has used his size to score twice this year for RSL.


WHO’S ON FORM

The only player that showed up against the Timbers was Joe Cannon as he kept the Caps in the game in their debut at BC Place.  The only goal he gave up was an unstoppable shot from Cooper and if not for him the result could have been very lopsided.

RSL has struggled in their last three games but one player that has been solid for them is wing back Chris Wingert.  The American defender is does well to shut down wingers and defensively and is capable of contributing on the counter attack.


2011 RECORD

4W -16L-10D
9th in Western Conference
Last Game: 1-0 Loss vs Portland Timbers

15W-10L-6D
3rd in Western Conference
Last Game:  2-1 Loss at LA Galaxy


PROJECTED LINEUPS





INJURIES

OUT:  FW Atiba Harris (knee), GK Brian Sylvestre (knee), MF Russell Teibert (toe), DF Jonathan Leathers (hamstring)
PROBABLE:  MF John Thorrington (groin)

OUT:  DF Tony Beltran (adductor), GK Kyle Reynish (ankle), MF Nelson Gonz├ílez (foot)
PROBABLE:  MF Javier Morales (ankle), DF Robbie Russell (hamstring), GK Nick Rimando (shoulder)


GAME PREDICTION



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 The Whitecaps are looking for their first victory and goal in their new digs at BC Place after such a demoralizing debut against Portland.  Normally facing a team like RSL would not be the best solution for this problem but the Utah based team is missing a number of players due to injury, suspension and international call ups.  Vancouver will be without Hassli and will also attempt to integrate some new players into the starting eleven. 

One of those players should be Chinese international Long Tan who has impressed with his attacking ability in his limited duty as a sub for the Caps.  Recent signee Carlyle Mitchell should also see a start next to Jay Demerit which will allow Alain Rochat to return to his normal left back spot.  A longshot to start is homegrown product Nizar Khalfan  as he hasn’t seen any first team duty in months but would provide needed pace to the wing.

While a win would be high on the list of most fans, what most people would like to see is a better effort which was lacking against the Timbers.  The desire of some players, not by name, was called out in the locker room at the end of the match by Joe Cannon.  That wakeup call combined with some new blood could help the Whitecaps achieve their first win in five games.

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