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  • Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Real Salt Lake Preview


    The Vancouver Whitecaps will face the 2009 MLS Champions in a game where the have an opportunity to steal 3 points from a depleted and undisciplined Real Salt Lake Squad. Salt Lake come into this game having lost their last 3 games and are going to be without several of their key players as they look to turn their luck around as the season comes to a close.

    Vancouver have also lost their last 3 games. Los Angeles beat the Caps, despite the fact that Vancouver had the better opportunities, and the better chances. Seattle also pulled out a victory despite a strong game from Vancouver. Most recently though Portland and the Timbers Army sucked the life out of BC Place with a solid defensive performance for a 1-0 victory in the Caps first game at their new home.[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

    RSL come into this game having also lost to Los Angeles 2-1, Chicago 3-0, and DC United 4-1. Discipline has been a bit of an issue for the Utah outfit as of late. Deadly striker Fabian Espindola will miss tonight's match having earned himself a suspension for Yelllow Card Accumulation. Captain Kyle Beckerman, received a straight red for a very silly headbutt in the loss to Chicago. Head Coach Jason Kreis called his squad out for a lack of discipline recently and then in a curious case of the pot calling the kettle black, decided to get in on the act. After the loss to L.A. Kreis got into a "heated debate" with L.A. Galaxy star David Beckham as the former England Captain was shaking hands with his fallen opponents.

    While Kyle Beckerman would be able to return from suspension for tonights game he will not be available for selection after having been called up to the USMNT Camp this weekend. The clubs captain will not be the only key player missing for Real. Striker Alvaro Saborio will be away with Costa Rica, and Canadian Midfielder Will Johnson will also be on international duty.

    The only player that the Caps will be without is Eric Hassli. While Hassli is the clubs leading scorer he has been fairly silent for the last 7 games. With the weakened RSL midfield Vancouver should look to take advantage. The inside pairing of Gershon Koffie and Peter Vagenas could win the majority of loose balls and headers. Real are a possession oriented team and Vancouver will have a chance to best them at their own game.

    Salt Lake have been rather toothless on offence as of late with their none of their first choice strikers on hand will likely have even less bite then normal. Paulo Jr will potentially be paired with former Whitecaps USSF D2 player Cody Arnoux. The former Wake Forest standout is the only forward that has even seen the pitch since September 1st who will be available for the Claret and Cobalt.

    Arnoux is not the only player on RSL to have plied is trade in Vancouver. Many Caps fans will remember Blake Wagner from his days as a starter on the USSF D2 squad last year and his couple runs up and down the pitch as an MLS player. He most recently saw minutes in the loss to DC and it would be a surprise to see him on the field tonight. Mind you, with the squad available for Kreis we might see a couple of unexpected moves.

    Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake

    BC Place Stadium, Vancouver BC

    Watch: Sportsnet 1

    Listen: Team 1410

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