Move to top of Western Conference
By Katie Czenczek, Staff Writer
In a decisive match against Minnesota United on September 13, 2017, the Vancouver Whitecaps were able to secure first place in the Western Conference in the Major Soccer League (MLS). Although both the Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers are both tied for first place at 44 points each, the Whitecaps have two more league games to play before playoffs start, thus giving them more opportunities to remain in first place.
The match between Minnesota United and Vancouver Whitecaps showed what the Whitecaps are truly capable of. They held onto possession for the majority of the match, and only gave Minnesota a decent chance at scoring once. Defence is what wins games, which is a concept the Whitecaps struggled with earlier in the season. In order for them to keep their position as first in the west, they will need to continue to keep their defence unified and working as one unit.
However, capitalizing on goal scoring opportunities is just as crucial to what makes a successful team and what does not. Though the Whitecaps do not appear to have an issue with scoring goals at the moment, they will need to keep up their form. Scoring three on Minnesota United, the Whitecaps demonstrated how easy it is to score a goal when forwards are set up properly. Marcel de Jong made a beautiful long pass from centre up to Yordy Reyna within the first five minutes of the match, setting up the tone of the entire game. Without both of these players capitalizing on a goal scoring opportunity, this goal would have not been able to happen. I guess that’s why most soccer teams are named something “United.”
Be sure to check out more Whitecaps games as they try to secure first place position entering the playoffs!