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Monday, May 27, 2024

Vancouver Whitecaps Playoffs push ‘written in the stars’

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For the Vancouver Whitecaps to remain in the MLS Cup Playoffs race heading into Decision Day, a remarkable turn of events had to occur.


First off, the Canadian side had to end a run of three consecutive defeats with just one goal scored. They did just that, beating the LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, and Austin FC in their last three matches by a combined scoreline of 7-1.

But they also needed the teams above them to slip up, which is exactly what happened as well. Heading into the final day of the regular season, sixth-place Portland Timbers have taken one point from their last two games, seventh-place Minnesota United have only one point from six matches, and eighth-place Real Salt Lake have won only one of their last eight MLS games.

Vancouver play Minnesota on Decision Day, while the Timbers face RSL. Is it fated that one last twist will send the Whitecaps above the Playoffs line?

“It kind of seems like the stars are aligning a little bit,” striker Brian White told reporters. “Not to jinx it, because obviously, it’s going to be a big test, a big challenge in Minnesota.”

Defender Jake Nerwinski conceded that the Whitecaps have pulled off the improbable so far and is keen to take advantage of their form and good fortune.

“It’s almost impossible and it’s something that we need to take advantage of,” he said. “Everything went our way to get to this point. Now, hopefully, we can continue to make the most of it and make it worth it.”

Of course, while the Whitecaps have been fortunate, their recent three-game sequence is impressive and must be applauded. The Galaxy already have their post-season spot booked, the Sounders are the Concacaf Champions League holders, and Austin FC are the second seed in the west.

Taking nine points from those games is no easy feat. Regardless of Sunday’s result, the Whitecaps know they’ve left nothing in the locker room.

“We worked hard to get to this point,” Nerwinski added. “We put ourselves in a great position, and now we get to go play free. And if we win, we know that we did everything we could. If we lose, you know, we did everything we could.”

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.

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