Preview: Colorado at Vancouver, Oct. 27

Win in Vancouver in regular season finale would clinch a home playoff match next week

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs COLORADO RAPIDS
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
Oct. 27, 2013 (WEEK 35, MLS Game #322)
6 pm MT (Altitude2)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC bring down the curtain on their 2013 season against a Colorado Rapids team still looking to secure its postseason future when the clubs face off in the back end of a home-and-home series Sunday afternoon at BC Place. The Rapids’ 3-2 win last week in Colorado eliminated Whitecaps FC from playoff consideration, and left the visitors needing a single point to clinch a place in the top five in the Western Conference and a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

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REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. AR1 (bench): Ian Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Younes Marrakchi
MLS Career: 180 games; FC/gm: 26.7; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 51; pens: 61

DISABLED LIST: COL: Davy Armstrong (season-ending injury); Kory Kindle (season-ending injury)
SUSPENDED: VAN: Jordan Harvey (caution accumulation; through Oct. 27)
WARNINGS:
FINED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Camilo Sanvezzo … COL: Shane O'Neill
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (7 meetings): Whitecaps FC 2 wins, 8 goals … Rapids 4 wins, 11 goals … Ties 1
AT VANCOUVER (3 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 4 goals … Rapids 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 1

2013 (MLS)
8/17: COL 2, VAN 0 (Brown 36, Buddle 79)
10/19: COL 3, VAN 2 (Torres 41, 77; Brown 51 – Manneh 32; Sanvezzo 75)

  • The teams are meeting in the back end of a home-and-home series to end the season. Gabriel Torres scored twice, including the stunning game-winner from long distance, as the Rapids maintained their playoff hopes and officially eliminated Whitecaps FC in a 3-2 win Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • In the first meeting this year between the teams, Deshorn Brown and Edson Buddle scored to lead the Rapids to a 2-0 victory Aug. 17 in Commerce City, Colorado’s first win vs. Whitecaps FC since 2011.
  • Coaches record: Oscar Pareja vs. VAN: P7 W4 L2 D1 … Martin Rennie v COL: P5 W2 L2 D1

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • Vancouver jumped in front in the 32nd minute, thanks to a moment of brilliance from teenage sensation Kekuta Manneh. Cutting in from the left side, he sent an unstoppable blast from just outside the penalty box into the top corner, leaving Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin helpless.
  • But the Rapids found the equalizer nine minutes later. Colorado defender Drew Moor was dragged down in the box by Carlyle Mitchell and referee Armando Villarreal pointed to the spot. Gabriel Torres coolly converted to make it 1-1.
  • On the other side of halftime, the Rapids took just six minutes to take the lead. From a long goal kick sent downfield and over everyone, rookie Deshorn Brown won the race to the ball and niftily chipped over Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted.
  • But Whitecaps FC restored even terms in the 75th minute, when Villarreal pointed to the spot after Shane O’Neill’s sloppy challenge took down Jordan Harvey in the box, and Camilo converted for his 19th goal of the season.
  • Two minutes later, however, and the Rapids had hit for the winner. Torres cut inside from the right flank and unleashed a blast from 19 yards out that bounced off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net, pushing Colorado to the brink of a playoff berth.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-2-3-1): Clint Irwin - Marvell Wynne, Shane O'Neill, Drew Moor, Christopher Klute - Hendry Thomas, Nathan Sturgis - Vicente Sanchez (Martin Rivero 79), Nick LaBrocca (Edson Buddle 46), Deshorn Brown (German Mera 83) - Gabriel Torres.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-1-2-3): David Ousted - Lee Young-Pyo, Carlyle Mitchell, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey - Jun Marques Davidson (Kenny Miller 84) - Nigel Reo-Coker, Matt Watson (Russell Teibert 61) - Daigo Kobayashi (Darren Mattocks 67), Camilo Sanvezzo, Kekuta Manneh.

 

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

Vancouver Whitecaps FC saw their two-game road winning streak come to an end and were officially eliminated from playoff contention in the 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Whitecaps FC are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 45 points from 33 matches.

TEAM NEWS

  • Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made no changes to the team that defeated Seattle Sounders FC 4-1 at CenturyLink Field.
  • “We didn’t defend well enough on those goals that we’ve lost,” Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie said. “At the end of the day, we’ve come away from home and scored two goals. It turns out to be our 50th goal of the season but we’ve let in three. That’s been the frustrating part of this game and in some ways our season. I think we’ve become much more expansive, much more entertaining, scored a lot more goals… but we’ve not tightened up well enough at the back.”
  • Whitecaps FC also saw their three-game road undefeated streak come to an end with the defeat in Colorado.
  • “The inconsistency of this team is kind of what hurt us,” said captain Jay DeMerit. “We had some fantastic performances and showed we can compete with anyone. But in this league, consistency is a key, especially at home. … We didn’t win enough big games.”
  • Kekuta Manneh scored his fourth goal over the last two matches, making a second consecutive start in attack. The 18-year-old Manneh has six goals in 19 appearances in his rookie season.
  • Camilo Sanvezzo scored his 19th goal of the campaign – one off the lead for the MLS Golden Boot, held by Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio and Chicago’s Mike Magee. Camilo has 36 goals over his three MLS seasons.
  • Daigo Kobayashi recorded his third assist over the last two matches, all coming on Manneh goals.
  • Nigel Reo-Coker scored his first MLS goal, making his 31st league appearance for Whitecaps FC this season.
  • After missing the previous three matches through injury, Kenny Miller was able to return to service, coming on for the final six minutes.
  • The match will be the final game for Whitecaps FC fullback Lee Young-Pyo, who has announced his retirement following the contest.
  • “It will be the most memorable game in my life,” said Lee. “I’m a happy guy. I learned so many things throughout my career, much more than I had expected when I was young. It is a great time to finish with a great team and great people. I deeply appreciate our fans, my teammates, and all of the staff in the club. I’m sure Vancouver Whitecaps FC will remain in my mind as my team forever.”

 

COLORADO RAPIDS

The Colorado Rapids won their fourth home game on the trot with the 3-2 defeat of Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 51 points from 33 matches.

TEAM NEWS

  • Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made three changes to the team that dropped a 1-0 decision to the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium. Nick LaBrocca, Deshorn Brown and Gabriel Torres all came into the team, in place of Atiba Harris, Martin Rivero and Edson Buddle.
  • “It was a very difficult game to face because we have young players that have never been on this stage, fighting for our season. It was one of those games that you knew it would not be pretty,” said Pareja. “They showed heart, they showed character, and after the PK from Vancouver, they bounced back. That was great for them. All the credit to these players.”
  • After missing the San Jose match while on national team duty with Panama, Gabriel Torres returned to the Rapids lineup from the disappointment of failing to qualify for the FIFA World Cup and scored a pair of goals.
  • "The first time I spoke with Gaby after that game in the middle of the week, the first thing he said was ‘Oscar, I'm ready to do it. That's why I'm here. I'm going to play hard because we need that result.’ Today, look at what he has done,” said Pareja.
  • Said Torres: "[The game with Panama] was important [to me]. We needed these points to get up in the [Western Conference standings]. We knew there were a lot of different situations and what we needed were goals and to get the team those three points [but it didn’t happen]."
  • Torres has all three of his MLS goals and an assist over the last two matches, both home wins for the Rapids.
  • “I think [Torres is] a high-class player. He showed it today in front of his fans. … He showed heart,” said Pareja. “I think it was contagious for everyone. That's the way to lead a team. When you're that heavy in the group, that's the way you do it. The players respect that.”
  • Deshorn Brown returned to the starting lineup after a one-match absence while on international duty with Jamaica and scored his 10th goal of the season, one goal shy of the MLS rookie record set by Damani Ralph with the Chicago Fire in 2003.
  • “We got our boys back, [Gabriel] Torres and [Deshorn] Brown, and when they’re isolated one-v-one and when they’re in dangerous positions, they showed you what they can do tonight, and we got to keep encouraging them to score goals like Torresís,” said Drew Moor.
  • Nick LaBrocca returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Sept. 20, playing the first half in a central midfield role before giving way to Edson Buddle.
  • “It worked well,” Pareja said. “[Torres] wanted to drop 10 yards and attack from that side and playing off Edson. He looked more free I would say. He had a little bit more room to have some action and get in dangerous spaces, so I like that combination.”
  • The Rapids will secure a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs with a result in Vancouver, or the failure of San Jose to score at least 13 goals in a victory vs. FC Dallas on Saturday.
  • “[Vancouver was] a desperate team, and we knew they were going to throw everything at us. They certainly did that, and again I think that speaks to our character to be able to hold them off – we didn’t want to go back to their place and have to worry about them,” Moor said. “But we’re not in the playoffs yet, and we don’t just want to scrape into the playoffs and not be playing well. We need to build on what we’ve created over the past couple months and continue the momentum.”