Whitecaps FC-Sporting Kansas City Preview
The Vancouver Whitecaps have struggled on the road for a good majority of their two-plus seasons in MLS, but their recent success away from home has coach Martin Rennie feeling confident his team can shed that problem.
Vancouver seeks a third victory in four road games when it meets Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday night.
The Whitecaps have gone a dismal 5-28-10 away from home since joining MLS in 2011, though they have won two of their last three on the road. They ended a 15-match road winless skid with a 2-1 victory over New York on June 1 and won 1-0 at D.C. on Saturday.
"We have to improve on (the road) if we want to be on top of the (standings)," said Rennie, whose team sits in fourth place in the Western Conference. "Our record at BC Place is very strong, but we need to win more consistently on the road."
Camilo has been the catalyst recently for Vancouver (7-5-4), which has won three straight and is 5-1-1 following a seven-game winless run. Camilo scored his sixth goal in four matches Saturday, netting a penalty kick in the 48th minute, and is fourth in MLS with nine.
"We're on a really good run at the moment," Rennie said. "We've got confidence."
The Whitecaps, though, will be without midfielder Russell Teibert, who has six assists over his last five games, as he prepares for Gold Cup competition with the Canadian national team.
"I wish I could stay and play (against) K.C. - one more game," Teibert said. "It's a call up to the national team. It's something I've dreamed about since I was little, so I'm extremely excited to get back to the national team and play in the Gold Cup."
Vancouver hopes Teibert's absence won't be an issue against Sporting KC (7-5-5), which ended a four-game winless streak with a 3-2 victory over Columbus on Saturday.
"Three points, and I think that puts us in a position to just start riding the wave a little bit and that's what we gotta do," coach Peter Vermes said. "We've got to bring it home again on Wednesday night."
Kansas City has been one of the stronger home teams in MLS over the past few seasons. It had gone 8-1-3 over its previous 12 league matches at home before going 0-2-1 from May 8-June 1.
That winless streak ended Saturday, when Kei Kamara scored twice while Claudio Bieler added a goal and an assist.
"We have to get back to the swagger that we've had for the past two years, not just here at home," Kamara said. "We want to play as a team and keep going. For us, right now it's really just to get back into that rhythm that we've had before and we know that this is the perfect time, the second half of the season, to get going."
Sporting KC will have forward C.J. Sapong back in the lineup after he missed Saturday's contest due to a one-game suspension.
On Tuesday, the team traded midfielder Michael Thomas to Toronto FC for a 2015 second-round draft pick.