Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FC | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Toronto FC
2017 MLS Regular Season
BC Place – Vancouver, BC
Saturday, March 18 – 4 pm ET
WATCH: CTV, TSN1 in Canada | MLS LIVE in the US
The match will be a solid test for both outfits, each of whom are looking for their first win of the year. The ‘Caps enter the match coming off of a tough 3-2 loss at San Jose last weekend and a difficult 2-0 defeat at Tigres in Leg 1 of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series on Tuesday, while Toronto head to Vancouver following a 2-2 draw at Philadelphia last Saturday.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Saturday’s match will be the third in eight days for Vancouver, who will be looking for their first MLS win of 2017 after starting the season 0-1-1. The ‘Caps had a difficult last week, racing out to a 2-0 lead before losing goalkeeper David Ousted to a 23rd-minute red card and falling 3-2 at San Jose last Saturday before dropping a difficult 2-0 result at Liga MX club Tigres in CCL action on Tuesday.
Though they’ve logged a lot of miles both in the air and on the field over the past few days, the ‘Caps don’t really have the luxury of taking it easy this weekend. Toronto are obviously a difficult opponent, and Vancouver won’t want to start the season with just one point through three matches after their disappointing 2016.
- Suspended: David Ousted (red card)
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT – Brett Levis (ACL tear); Yordy Reyna (foot surgery); David Edgar (PCL, MCL tear)
Projected starting XI (4-4-2): Paolo Tornaghi (GK) – Sheanon Williams, Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Jordan Harvey – Alphonso Davies, Matias Laba, Andrew Jacobson, Cristian Techera – Kekuta Manneh, Fredy Montero
Notes: Following their draw and loss to open the season, Vancouver have only won once in their previous seven MLS matches (1-3-3).
No strangers to opening the season with a lengthy away trip, Toronto will hit the road again on Saturday, playing their third straight road match to start the year. TFC picked up acceptable results in their first two away games, drawing 0-0 at Real Salt Lake in the opener before tying 2-2 at Philadelphia last weekend.
While a road point is nothing to sneeze at, Toronto would be thrilled to pick up a victory before returning home for their fourth match of the year on March 31. Taking all three points at a Canadian rival would be that much sweeter. Defeating the ‘Caps won’t be easy, however, especially with star attacker Sebastian Giovinco ruled out due to a leg contusion suffered against the Union.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT – Sebastian Giovinco (Leg contusion); Ashtone Morgan (Stress fracture in foot); QUESTIONABLE – Steven Beitashour (Concussion protocol)
Projected starting XI (3-5-2): Clint Irwin (GK) – Eriq Zavaleta, Drew Moor, Nick Hagglund – Steven Beitashour, Armando Cooper, Michael Bradley, Victor Vazquez, Justin Morrow – Tosaint Ricketts, Jozy Altidore
Notes: With last weekend’s draw in Philadelphia, TFC have now drawn six of their last eight MLS regular season matches (1-1-6) … Last week’s match at Philadelphia snapped a run of 16 straight regular season games in which Giovinco had at least one shot on target and at least three total shots. The Italian had one total shot and zero shots on goal before being removed in first-half stoppage time due to injury.
Toronto and Vancouver are tied with matching 3-3-1 records in their all-time regular season series. The away team has won the last two meetings, with Vancouver beating Toronto 4-3 at BMO Field last season and TFC topping the ‘Caps 3-1 at BC Place in 2015.
- Overall: Vancouver 3 wins (13 goals) … Toronto 3 wins (13 goals) … Ties 1
- At Vancouver: Vancouver 2 wins (6 goals) … Toronto 1 win (5 goals) … Ties 0
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Apolinar Mariscal, Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Daniel Radford