The Vancouver Whitecaps have gone 14 straight games without a win, a streak that started against the Philadelphia Union all the way at the start of the 2011 MLS season. That streak has gone on despite the play of designated player Eric Hassli and fellow striker Camilo Sanvezzo.
In the first meeting between the two sides back on March 26, the Union's defense consistently frustrated the hot headed Hassli to the point where he began to slip up with his behavior. 57 minutes into a then 0-0 match, the Frenchman received his second yellow of the game, completely changing the rest of the game. The Union went on to win the game 1-0 on Carlos Ruiz's first goal of the season.
Hassli has continued to have trouble with his discipline since that Union win, picking up four more yellow cards (including a two card red card) and a straight red with his latest caution, that straight red, coming against Chivas USA on July 1. His temperament has not granted Hassli the ability to give the Whitecaps full value on his designated player deal, but his play has provided the Canadian club with three draws and one win, based on his goal scoring.
Much like Hassli, Sanvezzo has been vital to the Whitecaps collecting any points along their 14 game winless streak. Three of his four goals have helped Vancouver to draws, most notably his brace against Sporting Kansas City.
The Brazilian is more of a threat to the Union's chances of taking all three points, perhaps because of his unknown nature to many throughout the league. If the Union's defense sticks to its game plan of hassling and harassing Hassli, then Camilo will have the opportunity to work his way through an aggressive central defensive pairing of Danny Califf and Carlos Valdes. Sanvezzo is not on par with Hassli, in the least, in terms of overall skill, but he is just as lethal if given the chance.
The following video is proof that Sanvezzo will step up and finish off chances given to him by a defensive mistake:
The world has seen Hassli's game saving goal against the Seattle Sounders last week by this point in time, but it's his less recognized teammate that can easily cause provides if the Union have even the tiniest lapse.
If the Union are successful in getting Hassli to waste his talents by getting himself thrown out of the game, thne Sanvezzo will be of little concern for the currently high flying Union. Otherwise the Union will have to put up with the Brazilian who has found himself some form after failing to catch on in Korea, Malta and also Toronto FC (though he was never signed by the team).