Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Colorado Rapids - Game Preview

VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 19: Eric Hassli #29 of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC bites his jersey as he celebrates his second goal during their game against the Toronto FC March 19, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver won thier first ever MLS game 4-2. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

Ever since promoting Tom Soehn to their head coaching position, the Vancouver Whitecaps have just plain not been all that good. The Caps weren't having a fantastic year to begin with - their 4-2 win over rivals Toronto FC aside - but have now not scored in three straight games while dropping their last game 1-0 to the Columbus Crew mid-week. The Colorado Rapids will be glad to see a struggling team in Commerce City today, as they've finally started to look more in their championship form yet have not won a home game since way back in early April when they beat DC United 4-1.

Both of these teams will be missing key players for this match, but Vancouver are probably the worse off unless the injury report completely guts the Rapids like it did against Sporting Kansas City. Defender Jay Demerit and forward Atiba Harris are out because of injury - their Designated Player and leading scorer Eric Hassli is listed as questionable as well - and Shea Salinas will miss out because of a red card earned against Columbus. Colorado captain Pablo Mastroeni is in the same boat, earning a yellow card against Kansas that gave him five total cards and an automatic one game suspension.

Colorado's injury report is littered with starters, most of whom are listed as probable. Matt Pickens, Jamie Smith, Brian Mullan - those two missed the KC match due to small injuries - and others are on there. For the first ever match between this two teams, it's not looking like it will be a marquee match-up to remember for the ages. However with Vancouver already a far less quality team than Colorado even before the missing players, this one should be an advantage for the Rapids and probably the best chance in a long time to finally earn that first home win in forever.

There's an extra level of intrigue to this one now as Jordan Harvey - former Philly Union left back and Rapids draft pick - has been traded to the Whitecaps for allocation money and may be available for the game today. With Demerit out, the Caps can probably use all the help they can get.

UZ'S PREDICTION: 2-0 Rapids

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