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Vancouver @ Puerto Rico 4pm (PDT)

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Venue: Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium

Match Type: Regular Season

Match Number: 2

Kickoff (PDT): 4:00 PM

Live Video: http://usllive.com/usl/console.jsp (Free account needed to view)

quote:Match Preview:

By Simon Fudge/whitecapsfc.com

Vancouver Whitecaps FC (0W-0L-1D) begin a two-match road trip by heading to the Caribbean for a meeting with Puerto Rico Islanders (15W-6L-9D in 2008) on Saturday evening.

It has been a little over six months since the Whitecaps and Islanders contested the first USL First Division Championship Final to involve two clubs based outside of the United States in league history. Though the 'Tropa Naranja' (Orange Troop) won the Commissioner's Cup as USL-1 regular season champions, as well as several end-of-season individual awards, the Blue and White took advantage of a passionate Swangard Stadium crowd to defeat Puerto Rico 2-1 on October 12, 2008. Charles Gbeke was Vancouver's hero with two crucial goals in the second half.

It was also the Whitecaps only win of the season against Colin Clarke's side, with the Islanders edging their three regular season meetings with Vancouver in 2008. On August 17, a disallowed Omar Jarun goal and the sending off of Eduardo Sebrango left Whitecaps fans frustrated following a goalless draw at Swangard. On August 31, Takashi Hirano's first-ever Whitecaps goal earned Teitur Thordarson's side a 1-1 result in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Vancouver's undefeated league streak versus the Islanders came to an end on September 5, as Noah Delgado's late goal gave Puerto Rico a 1-0 victory. Though their unbeaten streak was broken by that defeat, the championship final win was the Whitecaps first victory over the Caribbean outfit since a 3-1 away success on August 4, 2006.

Saturday's match will be the 11th time that both clubs do battle on the pitch. In their 10 previous meetings, the Whitecaps lead the all-time series of results with five wins, one defeat, and four draws. At the Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, Vancouver have registered two wins, one defeat, and two draws versus the Islanders.


Though there was plenty of anticipation ahead last Saturday's home match, the Whitecaps were missing that finishing touch in front of goal during a season-opening 0-0 draw with Charleston Battery. Though slightly disappointed to start their USL-1 title defence in that fashion, Thordarson took plenty of positives from their opening league contest. "I would have liked us to create more goalscoring chances and score some goals, but I was very happy with a lot of things," he said after Wednesday's training session at Simon Fraser University. "I felt the team kept a very good shape versus Charleston and that we had a great attitude to the game, as we worked very hard and passed the ball well. I also thought the new players performed very well that night."

Thordarson is taking a 20-player squad on the two-match road trip, with the club also visiting USL-1 expansion side Austin Aztex in Texas three days later. The new squad additions include three members of the Whitecaps Residency team in Philippe Davies, Ethan Gage, and Dever Orgill.

Orgill will be hoping to emulate his Dallas Cup goalscoring efforts during the trip. The Jamaican youth international scored five times in as many games, as the Residency team reached the U-19 Super Group final of the prestigious youth tournament. "I played against some really good teams at the Dallas Cup, as that level was really high," Orgill said. "I know USL-1 will be a little bit more physical, but I feel I can handle that. I want to be successful, so I must keep doing what I'm doing and scoring goals is what I do best. I'm really looking forward to the trip."

The Whitecaps, however, will be without five key players for the first road trip of the season. Striker Marlon James remains in Vancouver to continue his recovery from an ankle injury, while centre back Jeff Parke is still serving the remainder of his 10-game ban that he received in Major League Soccer last season. Though back in full training, defender Geordie Lyall and winger Justin Moose will not be part of the trip, as they continue to overcome their offseason injury concerns. Lyle Martin also stays behind, as he continues his recovery from a broken foot. Those absences mean that Trinity Western University defender Paul Hamilton will travel with the squad to Puerto Rico and Austin.


Entering their sixth season as a USL-1 club, the Islanders' build-up to the 2009 campaign has been a busy one. Assembling soon after the New Year, Clarke's side had the immediate matter of a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal match-up with CD Marathon of Honduras. In what has been a remarkable run in the competition by La Tropa Naranja, the Islanders defeated Marathon 3-1 on aggregate to set up a semifinal clash with Mexico's Cruz Azul. Despite a 2-0 first-leg win at home, the Islanders were eventually knocked out on penalties in Mexico City on April 7.

Clarke's squad will get another chance at being in the CONCACAF Champions League when they play a single-match semifinal in the Caribbean Club Championship, with the Islanders only needing a win on May 15 to advance. For now, Puerto Rico will concentrate on a competitive start to the new season with a three-match home stand that includes visits from the Whitecaps, Rochester Rhinos (April 24), and Montreal Impact (May 2). "This year, we want to be champions," Puerto Rico captain Delgado told Islanders TV. "In order to be champions, you have to beat the best to be the best, and that starts on Saturday with Vancouver."

The Islanders have one of the most settled squads in the league, with many key players returning for the new season. The notable additions for 2009 include former Whitecaps striker Nicholas Addlery. The Jamaican forward has already had an impact with his new club after scoring three goals in their recent Champions League games. He joins Josh Hansen in being a player that enjoyed a spell with the Blue and White before joining Puerto Rico. Midfielder Martin Nunez and striker Sean Fraser also join the Islanders with prior USL-1 experience at Carolina RailHawks and Miami FC Blues respectively.

After experiencing last season's contests with Puerto Rico, Thordarson knows his side are in for a battle this weekend. "It is certainly one of the toughest road games that we will have during the season," he admitted. "I would have liked to have played Puerto Rico a little bit later in the season, but that is the way the games have been scheduled, so we'll have to face them straight away. Nonetheless, we'll be ready for Saturday."

Prediction: 2-1 win for the Caps.

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quote:Originally posted by Krammerhead

I could only get this game to load on my vista laptop. Does this new USL Live not like windows XP?

Anyway, didn't know the Whitecaps changed their name to the "White caps".

I have it running on XP but it won't work on Ubuntu yet.

Absolute crap camera work and officiating. Welcome to the minor leagues. Thank goodness we are out of here in 2011.

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Yeah, I'm used to it now. After getting home for work and trying to load this up on my Windows XP in both Mozilla and Explorer to no avail, and then trying the laptop I missed the first 43 minutes. If it's going to be this crap this year I'm glad it's free.

Still can't get the live chat to load.

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