MLS Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs DC United

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

Match Preview

Vancouver Whitecaps welcome DC United to BC Place on Saturday evening as they look to remain top of the Western Conference against a DC side sitting in second in the Eastern Conference.

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.

Team News

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.

Key Points

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Score Prediction

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.

Advertisements

MLS Preview and Prediction: Real Salt Lake vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, April 18th – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST)

Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Vancouver Whitecaps 5/2

Match Preview

Real Salt Lake welcome high flying Vancouver Whitecaps to Rio Tinto Stadium this Saturday evening in what is one of the standout fixtures of the weekend.

RSL are still unbeaten so far this campaign, winning two and drawing three, but they will have to be at their best to keep that run going against the Whitecaps this weekend.

Vancouver’s start to the season has been brilliant but they have already lost twice, including in their outing, and that will encourage Jeff Cassar and his side.

Embed from Getty Images

The ‘Caps lost at San Jose last weekend while Salt Lake drew at Sporting Kansas City, so both sides will be looking to get back to winning ways on Saturday night.

Real Salt Lake will be hoping key man Javier Morales can influence a win this weekend, as he has scored two so far this campaign and been the standout player in the squad after six weeks.

RSL are certainly missing striker Joao Plata in his absence through injury as they have registered just one goal from their forwards, but are coping well and the team will only get stronger when he returns.

Embed from Getty Images

Alvaro Saborio needs to start getting amongst the goals on a more regular basis but things are certainly looking promising for the team.

The Whitecaps will be looking to provide Octavio Rivero with as many chances as possible. The Uruguayan forward has five goals in seven games and is largely to thank for their position at the top of the Western Conference.

Team News

Real Salt Lake have five injury concerns. Joao Plata will continue to be unavailable for some time, while Sebastian Jaime, Demar Phillips, Justen Glad and Pecka could all be set to sit this one out.

Vancouver Whitecaps also have five concerns as Andre Lewis, Marco Bustos, Mauro Rosales, Gershon Koffie and Diego Rodriguez are all struggling with injuries. They will also be without playmaker Pedro Morales who is suspended.

Key Points

Real Salt Lake’s form: D/D/W/W/D

Vancouver Whitecaps form: W/W/W/D/L

Key Stat: Unbeaten – RSL are one of only two unbeaten sides in MLS this season but this will be their toughest challenge yet.

Embed from Getty Images

Key Player: Octavio Rivero – Rivero has arguably been the league’s most impressive player so far this season, and it will be interesting to see how RSL set up to stop him.

Score Prediction

Real Salt Lake 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps – Real Salt Lake to keep their unbeaten run going in a tough fixture. With both sides coming into the game without a win last weekend it is difficult to separate the two, though Vancouver need to make sure they can cope without Pedro Morales to get anything from the game.

MLS Preview and Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps 

Venue: Avaya Stadium – Saturday, April 11th – 10:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: San Jose Earthquakes 7/5 – Draw 12/5 – Vancouver Whitecaps 9/5

Match Preview

San Jose Earthquakes welcome Western Conference leaders, Vancouver Whitecaps, to Avaya Stadium this Saturday.

The Quakes have lost their last two after back-to-back wins and are sitting seventh in the Western Conference after five weeks of play.

Their 1-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake last weekend was a disappointing result but not a lot can be done to avoid conceding a goal like Javier Morales’ strike, so Quakes can feel a little hard-done by, especially as they showed promise for much of the game.

The Whitecaps’ four-game win streak came to an end on Wednesday night with their 2-2 draw against the Columbus Crew. After losing their first of the season, Carl Robinson has been getting it right and his side are now leading the way in the Supporters’ Shield standings after going unbeaten in five.

Embed from Getty Images

Vancouver’s impressive run is being helped no end by the scintillating form of forward Octavio Rivero, who has five in six and tops the MLS scoring charts early on this season.

For the Quakes, Chris Wondolowski has enjoyed a good start to the season too and has netted three in five. His partnership with Innocent Emeghara could prove to be a hit this campaign, though the two will not feature together this weekend as Emeghara is suspended.

Embed from Getty Images

The last two meetings between these two in San Jose have ended 0-0 so we are hoping for a bit more entertainment in their first clash at Avaya Stadium.

Team News

San Jose Earthquakes are littered with injuries at the moment as Mark Sherrod, Steven Lenhart, Jordan Stewart, Paulo Renato, Marvell Wynne and Shaun Francis are expected to miss out. They will also be without Innocent Emeghara as he is suspended for one game so Dominic Kinnear has his options limited.

Vancouver Whitecaps are set to be without three as Andre Lewis, Mauro Rosales and Marco Bustos are set to miss out. Gershon Koffie is battling a knee injury but should be fit to play. We could see some changes from Carl Robinson after his side played on Wednesday night and he could be looking to keep things fresh with squad rotation. Kekuta Manneh started that game on the bench but should start in this one.

Key Points

San Jose Earthquakes’ form: L/W/W/L/L

Vancouver Whitecaps’ form: W/W/W/W/D

Key Stat: Unbeaten – The Whitecaps haven’t lost to the Quakes since 2012 and given their form, it’s hard to see past that run continuing.

Embed from Getty Images

Key Player: Octavio Rivero – If the service is as good as it has been all season we could see Rivero continue his remarkable scoring run.

Score Prediction

San Jose Earthquakes 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps – The Quakes have suffered two losses on the bounce and given how good the Whitecaps have been, they should still be top of the Western Conference after the weekend.

Vancouver’s Octavio Rivero beats Kaka to MLS Player of the Month award

The first month of the 2015 Major League Soccer has flown by and that means that supporters have had the chance to vote for their Player of the Month.

The official MLS award, sponsored by Etihad Airways, saw a battle between five of the league’s stars with two newcomers earning the majority of votes.

Orlando City’s Brazilian superstar and former World Player of the Year, Kaka had to settle for second place in the first Player of the Month award as Vancouver Whitecaps striker Octavio Rivero was voted number one by fans across MLS.

Embed from Getty Images

The Young Designated Player becomes the first Uruguayan to win the award after netting three goals in four appearances.

Rivero opened up his MLS account in his first game for the Whitecaps in that 3-1 loss to Toronto FC on opening weekend and went on to score the winning goals in Vancouver’s next two games, both of which were on the road.

A late strike in Chicago earned the Whitecaps a 1-0 win before they managed to beat Orlando City by the same scoreline thanks to a 96th minute Rivero header.

Octavio Rivero’s fine acrobatic header against Orlando City (via Vancouver Whitecaps on YouTube):

Vancouver currently sit second in the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings at this early stage and it’s safe to say they wouldn’t be where they are without Rivero at this stage.

Kaka was voted a very close second to Rivero, with Sporting Kansas City’s Ike Opara, English forward Bradley Wright-Phillips and FC Dallas’ Blas Perez all behind.

Final results for Etihad Airways Player of the Month (March via MLSSoccer.com)

  1. Octavio Rivero (VAN) 26.6%
  2. Kaká (ORL) 26.2%
  3. Ike Opara (SKC) 19.0%
  4. Bradley Wright-Phillips (NY) 15.8%
  5. Blas Perez (DAL) 12.3%

Did Octavio Rivero deserve to be named as Major League Soccer’s Player of the Month for March?