The international break has hit the MLS season but there is still one match taking place in the competition this weekend when the Vancouver Whitecaps host Real Salt Lake in a clash from the Western Conference.
These two teams go into the match at the opposite ends of the Western Conference table with the Whitecaps third from the bottom and RSL third from the top. They both have an ideal chance to improve their position in the table here.
Where to watch
There is no UK TV coverage of this match but those who do want to watch it will be able to via the bookmaker live streams. Kick off is at midnight.
The Vancouver Whitecaps sit third from bottom in the Western Conference but they have won three of their last five outings so they are coming into a decent spell of form. They have been in the lower depths of the Western Conference scene for too long really so it will be interesting to see if they can convert this recent run of form and push for the top seven come the end of the season. If they are going to do that then they’ll need to max out at home, making this a key game.
The key thing in this run for the Whitecaps is avoiding conceding so many goals. While they are not the worst in an attacking sense they don’t have the sort of offense which is regularly going to score three goals per game to win matches should they not stop conceding goals. There is a sense that they are finding their way although it has to be said that international call ups haven’t done them too many favours here.
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Real Salt Lake
When you consider how close Real Salt Lake were to reaching the MLS Cup final last term, we should be expecting them to be in the position that they are in currently. If they avoid defeat here they will move up to second in the Western Conference table and if they can just find some consistency on their travels then they could end up finishing even better than that. Their run in the play-offs last season showed they can win matches on the road so it isn’t a lack of ability.
To be fair to Real Salt Lake, they do already have a couple of wins on their travels in New England and Montreal so they are not exactly stalling away from home. They should be looking at this as a chance to enhance their away record. To their credit they have played much of this season without one of their talisman in Damir Kreilach and they are going to be without him for a while so that hasn’t helped their campaign to date.
I don’t think international call ups are going to help the Vancouver Whitecaps in this match, especially Lucas Cavallini who is the one real focal point of the attack which can cause the other teams problems. He is away with Canada which isn’t going to be ideal. Real Salt Lake have largely avoided the international call ups and so if there is a winner of this match then I do think it will be them, as they are probably the better team without the international impact.
Real Salt Lake have already been to New England and Montreal and won this season and they are both a lot better than Vancouver, who while offering something in front of goal concede too many for my liking. If you look at the three wins Vancouver have had in this little run two of them have been against a struggling Toronto FC and a Sporting Kansas City side who are ravaged by injuries. That makes me think if there is a winner here it will be the visitors.
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