Jump to content
  • Match Preview: FC Edmonton v Vancouver Whitecaps


    ccs-124138-140264013188_thumb.jpgVancouver Whitecaps once again start in their pursuit of the silverware that has eluded them when they face FC Edmonton at Commonwealth Stadium. They came close to capturing the Cup last season, leading TFC 2-1 in the two leg final with 30 minutes to go when it was called off due to BMO Field being washed out in a lightning storm. As we all know, the replay, held about a month later, did not go as well and they lost the match in the midst of a long road trip.

    <b>KEY PLAYERS :</b>


    Having yet to register a goal this season, starting against FC Edmonton may be the perfect tonic for <b>Eric Hassli</b> to get out his slump and gain confidence. He will go up against a smaller backline which struggles against bigger strikers and should be able to dominate physically.

    If there is such a thing as a DP in the NASL, <b>Yashir Pinto</b> would be that player for FCE, the striker having played for one the top clubs in Chile. In addition to that he has played on numerous youth national sides for his country and scored 8 goals in 20 caps for the Chilean U20 side.



    It looks as though <b>Alain Rochat</b> will be in the starting eleven for the Whitecaps but it may not be in his normal position. There is a chance that the Canadian born defender will play in the middle of the backline, which will cause less stress on his recovering knee.

    The former Whitecaps residency and Trinity Western product, <b>Paul Hamilton</b> was arguably Edmonton’s best defender last season. While he is not very big, the former Canada West 'player of the year' is solid in the air and is a danger to score on set pieces.

    <b>WHO'S ON FORM :</b>

    While he has yet to play a match in the MLS this season, <b>Carlyle Mitchell</b> has been one of the best players for the Whitecaps in the reserve games played so far this year. The defender is strong on the ball, rarely makes a misstep when defending and is great in the air on either side of the pitch.

    Another former Residency product <b>Kyle Porter</b> is a dangerous player on the wing for the Eddies. He has a solid combination of size, pace and crossing ability. The Whitecaps did offer the youngster a MLS contract but Porter wasn’t happy with the terms so he has a point to prove to his former employers.

    <b>2012 RECORD :</b>



    3rd in Western Conference

    Last Match: 1-0 Win at Columbus Crew



    8th in NASL

    Last Match: 4-3 Loss vs Minnesota Stars



    <b>GAME PREDICTION :</b>

    The month of May will be a busy one for the Whitecaps as they could potentially play 8 games in 24 days if they advance to the Voyageurs Cup Final. In order to do that they will have to first defeat FC Edmonton, of the NASL, in a two leg semi-final. While the talk leading up to the game from the Whitecaps has been about how anything can happen on the pitch, it would have to be considered a major upset if they don’t get past this second year squad.

    Martin Rennie will employ a much different lineup against the Division 2 side than the one that beat Columbus Crew on Saturday night. Brad Knighton should see his first start of the season in place of Joe Cannon and his backline will have a new look as well. Also getting their first starts of the season will be Greg Klazura at right back, Russell Teibert at left back and Carlyle Mitchell as one of the center backs.

    FC Edmonton is more technical than big up front, so Alain Rochat may see a start as a central defender next to Mitchell. Boxall may have been deemed not have been swift enough to play against Edmonton, whilst Bonjour may not have had familiarity with Mitchell. Another reason to have Rochat in the middle is his calming influence, which will be a benefit to his younger team-mates, and there is less running at this position for his knee

    The midfield should have assistant captain John Thorrington pairing with Gershon Koffie as the holding midfielders, with Davide Chiumiento playing in an attacking role. There is an outside chance Floyd Franks could see a start, as the former Railhawk played last season against Edmonton.

    The combination up front could be any one of many combos but Rennie may use his size advantage by starting Eric Hassli and Atiba Harris. Returning from injury Michael Nanchoff could also see a start on the left wing and provide his distribution abilities.

    The Whitecaps will look to try and overpower the smaller Edmonton defenders and establish dominance inside the box. Despite having less experience at the wing back position, don’t expect Rennie to change his tactics, as both positions will be expected to attack wide and supply crosses into Harris and Hassli. Chiumiento will key, playing behind Hassli, as he will look to be the connection through the middle and try to find the attackers on going forward.

    It’ll be up to Thorrington and his partner to control the midfield against the typical Dutch 4-3-3 formation that Edmonton employs. The attacks for Edmonton will most likely come from the wings, with young Canadians Shaun Saiko and Kyle Porter both being able to break down defenders along with sending crosses into the box.

    FC Edmonton are looking to put on a good show and avoid giving up an away goal, so the Caps could do some damage to the Albertans mentality by getting an early one. If the underdogs have any hope to upset Vancouver, and advance to the final, they will need to get the victory in the first leg. While most expect the Caps to pick up the win, a draw would do just as well, especially if they can pick up an away goal going into the second leg next week in BC Place.

    <b>AFTN Predicted Score: Edmonton FC 0 Vancouver Whitecaps 2</b>



  • Create New...