NEXT GAMESaturdayVancouver Whitecaps vs. Minnesota United5 p.m., Allianz Field, TV: TSN2; Radio: TSN 1410 AMKEY MATCHUPDarwin Quintero vs. Anyone! (Bueller? Bueller?)The Minnesota Loons’ midfielder had his best game of the Major League Soccer season in the season opener against Vancouver, picking up a goal and two assists in the 3-2 victory.After picking up five goals and three assists in his first five games, he went into a 10-game pointless slump, but has rebounded with two goals and two assists in his last five games. The Caps need someone — anyone — to limit his touches and influence, or it will be a long night.FIVE THINGS TO WATCH1. Reaction timeThe Caps are demoralized, and can’t even be considered fragile anymore — they’re just broken. Their five straight losses across ties for the longest skid in their MLS history. The fact the record was set by losing to a CPL team only increases the magnitude of embarrassment. But it’s time to be a pro. It’s not their current jobs they’re playing for, but the future contracts — whether they’re here or elsewhere.
Goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau and the Whitecaps are in a bad way heading into a tough test against Minnesota, who are trending in the other direction, especially on their home pitch.
DARRYL DYCK /
THE CANADIAN PRESS
2. Loons launch padMinnesota lost 1-0 to the Colorado Rapids on June 8, the third loss in a three-game slide. The next game, they went out and laid a 7-1 smackdown on Cincinnati. Three straight wins and a tie followed, an unbeaten streak that’s seen the Loons outscore their opposition 15-5 overall, and 11-2 at home. Minny has lost just one game in its brand-new stadium (6-1-3) this season, and that was 3-2 to the East-leading Philadelphia Union.3. They are who we thought they wereThere’s no getting around it — teams have figured out the Whitecaps. They know which players to specifically isolate and defend (Yordy Reyna), and don’t worry about anyone else. They give left back Ali Adnan free rein to run forward, then attack the space he leaves behind. The Caps haven’t found a way to counter the counters, and until they do, the bleeding will continue.4. Everybody is putting Caps in a cornerThe dagger in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Cavalry FC was a 72nd-minute header from Dominick Zator, who out-jumped centre-back Erik Godoy to thump home a second away goal. The missed assignment was costly, and it’s been an ongoing issue. That was the seventh corner-kick goal conceded by the Caps this season.5. Who to look to?Only one player has scored from open play in the Caps’ five-game MLS skid: Reyna. He’s looked bright and energetic, but has lacked the necessary support in the final third.As a result, Reyna has increased his individual attacks with the ball at his feet as he tries to generate some kind of threat, the main reason the Peruvian international leads the team in total (48) and per game (3.0) unsuccessful touches.
Yordy Reyna has been the most dangerous of the Whitecaps, but hasn’t had enough support.
Gerry Kahrmann /
PREDICTED STARTING XIsWHITECAPS (4-2-3-1)MonteroInbeom — Reyna — VenutoErice — TeibertAdnan — Henry — Godoy — SutterGoalkeeper: CrepeauLOONS (4-2-3-1)RodríguezMolino — Quintero — FinlayAlonso — GergusGasper — Boxall — Opara — DotsonGoalkeeper: MannoneSICK BAYWhitecaps: Jasser Khmiri (left knee); (questionable) Bangoura (adductor).Loons: (Questionable) Angelo Rodriguez (right ankle injury), Osvaldo Alonso (right shoulder injury).firstname.lastname@example.org/TheRealJJAdamsCLICK HERE to report a typo.Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email email@example.com