The Whitecaps are in the midst of a tough stretch and the Revolution know it as they look to take advantage of the tired expansion squad. So far this season there hasn’t been a team that has won a game travelling to the opposite coast so the chances of the Caps securing their first road victory is small. In addition to the travel the Whitecaps will be without their DP Eric Hassli, who has a hamstring injury, and their best player this year Alain Rochat, who is getting a well-deserved rest.
New England will surely attack from the outset as they have struggled to score in recent matches including the 0-0 draw last week against Colorado. The Whitecaps will need to play very tight in the central midfield as it is the main strength of the Revolution’s attack. With Domi missing due to injury there will be a lack of quality service from outside so keeping compact centrally will be vital to keep the game close. While Domi will not be in the lineup, the Caps will have two players who were signed after their first matchup as both Felihaber and Lekic were added as the transfer window closed.
With Harris and now Hassli unavailable for injury, Camilo will need to return to his scoring ways that he displayed early in the season. Most likely he will be paired with either Omar Salgado or Nizar Khalfan, each of whom bring different skills up front. If Dunfield starts on the bench then the central midfield could consist of Koffie and Brovksy with the wingers being Chiumiento and Salinas. The Caps were saved on Wednesday as Davide Chiumiento scored in injury time to salvage a point. In addition to his obvious skills, the Swiss born playmaker has started playing hard as well as showing great fitness levels as he now rarely comes off the pitch late in the game.
The captain returned from a lengthy absence and made an immediate difference on the pitch as Jay DeMerit controlled the backline with authority allowing the midfield to push forward to get the equalizer. It’s unclear if DeMerit will start or come off the bench but if he does start then Akloul or Janicki will be on the bench. It is most likely that Jay Nolly will be starting in goal for another game as he is displaying more and more confidence in net every match he plays.
The Caps will have to withstand the initial attack and if they can do that there is a chance a result could be had on the road. Chiumiento will be the key to the Caps attack with all the missing players and will obviously get extra attention from the Revolution defenders. If the Whitecaps can keep it even late in the game they have shown a tendency to take over the last twenty minutes where they have scored the majority of their goals. It would be just like the Whitecaps to surprise and pull out their second victory when the majority of both experts and fans are expecting a loss.
(image courtesy of Bob Frid)