By no means is tomorrows Whitecaps FC match in Portland a must win considering Vancouver is tied for the top of the table in the Western Conference with Seattle and FC Dallas.
Although the six teams that are in playoff positions are separated by a mere two points.
The Caps have dropped their last two games and have only lost two in a row once this season. After those losses, they bounced back with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on the new turf of BC Place at the end of May.
Both teams come into the contest missing key players. Coach Carl Robinson is without his two veteran centre-backs. Kendall Waston has joined Costa Rica for the Gold Cup quarter-finals while Pa-Modou Kah is still injured with a calf problem. Vancouver will have 22-year-olds Christian Dean and Tim Parker on the backline. A positive is the two have played together with the Whitecaps 2 side. Dean has not played with the big club this campaign. Diego Rodriguez could also see time at centre-back.
The Timbers, one point back of Vancouver have some knocks in the midfield. Perhaps with both teams playing with young’uns there will be some increased scoring chances on the tiny pitch of the former civic stadium in the Rose City.
The Caps will play eight matches next month in MLS, Voyageurs Cup and Concacaf Champions League competitions.
A draw at least in Portland and a victory at home next week versus San Jose will hopefully give the Whitecaps some momentum heading into a hellacious month of August.