Whitecaps FC-Chivas USA Preview
By ALAN FERGUSON
(AP) -- Darren Mattocks led the Vancouver Whitecaps to their first win on a lengthy road stretch but a late yellow card in that game will cost him the chance to help his club build on that victory.
The rookie forward is suspended for Saturday night's visit to a well-rested Chivas USA, who might also have one of their strikers missing.
Vancouver (8-4-5) was routed 3-0 by Los Angeles on June 23 to open a five-match road swing, but bounced back for a 1-0 victory over Colorado on Wednesday.
"The crowd are all here to see the home team make the game and make the tempo, and be creative and exciting," coach Martin Rennie said. "The away team has to just make sure they stay in the game and make sure they're hard to play against and hard to beat,"
Mattocks scored the lone goal in that game, his fourth in the past five league contests, but also was given a yellow card in the 90th minute. It was his fifth in seven matches, resulting in an automatic one-game suspension.
The Whitecaps will try to overcome the absence of one of their top goal scorers while posting consecutive road wins for the first time in franchise history. They're 3-3-2 away from home this season after going 0-12-5 during their inaugural campaign.
Vancouver, though, will next face a team that has been idle a U.S. Open Cup victory June 26 and playing its first MLS game since a scoreless draw at FC Dallas on June 23.
"We needed the rest after a very busy schedule," forward Juan Pablo Angel said. "Hopefully all the things we did and all the thing we worked on over the past 12 days pay off on Saturday."
Chivas USA (5-7-4), though, might not have Juan Agudelo to help out. The 19-year-old forward is dealing with what he deemed a bone bruise in his left knee. He had surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus in the same joint.
"We want to make sure that he feels ready and it's been little bit of slow going," coach Robin Fraser told the league's website. "It's unclear at this point if he'll be available this weekend or not."
Fraser's club, 2-6-1 at the Home Depot Center this season, fell 1-0 there to Vancouver on March 17 as Jay DeMerit scored the lone goal in the 68th minute. The teams played to a pair of draws during the Whitecaps' inaugural campaign.
Chivas midfielder Oswaldo Minda is also suspended for Saturday's game due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
Updated July 6, 2012