Overall Record vs. Montreal:
- Wins: 1
- Losses: 0
- Draws: 2*
It’s down to the wire as Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10W-10L-8D) travel to Montreal for their final Eastern Conference match of the year, a rare early morning scrimmage (early on the West Coast, that is) against the Impact. Saturday’s match is the first of the final six games of the regular season, and anything other than a win will spell serious trouble— if not the end— of Vancouver’s hopes to make the playoffs for a second consecutive year.
Know Your Enemy
While the Impact, (13W-8L-6D) who are second in the Eastern Conference with forty five points may not be in as tight a playoff race as the Whitecaps, do not expect them to be an easy team to beat. The Impact have gone 8-2-3 at Stadé Saputo in the regular season this year, are only three points out of a tie for first place in the East with New York Red Bulls, (four out of a tie for first overall in the league with Seattle Sounders FC) and fan favorite forward Marco Di Vaio leads the MLS in goals (18) and shots on goal (47). Another player to watch on the Impact roster is goalkeeper Troy Perkins who has the third-highest save record in all of MLS.
Lineup & Injury Report:
Lineup regulars Andy O’Brien (sore back) & Johnny Leveron (calf strain), both of whom missed last week’s road trip against San Jose are rumored to be on the mend and in contention for Saturday’s match, as is Russell Teibert who did travel with the team but was taken ill shortly before game-time.
The current status on Brad Rusin’s re-aggravated ankle injury is unclear, with no official statement coming out of the Whitecaps training camp. Coach Martin Rennie was quoted as saying that Rusin would “hopefully train tomorrow” on Tuesday, but no further word has been made available as yet.
Some good news to report about Jay DeMerit, who is rumored to be a likely candidate for Saturday’s starting lineup after making his return to action with much excitement (along with a probable sigh of relief from many a Whitecaps fan), against San Jose last week, putting on a great defensive performance that would go on to earn him the Budweiser Man of the Match award. While it had been thought that the Whitecaps skipper would continue to hold position as part of the dressed 18-man squad to be substituted in at Rennie’s discretion, last week’s performance appears to have given Rennie pause for re-consideration, although nothing is one-hundred percent certain in the days leading up to Saturday’s game. Whatever the decision, DeMerit has shown his willingness to step up and play wherever and whenever he’s needed now that his Achilles injury appears to be becoming a worry best left in the past. And at such a critical point in the season, the Whitecaps could use all the help they can get.
Kickoff is scheduled for shortly after 11:00AM PDT. TSN will air the game live, including a pre-game analysis. You can also tune into the TEAM 1410 radio for all the pre and post-game highlights.
*Draws do not reflect on MLS regular season record(s), occurring as part of 2013 Amway Canadian Championship.