Vancouver Whitecaps will begin their 2021 Major League Soccer campaign in Utah on Monday, welcoming Portland Timbers. The match will take place at the Rio Tinto Stadium, home of Real Salt Lake, due to coronavirus restrictions, removing all home advantage for Marc Dos Santos's side.
Dos Santos has built a team designed to play on the counter-attack, and with the likes of new recruit Deiber Caicedo as well as winger Cristian Dajome and forward Lucas Cavallini, Vancouver should be lightning in transition and could be a major threat on the break
Midfielder Caio Alexandre, who joins from Brazilian side Botafogo, is renowned for his passing ability and so his role in Dos Santos's setup could see him emerge as a key player for the Whitecaps this campaign. Vancouver have impressed ahead of the new campaign, after claiming a 3-0 win against Real Monarchs and a 3-2 victory over Chicago Fire in their two pre-season matches earlier this month.
The Whitecaps have lost each of their last three meetings with Portland Timbers and securing a victory on Monday would be a great way to begin their 2021 season. Unlike Vancouver, Portland Timbers have already tasted competitive action this year, progressing to the quarter-final of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Despite drawing the first leg of their last-16 tie 2-2 against Honduran outfit Marathon, Giovanni Savarese's side cruised to a 5-0 victory in the second leg on Wednesday, winning 7-2 on aggregate, to book their place in the last eight for the first time in their history.
This result means that the MLS will be represented by five clubs at this stage of the competition for the first time, with the Timbers qualifying alongside Columbus Crew, Philadelphia Union, Atalanta United and Toronto FC. After returning from an interval caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Portland enjoyed success in 2020 by becoming the MLS is Back tournament champions.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Portland Timbers: schedule
8:00 p.m. ET
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Portland Timbers: how to see it live and direct?
ABC, ESPN 3 and ESPN Deportes will broadcast the match, not only in the United States, but also in Latin America.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Portland Timbers: Streaming Online
ESPN App (Mexico); espn.com (United States).