Competition: Major League Soccer – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. DC United
Venue: BC Place – Saturday, April 25th – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)
Match Odds: Vancouver Whitecaps 8/11 – Draw 5/2 – DC United 4/1
The Whitecaps have had an impressive start to the season, winning five of eight games, but Carl Robinson will know his side will be hard pushed for a win in this one.Embed from Getty Images
Robinson’s side got back to winning ways last weekend with a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake and he will be hoping Octavio Rivero will end his two-game goalless run after starting the season so well, with five goals in six games.
Ben Olsen’s DC have drawn back-to-back games and fallen off the pace a little. They are joint top of the Eastern Conference with the Red Bulls, second only on goal difference, but have played one game more than their rivals.
Goals look like they could be a tough thing to come by from this DC United forward line, as Chris Rolfe and Jairo Arrieta have netted just one each so far and the return of Fabian Espindola from suspension is a huge boost for last year’s Eastern Conference winners.Embed from Getty Images
DCU would have expected to win last weekend against Houston Dynamo and will be disappointed they couldn’t hold out at home to Owen Coyle’s side after taking the lead.
This is going to be a hard-fought game and if either side can come away with all three points it will be a great result.
Vancouver Whitecaps have three injury concerns as Andre Lewis, Marco Bustos and Diego Rodriguez could all be sidelined, while Kendall Watson is just one yellow card away from a suspension after racking up four cautions already.
DC United have four sidelined as Markus Halsti, Eddie Johnson, Steve Birnbaum and Collin Martin are all struggling with injuries. Olsen knows his side will be in for a difficult tie, playing against a Whitecaps side who are the joint top-scorers so far this campaign.
Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: W/W/D/L/W
DC United’s last five: L/W/W/D/D
Key Stat: Octavio Rivero has scored just one goal less than the whole of the DC United side combined this season.
Key Player: Pedro Morales – The Vancouver playmaker has three assists so far this campaign and his range of passing can unlock even the toughest of defences. If DCU can stop him getting on the ball they have a good chance here.
Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 DC United – The Whitecaps have what it takes to edge this one and home advantage will play a part as they are likely to remain top of the Western Conference and MLS Supporters Shield standings after eight weeks.