1) Will new signing Jordan Harvey start the game?- If he does then it is likely that Alain Rochat will move to the centre of defence with Harvey replacing him at left- back but, given that Rochat has been the standout player this season, it’s just possible that Tom Soehn will elect to play Harvey in front of him in midfield thus giving a side that has struggled on the road greater defensive cover.
2) Can they turn possession into chances? – There is no doubt that there has been a greater emphasis on keeping the ball since Soehn took over but this has rarely translated into the creation of regular goal scoring opportunities. The recent first half against Columbus was probably the most successful that they have been in this regard yet they still failed to find the net.
3) Will Hassli and Chiumiento be fit?- The latter is more likely to play than the former, but both are crucial to the way that the team plays. Without Hassli the Whitecaps lack a focal point when going forward (Salgado did reasonably well on Wednesday but he is still woefully lacking in experience and strength for that role) and Chiumiento is capable of being the creative spark that the team need. Neither though has produced their best when away from Empire Field so maybe they won’t be risked at all to ensure their presence for the upcoming game against Real Salt Lake.
4) Who will play in the centre of midfield?- Terry Dunfield’s stock is dropping faster than a speeding photon and it’s unlikely that he will start. Gershon Koffie seems to have reestablished himself in Soehn’s eyes (although he did little to merit being dropped in the first place) so Brovsky and Vagenas are the most likely options to play alongside him but sadly neither have inspired much confidence in their play this season.
5) Can the Whitecaps get their first win on the road? It’s fair to say that they have never looked like winning away from Vancouver at any time this season so there really is no reason why that should suddenly change today. They have though looked their best on the road when the game seems lost as that appears to free them from their inhibitions, so maybe the fact that the whole season is now lost will entice them into a great performance. Or is that clutching at a straw too many?
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Tags: Vancouver Whitecaps, World soccer