The slumping Whitecaps are desperately in need of points heading into Saturday's matchup at Canadian rival Montreal.Winless in five and standing on increasingly precarious ground in the playoff hunt, the Vancouver Whitecaps will be desperate for a result when they face the Montreal Impact on Saturday.
The Whitecaps, who have just one win since July 14, find themselves five points behind the Portland Timbers for the Western Conference's fifth and final playoff slot. Their Canadian rival Montreal is three points behind New York for the top spot in the East while possessing two games in hand on the Red Bulls.
The Impact, however, are coming off back-to-back losses. After collapsing in the second half for a 2-1 home loss to Columbus last weekend, they fell 3-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday in CONCACAF Champions League play. Vancouver made its own trip to San Jose last weekend, playing to a scoreless draw.
After missing Russell Teibert to illness against the Earthquakes, Vancouver will be happy to have the dynamic winger back Saturday. Following his 59 minutes off the bench in San Jose, captain Jay DeMerit could make his return to the starting lineup for the first time since rupturing his Achilles in early March.
For Montreal, striker Marco Di Vaio should be fairly fresh after being limited to 26 minutes in the midweek Champions League match. The MVP candidate tops MLS with 18 goals, including seven in his past five league matches. If Vancouver wants a result, it will need to deny service to Di Vaio, which puts extra pressure on fullbacks Young-Pyo Lee and Jordan Harvey against Montreal wingers Justin Mapp and Andres Romero.