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Heading into the final week of the MLS season Vancouver Whitecaps playoff fate is in their own hands, and given the tumultuous

in Share With Other Members Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:01 am
by jokergreen0220 • 480 Posts

Heading into the final week of the MLS season Vancouver Whitecaps playoff fate is in their own hands, and given the tumultuous offseason at the club that is a big achievement in itself. Florida Panthers Pro Shop . The Whitecaps know a win at home against Colorado Rapids on Saturday (live on TSN) will ensure they finish fifth in the West and face a road trip to either Real Salt Lake or FC Dallas in the Western Conference Knockout Round. There are other scenarios as well - put simply, the Caps just need to match whatever result Portland Timbers gets at FC Dallas to finish above their Cascadia rivals. Having come this far anything other than postseason qualification would be a massive letdown, but in my view whatever the outcome, when the dust settles this season can be classed as a success. The Whitecaps have won the Cascadia Cup and also qualified for the 2015/16 Champions League, but most importantly, they have started to build a strong foundation for future success as they aim to become a club that can challenge at the top of the Western Conference on a yearly basis. They have a plan. They have an identity. They have strong leadership under the ever impressive rookie head coach Carl Robinson, and they have the base of a very good squad. Someone asked me last week: who has been the Whitecaps best signing this season? The fact that question is difficult to answer speaks to the strength of Robinsons recruitment and gives faith that future additions will continue to make the club stronger. They also have a commitment to developing young talent and giving those players a chance. Pedro Morales will likely win the team MVP award because he leads the way with goals and assists, but Matias Laba has had an outstanding season and has shown himself to be a league-leader in his position. And while much of the talk in Vancouver has been about the lack of a goalscorer - a position that will be addressed in the offseason - the midseason additions of Mauro Rosales and Kendall Waston have played a vital role in getting the Caps to where they are now. So where are they now? They are a young team still with plenty to learn but they have proved this year they have the ability to live with the top teams in the league. The performance at Seattle two weeks ago was in my mind without doubt their best since joining Major League Soccer. It was a game that showed they have started to grow up as a squad. Four weeks ago, after the disheartening 3-0 loss at Portland, it seemed the playoffs would be out of reach, but since then the players have shown immense character and belief to go four games unbeaten, with three wins and three clean sheets along the way. It has been, and will continue to be a steep learning curve for Carl Robinson and his players, but under difficult circumstances they have already shown themselves to be up for the challenge. This weekend, they face a Colorado team that they are expected to beat but these games have often been a challenge for the Caps this season. The fact they have already lost to Colorado twice this year, couldnt beat Chivas in three meetings and struggled to a 0-0 draw against Montreal Impact highlights their inability to win matches when they are clear favourites. With a few more points against those teams below them in the standings, they would already be safely in the top five. Thats the next step for this team. Next season they need a Plan B and Plan C for when things arent working. But back to what matters right now and the task in hand on Saturday. The Whitecaps have the more favourable final match. They are at home to a Colorado Rapids side that hasnt won in 13 matches while Portland Timbers - a point behind the Caps - will head to Texas to face a Dallas side that will most likely still be fighting for third place in the West. Portland kicks off 90 minutes before the Whitecaps, so shortly after kick off at BC Place, the Caps will know the result they need to make the postseason, but Carl Robinson has made it clear his attention will be focused purely on ensuring his team gets the job done without the need for help from elsewhere. This Saturday could be another defining moment in the life of this squad. They have coped with the pressure so far, but have one more cup final to go. Custom Florida Panthers Jerseys . Rodgers was ruled out on Friday by Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. Matt Flynn will make his second consecutive start for the Packers. Cheap Panthers Jerseys . Portland won Game 4 Sunday night at the Moda Center and are now up 3-1. The last time the Blazers won a playoff series came in the 2000 Western Conference semifinals against the Utah Jazz. https://www.panthersjerseycheap.com/ . -- Brendan Leipsic had two goals and an assist and Nicolas Petan extended his point streak to 11 games as the Portland Winterhawks slipped past the Red Deer Rebels 5-4 on Saturday in Western Hockey League action.MADRID - Maria Sharapova brushed aside Klara Koukalova 6-1, 6-2 in the first round of the Madrid Open on Sunday, while Ana Ivanovic beat Madison Keys 6-1, 7-6 (4). Sharapova, who lost to Serena Williams in last years final, converted six of eight break points to take advantage of Koukalovas eight double faults on the Caja Magica clay court. The eighth-seeeded Sharapova will play Christina McHale of the United States in the second round. Fake Panthers Jerseys. The 11th-seeded Ivanovic ousted Keys to set up a meeting with fellow Serb Bojana Jovanovski. Ivanovic overcame her shaky serve by saving three of four break points. Top-ranked Williams opens her title defence later against Swiss Belinda Bencic. ' ' '

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