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October 19, 2013 6:00 PM EDT
Dick's Sporting Goods Park — Denver, Colorado
Referee:‬ A. Villarreal‎
Attendance:‬ 18103‎

MLS Preview: Colorado Rapids - Vancouver Whitecaps

The Whitecaps can pass the Rapids for the final Western Conference playoff spot with a win Saturday as they kick off a home-and-home series to cap the regular season.

By Thomas Floyd

Daigo Kobayashi, Darren Mattocks and Nigel Reo-Coker celebrate Vancouver Whitecaps goal
Getty Images
Two short weeks ago, the Colorado Rapids were a force to be reckoned with and the Vancouver Whitecaps were all but done. But in the congested Western Conference playoff race, it didn't take long to reshape that picture.

With a win Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, the Whitecaps can actually draw even with the Rapids — and pass them for the final playoff spot on the total goals tiebreaker. That would put Vancouver in excellent shape as it prepares to conclude the season — and an oddly timed home-and-home series — at BC Place against Colorado.

Although Vancouver's odds seemed slim going into last weekend, a stunning 4-1 win at the Seattle Sounders coupled with Colorado's loss to the San Jose Earthquakes gave the Whitecaps new life. But they will still be eliminated with a loss to Colorado on Saturday.

Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie has a lineup dilemma up top, as he must figure out how (or if) he wants to get forwards Camilo, Darren Mattocks and Kekuta Manneh on the field together. His typical 4-3-3 could do the job, but after watching Manneh notch a hat trick while playing in a 4-4-2 against Seattle, he could be tempted to stick with that alignment.

Also factoring into the equation is striker Kenny Miller, who seems poised for a role off the bench as he works his way back from an adductor injury.

The returns of Gabriel Torres and Deshorn Brown from international duty present Rapids coach Oscar Pareja with his own set of questions, though it seems likely the pair will step back into the lineup at the expense of Edson Buddle and Atiba Harris.

Field Report
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Head to Head
USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Apr 5, 2014 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 - Colorado Rapids 2
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USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Oct 27, 2013 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3 - Colorado Rapids 0
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USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Oct 19, 2013 Colorado Rapids 3 - Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
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USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Aug 17, 2013 Colorado Rapids 2 - Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0
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USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Sep 23, 2012 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 - Colorado Rapids 2
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Clinton IrwinGoalkeeper
3Drew MoorDefender
22Marvell WynneDefender
-Shane O'NeillDefender
15Chris KluteDefender
2Nick LaBroccaMidfielder
20H. ThomasMidfielder
24Nathan SturgisDefender
7V. SánchezStriker
26Deshorn BrownStriker
30Gabriel TorresStriker
-Matt PickensGoalkeeper
-G. MeraDefender
-Anthony WallaceMidfielder
-Martín RiveroMidfielder
23Atiba HarrisStriker
-J. CastrillónMidfielder
9Edson BuddleStriker
1David OustedGoalkeeper
12Young-Pyo LeeDefender
-Carlyle MitchellDefender
2Jordan HarveyDefender
6Jay DeMeritDefender
29Matthew WatsonMidfielder
20Nigel Reo-CokerMidfielder
16Daigo KobayashiMidfielder
-Jun DavidsonMidfielder
37Camilo Da Silva SanvezzoStriker
23Kekuta MannehStriker
18Brad KnightonGoalkeeper
16J. LeverónDefender
28Gershon KoffieMidfielder
31Russell TeibertMidfielder
9Kenny MillerStriker
11Darren MattocksStriker
19Erik HurtadoStriker
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
E. Torres E. Torres
Chivas USA
6 3
Clint Dempsey Clint Dempsey
Seattle Sounders
6 1
V. Sánchez V. Sánchez
4 3
Federico Higuaín Federico Higuaín
Columbus Crew
4 2
Bradley Wright-Phillips Bradley Wright-Phillips
NY Red Bulls
4 1