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RSL vs. Vancouver Whitecaps scouting report

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How will the ‘Caps shakeup shake out? After a midweek match in CCL action, the Whitecaps could rotate significantly. Or not.

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Record

1-2-1 (8th in the West)

Last Matches

1-2 Loss to Tigres in the CCL

4-2 win vs LA

Gameplan

Vancouver has traditionally been a team that likes to sit back in their 4-2-3-1 formation, and launch counter after counter by playing their blazing fast wingers into space. They have done this for the past few years under Carl Robinson and will likely continue to do so until the sun burns out, the planet freezes, and the mole people rise from their underground caverns to claim the planet’s cold dark surface for themselves.

There has been a major shakeup to the squad in recent weeks however, as the Whitecaps sent their star winger to Columbus in exchange for midfielder Tony Tchani. Though it won’t change up the style of play too much (Tchani hits killer long diagonals, and they still have speedy wings) it does upgrade the team’s quality in the center of the park.

Players to watch

(Caveat: Vancouver played in a midweek CCL game, so we’ll likely see a decent amount of rotation in their lineup. The ‘Caps will probably rest everyone I name here just to spite me.)

Matias Laba

Laba is one player who has to be excited to have Tony Tchani in the fold. Tchani only played 26 minutes in his Vancouver debut, but his presence freed his Argentine teammate to score twice in that short period of time (though Montero was the one who created both chances. We’ll get to him in a minute). Laba is a consistently disruptive force in the middle of the field and if he can dictate this game, RSL could be in for a long day.

Fredy Montero

Well known from his time as a Sounder, Montero is back in MLS and ready to break the curse of Camilo (Vancouver strikers have notoriously struggled since selling Sanvezzo after his Golden Boot winning 2013 campaign). So far this season Montero has just one start, but has played in all four games, tallying a goal and assist in 179 minutes of play. His playing time will rise as he acclimates to the club.

Alphonso Davies

A young winger with enormous potential and rumored Premier League interest, Davies is still finding his place in the Vancouver side. His talent is unreal, part of what made Kekuta Manneh expendable, and when it all clicks for him he’s going to be a nightmare for opposing defenders.