Carl Robinson’s Vancouver Whitecaps open up their 2014 Major League Soccer season at home against Mike Petke’s New York Red Bulls at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, B.C. on Mar. 8. The Whitecaps just missed out on the MLS Cup Playoffs and take on a New York Red Bulls side intent on defending its MLS Supporters’ Shield.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by TSN. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for the Mar. 8 encounter between the Vancouver Whitecaps and New York Red Bulls.
1. Thierry Henry…on the scoresheet
You know the name. You know the legacy. Thierry Henry scored 10 goals and nine assists last year, and he will have a goal and assist against Vancouver on Saturday.
2. Tim Cahill…on the scoresheet, too
One of Australia’s most-accomplished footballers, Tim Cahill finished 2013 with 10 goals and five assists. Cahill will get on the scoresheet in the first half and pounce on Vancouver all night.
3. Luis Robles with at least four saves
Last year, Luis Robles had 103 saves to lead the Red Bulls. Against Vancouver, Robles will make at least four saves to help the cause for New York.
4. No goals for Lloyd Sam
Lloyd Sam had been a reliable scoring threat last year for the Red Bulls with five goals in 2013. However, he will start 2013 quietly with no goals against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
5. Under five saves for David Ousted
The conservative thing to do, if you are Carl Robinson, is to start David Ousted in goal. Last year, Ousted made 37 saves, and against New York, Ousted will make under five.
6. Kenny Miller will score for Vancouver
In 2013, Kenny Miller scored eight goals for the Whitecaps and heads into 2014 with a chip on his shoulder. Miller will score late for the Caps.
7. Darren Mattocks breaks out with a flourish
Last year wasn’t Darren Mattocks’s year. Despite 45 shots, he was getting few balls in the back of the net, but that should be fixed on Saturday at home against New York.
8. Russell Teibert with an assist
Russell Teibert was Vancouver’s top provider with nine assists and should contribute to the cause with his first assist of the season on Saturday.
9. At least 30 fouls and under three cards
This should be a fast-flowing game, with very few cards to show for it, but it will be very physical. At least 30 fouls will be whistles and under three cards, any color, will be issued.
10. This match will end in a draw
It won’t be the start either team wanted, but in a parity-driven league like MLS, draws are going to be common, and this will be one of them.
Vancouver Whitecaps 2, New York Red Bulls 2