Whitecaps FC-Revolution Preview

Combining MLS competition with the Canadian championships, the

Vancouver Whitecaps will have played nine matches in the span of

less than a month.

The rigorous schedule hasn’t affected them yet.

Vancouver seeks its sixth consecutive overall victory – and

fourth straight in MLS play – when it visits the New England

Revolution on Saturday night.

The Whitecaps (5-2-2) have won each of their matches since April

21 – three in MLS and two in the Canadian championships. Following

Saturday’s contest, Vancouver will begin a two-match aggregate

final Wednesday against Toronto for the Canadian title with an MLS

game against Seattle in between.

From April 28-May 26, the Whitecaps don’t receive more than

three consecutive days off.

Leading scorer Sebastien Le Toux was supposed to sit out

Wednesday’s 3-1 win over non-MLS member Edmonton, but he entered

the game as a substitute and scored twice.

“I’m happy to get our fifth win in a row and to get ourselves

into a final,” coach Martin Rennie told the team’s official

website. “I thought the way we finished the game was excellent.

It’s nice for us to be in the final of the competition and it’s

obviously a significant moment in the club’s history.”

Rennie’s club beat San Jose 2-1 last Saturday in its most recent

MLS contest on Eric Hassli’s goal in the fourth minute of stoppage

time. Vancouver needs one more league victory to match its total

from last season as an expansion team.

The Whitecaps and Revolution played to a 1-all draw in their

first meeting April 6, 2011, before New England earned a 1-0

victory on Sharlie Joseph’s penalty kick May 14, 2011.

The Revolution’s win came at home, where they’ll play seven of

their next nine games after beginning the season with six of nine

on the road.

New England (3-6-0) has lost four of five after falling 2-1 to

Real Salt Lake last Saturday. The Revolution fell to 1-5-0 on the

road.

“We’ve had a tough schedule so far. A lot of traveling, and been

on the road a lot, so it’s going to be very good to get back home

and have fresh legs,” midfielder Clyde Simms said. “We feel like we

are playing great soccer, just a little unfortunate with our

results.”

While New England has won two of three at home, Vancouver is

2-1-1 on the road in MLS play with three shutouts.

Revolution coach Jay Heaps said he’s impressed with the

Whitecaps’ turnaround after their disappointing inaugural MLS

campaign.

“It’s really about how we defend as a group, but it’s also going

to be how we move the ball,” Heaps said. “We have to make sure we

have a good combination of collective defending with quick movement

of the ball.”

Fernando Cardenas originally received a red card in the 82nd

minute against Salt Lake and was supposed to be suspended for

Saturday’s match. Heaps, though, appealed and the red card was

rescinded, allowing Cardenas to be in the lineup.

Cardenas and Saer Sene had a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win

over Colorado in New England’s last home match May 2.