Union-Whitecaps FC Preview
Considering the contrast between the Vancouver Whitecaps' play at home and on the road, they're likely excited to return to BC Place after the club's first loss in six weeks.
Vancouver will try to improve upon the league's only undefeated home record Saturday when they meet the Philadelphia Union.
The Whitecaps (9-6-5) are 7-0-3 at home, including four straight victories while outscoring opponents 12-5. They haven't lost there since a 1-0 defeat to Portland on Oct. 21.
Vancouver's 33 goals are tied with Real Salt Lake for the league's most. Twenty-three have come at BC Place compared to 10 on the road, where the club is 2-6-2.
Saturday's 2-1 loss at Los Angeles was the team's first in seven matches since June 8. The Whitecaps took a 1-0 lead on Camilo's league-leading 13th goal in the 19th minute, but were eventually outshot 22-4.
"I think the expectations on our team are really, really high and I think that we understand that so every time we don't win we're disappointed and we feel that pain of that," coach Martin Rennie said. "But I think tonight was more that we didn't play quite to the quality that we would have liked to, we also missed some good chances and could have at least equalized the game."
Camilo, the club's lone All-Star, has scored 10 times in his last eight matches.
Philadelphia (8-6-7) is close behind Vancouver with 32 goals but has been shut out twice in its last three matches, including a scoreless home draw against Portland last Saturday. The club was shut out once in its previous 18 contests.
The Union now have to create offense without second-leading scorer Conor Casey, who is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Casey had scored five goals over his last seven games to improve his season total to seven.
Philadelphia hopes it can rely on Jack McInerney to return to form. McInerney's 10 goals lead the team, but he's in the midst of a four-match scoring drought. Last Saturday marked his first match since rejoining the club after playing with the U.S. national team in the Gold Cup.
"I don't think Jack, in any way, shape or form, is having a bad run of games," manager John Hackworth told the league's official website. "He's been finding the back of the net every time he's on the field in training. I hope he can do it this Saturday for sure."
Saturday marks Sebastien Le Toux's first match against Vancouver since being traded from the Whitecaps to New York last season. The midfielder's nine assists lead MLS.
The Union are winless over their last four road matches while conceding nine goals, with their last victory away from home coming 1-0 at Chicago on May 11.
The teams played a scoreless draw in Philadelphia in last year's only meeting. They had split their previous two matches, both 1-0 results.