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[monks data]
Vancouver Whitecaps
Major League Soccer
Jul 13, 2023 at 3.30am UK
BC Place Stadium
Austin FC

Vancouver
2 - 1
Austin

Vite (1'), Cordova (72')
Sartini (53'), Cubas (87'), Blackmon (90+10')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Redes (47')
Redes (52'), Lundqvist (78')

Preview: Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Austin FC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Major League Soccer clash between Vancouver Whitecaps and Austin FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

On Wednesday, the Vancouver Whitecaps will play their second of four consecutive MLS matches at BC Place Stadium when they take on Austin FC.

The Caps' homestand began on a sour note as they squandered a pair of second-half advantages, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Seattle Sounders, while the Verde and Black won on the road for only the third time this season, defeating Minnesota United 4-1.


Match preview

Vancouver Whitecaps defender Mathias Laborda (2) receives a red card on July 9, 2023© Reuters

In what was at times an end-to-end contest against their biggest rivals, the Whitecaps were uncharacteristically poor when in front, losing despite leading at the half for the third time this year, though Saturday was the first time that has happened to them since matchday two.

That loss ended a nine-game unbeaten run for them at home in MLS, and it was the first time they had come away empty-handed in a domestic clash when scoring multiple goals since falling to the Portland Timbers in April 2022 (3-2).

Vancouver are now barely clinging to the final playoff position in the Western Conference, ahead of Sporting Kansas City on goal difference.

This group have looked dangerous when playing long balls down the middle to their speedy and skilled attacking threats, keeping opposing defences on their heels with that approach.

They hold a 100% home record versus Austin, winning both matches played under the dome by a combined score of 4-1, and are unbeaten in their last nine regular-season encounters at BC Place against Texas-based sides, a streak which dates back to 2018 after they were beaten in Vancouver, 2-1 by Dallas.

Losing at home in the regular season is pretty rare for Vancouver, who have only dropped two matches this year at BC Place, while losing consecutive games at home in this competition is even more unusual, something the Caps have not done since Vanni Sartini took charge.

Austin FC midfielder Ethan Finlay (13) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal on June 21, 2023© Reuters

Following a difficult first half of the season, winning just five of their opening 17 domestic outings, the Verde and Black seem to be back on track, unbeaten in four successive league fixtures, while moving up to fifth in the Western Conference table.

Their victory over Minnesota gave them one more away from home than they had in their inaugural MLS campaign (2021), but it is still well short of what they managed to do last season when they tied Los Angeles FC for the most road victories (eight) in the Western Conference.

In what was their best-ever regular season campaign a year ago, Austin scored the third-most goals in MLS (65), and lately they have rediscovered that quality in front of goal, scoring 11 times on their current unbeaten run.

Another encouraging sign for Josh Wolff is that numerous Austin players have contributed to their recent success, as their last eight goals scored have come from seven different individuals.

They have handled the Texas humidity well, losing only twice in Austin this year, but it has been a different story when heading north, winning just one regular season encounter in Canada since beginning their MLS journey in 2021.

Their 1-1 draw at Inter Miami at the beginning of July was just the second time they had come back all year to earn a point away from home when facing a second-half deficit.

Vancouver Whitecaps Major League Soccer form:


Vancouver Whitecaps form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L

Austin FC Major League Soccer form:


Team News

Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini before the match on June 21, 2023© Reuters

The Whitecaps will be without Mathias Laborda after the Uruguayan was cautioned twice in their loss to Seattle, Russell Teibert sat out on Saturday because of left knee pain and Andres Cubas was not available due to a hamstring injury.

Javain Brown is still with the Jamaican national team as they advanced into the Gold Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 win over Guatemala, while Julian Gressel will remain with the USA after they defeated Ali Ahmed and Canada in a dramatic penalty shootout after their quarter-final clash ended in a 2-2 draw.

Ranko Veselinovic notched the opener for the second time in three matches, Ryan Gauld has been involved in the last eight goals scored by Vancouver in this competition, while Levonte Johnson made his first career MLS start this past weekend, playing 83 minutes before being replaced by Simon Becher.

Austin will have to make do without Daniel Pereira for this one after he received another caution last Saturday, Alexander Ring missed their previous encounter due to a right groin strain, Leo Vaisanen and Zan Kolmanic are recovering from right LCL and ACL injuries, respectively, while Moussa Djitte was loaned to Bandirmaspor in the Turkish second division until the end of the 2023-24 European season.

Sebastian Driussi had a brace in Minnesota and also set up the second of the season by Emiliano Rigoni, with Diego Fagundez also finding the mark.

Driussi and Maxi Urruti have each scored twice for the Verde and Black against Vancouver, with the latter notching a brace and the former rounding out the scoring in their 3-0 home triumph over the Caps last year when Brad Stuver made five saves to collect a clean sheet.

Vancouver Whitecaps possible starting lineup:
Takaoka; Blackmon, Veselinovic, Martins; Raposo, Schopf, Berhalter, Caicedo; Vite, Gauld; White

Austin FC possible starting lineup:
Stuver; Lima, Cascante, Keller, Gallagher; Wolff, Valencia; Finlay, Driussi, Fagundez; Zardes


SM words green background

We say: Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Austin FC

The Whitecaps have been a resilient group throughout the campaign, and we believe they will be able to transition efficiently versus Austin, who are missing their solid defensive midfielder Pereira, which could spell trouble for the Verde and Black.

How to watch

You can watch Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Austin FC and every MLS match this season live on Apple TV. Click here for more details on how to subscribe.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
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Game History

How you voted: Vancouver vs Austin

Vancouver Whitecaps
55.6%
Draw
0.0%
Austin FC
44.4%
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1Inter MiamiInter Miami16104238211734
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati1510322314933
3New York City FCNY City158251916326
4Columbus Crew146622113824
5New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls146532521423
6Charlotte FCCharlotte FC156451413122
7Toronto157172424022
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia144642521418
9DC United154652125-418
10Nashville SCNashville143741720-316
11Orlando City144461522-716
12Atlanta UnitedAtlanta143471717013
13CF MontrealMontreal143471731-1413
14Chicago Fire152581427-1311
15New England RevolutionNew England132110926-177

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Salt LakeSalt Lake1585230171329
2Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd137422417725
3Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy156722722525
4Los Angeles FCLos Angeles147342519624
5Austin FCAustin156542018223
6Colorado RapidsColorado156452726122
7Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver145452017319
8Houston DynamoHouston145361315-218
9Seattle SoundersSeattle154561818017
10Portland TimbersPortland154472830-216
11St Louis City143742022-216
12Dallas133461620-413
13Sporting Kansas CityKansas142572226-411
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes1532102334-1111


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