Match Day: Whitecaps FC look for two in a row

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On the heels of the hype and excitement of the Canada vs Mexico last night, the Vancouver Whitecaps will return home to face the Houston Dynamo in week 4 of MLS action.

The Blue and White will try to earn their first points at home after dropping their season opener against the Montreal Impact three weeks ago.

After picking up a win in Seattle last week, Vancouver currently sits second last in the Western conference with three points. The Houston Dynamo, on the other hand, hold a record of 1 win, 1 draw, and 1 loss, which places them in sixth spot in the conference with four points.

There are several storylines to follow on Saturday when it comes to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Matchup

Venue: BC Place, Vancouver

Time: 7:00 pm

TV: TSN2

The Defence

The ‘Caps defensive work over the first two weeks of the season was poor. However, things started come together last week in Seattle.

Just when his defensive line was starting to gel, Carl Robinson will be unable to suit up the same defensive line tonight. Kendall Waston and Tim Parker have been called to the Costa Rica and USA U-23 national teams, respectively.

So, who will the Welsh tactician line up? This remains a question mark.

Adding fuel to the fire, the Houston Dynamo’s offensive efforts have been nothing short of spectacular. Scoring 11 goals in three games, it has been good enough to establish a new MLS record.

The Formation

Carl Robinson switched his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation last weekend, opting instead for a 4-4-2. The change helped the Vancouver Whitecaps be more dynamic on the final third and allowed them to pressure Seattle on the ball, causing many turnovers.

A key player in the deployment of the new formation was Panamanian forward Blas Pérez. However, with Pérez also away on international duty, we will have to see if Robinson will revert back to the formation that he has used during his first two years at the helm. His other option is to utilize Masato Kudo to complement designated player Octavio Rivero in a two-pronged attack.

Where are the goals?

If the main concern over the first two weeks was whether the Whitecaps had an accomplished right back or not, the conversation has shifted back to their lack of scoring from open play. The Whitecaps have scored five goals so far in the 2016 season but they have all come from penalty kicks, corners, and free kicks.

Despite creating a fair number of chances, Robinson’s pupils have continued to struggle with converting on them. Will this be the game when the Whitecaps put it all together?

Whitecaps FC / Facebook

SEE ALSO: FTBL Podcast: Whitecaps FC, MLS Recap with Peter Galindo

One of the main priorities for the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2016 is to improve their home results over last season. More importantly, it may not seem like it with 30 games left in the season, but the points earned or dropped now may play a big role in deciding playoff aspirations later in October.

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Jorge Mendoza I grew up in Mexico, therefore, soccer has been my life for over three decades. I have watched all kinds of football from Champions League matches to second division Peruvian games. (Yes, really). I created, produce and host the From the Backline podcast with my buddy Mark. We chat all about the Whitecaps, MLS and soccer. When I am not podcasting or writing about soccer I can probably be found watching TV & movies or eating cookies.
@JorgeMendoza

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