The Vancouver Whitecaps are in a very different position compared to the last time that they played the Portland Timbers. The Whitecaps have turned their fortunes around this season and are now sitting only two points behind the Timbers in the standings thanks to a surge of five wins and one draw, including a win over the Seattle Sounders, between June 15th and July 14th. Now, however, they may be slipping again, having lost their last two games in a row.
What should we expect to see from this talented, but unpredictable team? We reached out to Jon Szekeres of SB Nation's Whitecaps blog, 86 Forever and he was kind enough to answer our questions.
Quite a few injuries and suspensions for the Whitecaps this weekend. Which players will be missing the game and which absence will be the most difficult for Vancouver to replace?
The walking wounded list is hard to count, because so many players might be coming back from injury. Here's what we know; the 'Caps may have Andy O'Brien back in the lineup on the backline, but names like Jay Demerit, and Darren Mattocks still have a ways to go before they can play. Brad Rusin was dinged up last week but looks good to play. The biggest blow to the 'Caps is Kenny Miller, who will probably miss this week (and more) with a groin pull. Given Miller has really developed chemistry with Russell Teibert and Camilo, he'll be very tough to replace.
Just how good is Camilo right now? How have recent opponents tried to defend him?
Camilo is on fire. He's been scoring his goals in a dizzying array of ways; free kicks, headers, gorgeous solo efforts. He's been an absolute pleasure to watch, and his versatility has made him a little harder to mark for defenders. Most just try to keep the tiny Brazilian in front of them, and then try to negate his trademark cut in move. It's tough to defend Camilo when he's getting all-world setups from Russell Teibert as well.
Injuries, and a poor red card from Jun-Marques Davidson are the biggest reasons, honestly. This squad has shown that they can put bad losses (and stretches of the season) behind them and move forward. I don't believe you'll see a high flight attack from the wounded Whitecaps, but more of a defensive effort as they try to grind out a point without some important players.