Behind Enemy Lines: Three Questions with Eighty Six Forever

Rich Lam

We talked with Jon Szekeres of Eighty Six Forever to get some insight into the red-hot Vancouver Whitecaps team.

1) The Whitecaps are on a three-game win streak, what's kept them so hot over the past few games?

Well, their opponents have certainly helped things. I'm not trying to lessen what the Whitecaps have done, but two of those wins came against Chivas USA and DC United, two of the worst teams in MLS. Those matches were almost blessings considering the injury trouble this squad has continually gone through. On the other hand, I think most clubs would have trouble containing the trio of Kenny Miller, Camilo and Russell Teibert, who have formed one of MLS's most intimidating attacking unit going forward. Miller and Camilo have both picked up 'player of the week' awards, while Teibert leads the league in assists. Whatever deficiencies the 'Caps have on the back end, they seem to be able to outscore. That will change against Sporting KC though, because Teibert is away on International duty.

2) After losing Jay DeMerit early in the season, amongst other defensive injuries, how have the Whitecaps adjusted on defense?

Well, they relied heavily on Andy O'Brien, who quickly proved himself to be one of the premier defenders in MLS. Unfortunately, he went down with a hamstring injury a few weeks ago, and the club has struggled defensively ever since. YP Lee will also miss the KC match for rest, a major blow to the backline that is fragile at best right now. While Nigel Reo-Coker has proven himself a capable right back, KC will have a pretty weak backline to contend with.

3) Vancouver will be missing a couple of players due to international duty for the Gold Cup, what differences from the normal lineup will we see in this match?

You'll see Daigo Kobayashi or Matt Watson slot in for Teibert, and Nigel Reo-Coker will fall to the backline for YP Lee, who's resting. That means the vaunted Whitecaps attack may be neutered, although I wouldn't forget about Camilo and his 9 goals, or Kenny Miller with his 5 goals in 7 matches. Still, you won't see as much creativity, and the 'Caps will miss Reo-Coker's surging midfield runs. In essence, this is a match the Whitecaps will be hard pressed to gain a result from.

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