Whitecaps likely without Hassli
In the midst of a busy portion of the season, Vancouver Whitecaps coach Teitur Thordarson is doing his best to regularly rotate players to keep them fresh.
He likely won't have the services of one of his top scoring threats when his team travels across North America.
Eric Hassli is not expected to play as the Whitecaps try to avoid extending their winless streak to 10 games Saturday night when they meet the New England Revolution.
This is going to be the seventh match in 22 days for the Whitecaps (1-4-5), who will be traveling back to Vancouver to host Toronto FC in the first leg of the Canadian Championship final Wednesday.
The heavy schedule and demanding travel from the Northwest has taken its toll on the Whitecaps, who are 0-4-5 since defeating Toronto in their MLS debut March 19. Thordarson noticed his team missing some of its usual aggressiveness in Wednesday's 1-1 draw with San Jose.
"In most of the games we have created three to five good chances," Thordarson told the Whitecaps' official website. "(On Wednesday) we didn't manage that and I think the reason is that some of the players are lacking energy. We've played so many games lately, every third day, so that obviously will be seen somewhere."
Despite being physically drained, Davide Chiumiento stepped up for the Whitecaps and scored in second-half injury time to help the club salvage the tie.
"We were struggling a bit, energy wise, and that is understandable," Thordarson told the league's official website. "Confidence-wise, it was without a doubt a very, very important goal."
The tie may have come at a cost, however, as Hassli injured his hamstring in the second half and was replaced by Omar Salgado. Hassli, tied with Camilo for the team lead with three goals, is doubtful for this game.
Hassli's last goal came in a 1-all draw against the Revolution on April 6.
The Whitecaps were on the verge of winning that game until New England's Ilija Stolica scored three minutes into second-half stoppage time.
The Revolution (2-3-4) have scored in only one of their five games since.
New England played to a scoreless draw with Colorado last Saturday. The Revolution have been held scoreless for 187 consecutive minutes but had some opportunities against the Rapids, twice hitting the goalpost.
"It is getting better but it's still not good enough," said Matt Reis, who finished with two saves in posting his first shutout of the season. "If we want to compete for the title it's got to be better. We've got to create more chances."