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Match #14 Preview: Philadelphia Union at Vancouver Whitecaps FC

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Setting: Saturday, June 18 at Empire Field in Vancouver, Canada; kickoff scheduled for 10:00 PM Eastern

Broadcast Information: The Comcast Network (J.P. Dellacamera, Taylor Twellman, Bob Rigby), with coverage beginning at 9:30 PM Eastern / Rogers Sportsnet ONE (Craig MacEwen, Martin Nash), CFTE-AM TEAM 1410 (Peter Schaad, Paul Dolan) in Vancouver / MLS Direct Kick, MLS MatchDay Live (TCN feed)

Vancouver's Record: 1-6-8, 11 points, ninth in West

Vancouver's Last Match: Draw, 2-2 at Seattle

Philadelphia vs. Vancover This Season: 1-0 (Vancouver 0 @ Philly 1 on March 26)

For the Vancover Perspective, Visit Eighty Six Forever

On Saturday night in British Columbia, two teams at opposite ends of their respective conferences come head to head as the Vancouver Whitecaps and Philadelphia Union meet for the second time in the 2011 MLS season. Philadelphia finds itself riding high, tied atop the Eastern Conference with the New York Red Bulls with 22 points from 13 games. Vancouver, on the other hand, has a mere 11 points from 15 games and has already undergone a coaching change, but may be on the road to recovery as they snatched an valuable draw on the road last week in Seattle off an Eric Hassli goal that the entire world has surely seen by now.

The two teams have already met once this season, as Philadelphia earned a 1-0 win in a cagey affair that served as the Union's 2011 home opener at PPL Park. Hassli was issued what would end up being the first of a few red cards this year, and Carlos "El Pescadito" Ruiz scored a late winner, his first goal in Union uniform. Going in to that game, each team had a perfect record of 3 points from one game, but the circumstances are completely different for this game. New Vancouver coach Tom Soehn will continue trying to right the ship against a Union team looking to consolidate their position atop the East. After the break, predicted lineups and an injury report.

Predicted lineups:

Vancouver: Joe Cannon; Jonathan Leathers, Jay DeMerit, Mouloud Akloul, Alain Rochat; Shea Salinas, Gershon Koffie, Jeb Brovsky, Camilo; Davide Chiumiento; Eric Hassli.

Philadelphia: Faryd Mondragon; Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Jordan Harvey; Justin Mapp, Brian Carroll, Kyle Nakazawa, Michael Farfan; Danny Mwanga, Sebastien Le Toux.

Injury report:

Vancouver: OUT: GK Jay Nolly (L foot strain); MF Philippe Davies (L ankle sprain); FW Atiba Harris (R knee surgery); MF John Thorrington (R calf strain); QUESTIONABLE: GK Brian Sylvestre (R adductor strain).

Philadelphia: OUT: MF Amobi Okugo (L ankle sprain); DOUBTFUL: MF Gabriel Farfan (R quad strain)

News and Notes: 

  • Vancouver are on a 14-game winless streak, their only win of the season coming during First Kick against Toronto FC. This is already the longest winless streak set within a single season in MLS history. It's the third longest overall as well.
  • Meanwhile, the Union are on a four-game unbeaten run, which includes draws against the last two MLS Cup champions in the last two weeks.
  • The Union are one of three teams in MLS that remain unbeaten at home. The others are the LA Galaxy (4-0-4) and Sporting Kansas City (1-0-1).
  • Philadelphia has scored one goal or fewer in 11 of 13 games, but did score six in a single game in an away rout of Toronto FC.
  • The Union are third in goals allowed per game, with a figure of 0.85. This trails Real Salt Lake (0.58) and Los Angeles (0.82).