Vancouver’s defence should be fresh, heading into their only meeting of the season with the Ohio squad. This is the middle game of three matches in eight days for Carl Robinson’s unit.
In the first leg of the Voyageurs Cup semi-final at Toronto FC on Wednesday, the ‘Caps played a young line-up and lost to a more experienced TFC side that featured big money stars Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley. Starting goalkeeper David Ousted, along with defenders Steven Beitashour (pictured), Jay DeMerit, Andy O’Brien and Jordan Harvey should be back in the starting 11, after getting the mid-week game off.
It could be the last game Beitashour plays in Whitecaps FC (3-2-4) colours for awhile, as the right fullback is headed to Austria to begin training with Iran’s World Cup squad. The 27-year-old was named to the 28-man preliminary roster. Countries will take 22 players to Brazil.
This will be the ‘Caps first regular season game since the departure of veteran striker Kenny Miller. Darren Mattocks is out with a hamstring injury, which could mean recently recalled striker Omar Salgado could start up top.
The Crew (3-3-3) will be looking for their first win since March 29th when they defeated Seattle. Since starting the campaign with three straight victories, Columbus has a trio of draws and losses. They have not scored a goal in almost two and a half games.
The Crew is led by Federico Higuain up front. The Argentine leads the club with four goals and a couple of assists.
While both teams are fifth in their respective divisions, the Crew holds a one-point lead over DC United, while the Caps have a five-point advantage over Los Angeles. The Galaxy host Portland earlier in the day.
Kick-off is at 4:30pm on Saturday. Vancouver returns home for the second leg versus TFC on Wednesday night at BC Place.