To learn a little bit about United’s opponent, we turned to the experts: our counterparts over at 86 Forever. We asked them three questions about the ‘Caps and also got an idea of a possible starting lineup for Saturday’s match.
Q: Vancouver has a new manager this year in Marc Dos Santos. What are you expecting to see from him and what have you already seen?
A: Marc Dos Santos has stated that he would transition this team from the sit-back-and-wait style of Carl Robinson to a high-press attacking club. He has already shown that he has a vision for this club players that do not fit are gone. It’s difficult to know if this will work, but MDS has made it known that this is his team.
Q: The Whitecaps are almost an entirely new team. How necessary was the overhaul? How is the roster shaping up?
A: The 2018 season did not end well for the Vancouver Whitecaps. There appeared to be a lot of discontent in the club with some major cliques forming. Was the overhaul necessary? Probably not entirely, but I can’t really look at any decision that was made and say the club will be hurting for it this season. The roster is shaping up well, but it has been very late. Several key players (e.g. Hwang In-Beom) made their Whitecaps debut in the final preseason match, while others have yet to feature. The club has some good (potential) depth across the field with the biggest hole being left back. That will certainly be the spot that opposing teams attack and rightfully so.
Q: What is the expectation for Vancouver this season?
A: Expectations are always high for fans. However, with all the new pieces, it will be hard for the Whitecaps to be overly competitive. It is MLS though, so anything is possible. Dos Santos made the goal this season to make the playoffs. If that happens, or if they are competing for a playoff position in the final two matches of the season, I think we can consider it a success.
Projected Starting XI (4-3-3)
Nerwinski, Henry, Godoy, PC
Rose, Erice, Martins
Reyna, Montero, Bangoura