The result last night gave the Vancouver WhiteCaps a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. Add in that the San Jose Earthquakes beat the Colorado Rapids and we have a 3 horse race heading into the final 2 games of the season for each of these teams.
Fresh off a night of first in Seattle for the Vancouver WhiteCaps, the buzz around the team’s chances of making the playoffs has new life. The 4-1 win over the Seattle Sounders was the team’s 1st MLS win on their Cascadia Cup rival’s pitch. The breakout performance of Kekuta Manneh put him in the record books, as he is the first WhiteCaps player to record a hat
trick, since they joined the MLS, and at the age of 18, he is officially the youngest player to record a hat trick in the MLS. The previous and now 2nd youngest player was 21 at the time.
The WhiteCaps have a simple scenario in front of them, beat the Rapids in their remaining two games against them and they will have done everything in their control to advance. However, because of the Earthquakes win, the WhiteCaps are now requiring some help.
San Jose is one point ahead of Vancouver in the standings and if they win their final two games, the WhiteCaps will be looking back at games where hey dropped points with some disdain. Unfortunately for Vancouver fans, when you look at who San Jose has lined up you get an uneasy feeling in your stomach. The final game of the season for the Earthquakes is against Chivas USA, which you have to anticipate they will win, and the other match is against their rivals, the LA Galaxy in LA. The teams have split their two previous games with the home team winning but rivalry games are unpredictable and could go
either way even when the post season is not on the line for a team.
Overall, the odds are still against Vancouver to make the playoffs but if they keep playing at the level they have the last 2 games, then making the post season is a serious reality. They are competing against two teams in Colorado and San Jose that are also peaking at the right time of the season, which only escalates the anticipation and excitement levels for these games.
I am sticking with my previous prediction, made in August, that the WhiteCaps will make the post season, LA will provide the help needed to remove San Jose from contention and Colorado will miss because their last two games being against Vancouver.