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Opposition Breakdown: Vancouver Whitecaps

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Breaking down the Vancouver Whitecaps

MLS: Portland Timbers at Los Angeles Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Amidst the chaos - and for good measure - that is the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, you may have forgotten that there was an actual match this weekend. And that’s okay! We’re all just humans, we get it.

But, anyways, we’ve broken down the Vancouver Whitecaps for you, as Confidential analyzed their form, tactics, BC Place, and how to best beat them.


Form

The Vancouver Whitecaps are three matches into the MLS season - one more than the LA Galaxy - and have a mixed bag of results. Vancouver won their first two matches of the season by a score of 2-1 against the Montreal Impact and Houston Dynamo.

But against Atlanta United on the road, the Whitecaps were demolished by a score of 4-1. Certainly, a red card in the 13th minute to Kendall Watson was the start of their demise.

Tactics

In their two victories so far this season, Carl Robinson, the head coach of the Whitecaps, lined his side up in a 4-1-4-1.

Kei Kamara led the ‘Caps up front and scored a goal in both of their first two matches. Everywhere Kamara goes, he scores goals. That’s all he does. The 33-year-old striker.

In the 4-1-4-1 formation, Russell Teibert is the holding midfielder. This formation doesn’t work without Teibert. A native of Niagara Falls, Teibert cleans up mistakes. He’s the link between the defense and the midfield.

There was a switch in formation from Robinson against Atlanta. They switched to a back three, with five in midfield. Robinson did this try and clog up the middle of the pitch to make it harder for AUFC to find space on the ground for their lightning quick counters.

Because of that, even without Watson, Robinson is most likely going to switch back to the 4-1-4-1 that was successful for him in the first two weeks of the season.

BC Place

Remember when the StubHub Center was a fortress? Well, Vancouver have turned BC Place into an intimidating atmosphere. They’ve won each of their last 10 matches. Can the Galaxy break that duck?

Sigi Schmid and company are going to be without of attacking talent; although many would probably argue that the Galaxy aren’t missing much with Giovani dos Santos out.

How to Beat the Whitecaps

Kendall Watson is going to be the biggest blow for Vancouver tomorrow night. Watson is a beast in their defense and it’s unlikely that anyone else on the roster can bring the intensity he does.

The Galaxy are going to want to look at that Atlanta tape closely if they’re going to have a chance of coming away with three points. Speed is what broke Vancouver last weekend, and that is something that this team does have.

Ema Boateng and Romain Alessandrini out wide have the potential to stretch the Whitecaps defense. If those two can accomplish that, then gaps will open up, allowing our striker and midfielders ample room to run. That’s, of course, easier said then done.

What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear from you! Keep following along as we bring you more #zLAtan and match coverage all weekend long!