Vancouver Whitecaps Vs San Jose Earthquakes: MLS is Back Preview

MLS, Vancouver Whitecaps, Marc dos Santos (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MLS, Vancouver Whitecaps, Marc dos Santos (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

On Wednesday night, the Vancouver Whitecaps take on the San Jose Earthquakes for their opening match of the MLS is Back. Here is a full match preview.

Due to COVID-19 positive tests forcing FC Dallas out of the MLS is Back Tournament, the Vancouver Whitecaps have yet to start their campaign. Their first opponents meanwhile, the San Jose Earthquakes, acquitted themselves well in a scoreless draw against the Seattle Sounders in their Group B opener.

All teams face a relentless foe in the coronavirus. Besides FC Dallas, nine positive tests forced Nashville SC out of the tournament. They are not the only teams to have been impacted by the virus.

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Of course, all teams have to deal with the disruption caused by COVID-19, but perhaps no team has been more negatively affected than the Vancouver Whitecaps. They arrive in Orlando without three key players who opted out of the competition due to health concerns.

All in all, five Whitecaps players will miss the MLS is Back Tournament. These include big offseason signing Lucas Cavallini, as well as Fredy Montero, Tosaint Ricketts, Andy Rose and Georges Mukumbilwa. Cavallini, Ricketts and Rose, while Montero came off the bench. They are all semi-key parts of Marc dos Santos’ squad.

While Vancouver are wading their way into the tournament for the first time with a depleted squad, the Earthquakes are coming off an excellent performance against Seattle. They pressed the Sounders into submission, controlled the game, and were unlucky to be held to scoreless draw. Questions were asked about Matias Almeyda’s high-pressing system in the Florida heat, but based on their opening performance, San Jose are fit and firing.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

2019 Record: 8-16-10 (W-L-D)

2020 Results: 3-1 vs. Sporting Kansas City; 1-0 @ LA Galaxy

Head Coach: Marc dos Santos

Projected Starters: Maxime Crepeau; Ali Adnan, Erik Godoy, Jasser Khmiri, Jake Nerwinski; Russell Teibert, Janio Bikel, In-beom Hwang; David Milinkovic, Theo Bair, Cristian Dajome

San Jose Earthquakes

2019 Record: 13-16-5  (W-L-D)

2020 Results: 2-2 draw vs. Toronto FC; 5-2 vs. Minnesota United

Head Coach: Matias Almeyda

Projected Starters: Daniel Vega; Tommy Thompson, Guram Kashia, Oswaldo Alanis, Nick Lima; Judson, Jackson Yueill, Cristian Espinoza, Magnus Eriksson, Valeri Qazaishvili; Andres Rios

Next. MLS is Back: Power Rankings after Matchday One. dark

The San Jose Earthquakes are the rightful favorites. A shorthanded Vancouver, meanwhile, will be lucky to snatch a draw.