The key storylines for Friday’s inaugural ‘Caps, LAFC clash

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VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3W-2L-1D) host high-powered expansion side Los Angeles Football Club (2W-2L-0D) for the first time on Friday night at BC Place.

Here are the key storylines to watch.

STORYLINES

Road warriors return home: The ‘Caps return to BC Place, where they are unbeaten in 11 MLS matches, after starting the season with four of six matches on the road.

First-time foes: This will be the first-ever meeting between Whitecaps FC and LAFC, who are averaging the second and third most points per game in the West respectively. Interestingly, LAFC are leading the Western Conference in goals per game (2.25), but are conceding the most goals per game (2.5) in all of MLS.

Harvey’s homecoming: Jordan Harvey – now a member of LAFC – makes his return to Vancouver after leaving as the club’s all-time leader in MLS regular season stats, appearances, and minutes played. Harvey will be honoured following warmup at approximately 6:39 p.m. PT.

KEY MATCHUPS

Alphonso Davies (LW) vs. Steven Beitashour (RB): The 17-year-old Canadian, who leads MLS with 30 completed dribbles and has a goal and two assists on the season, goes up against former Whitecaps FC right back Steven Beitashour, who leads all MLS defenders with three assists this season.

Efraín Juárez (M) vs. Carlos Vela (AM): A matchup between longtime friends and former Mexican international teammates, who played together at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Vela, who began his career at Arsenal FC, has three goals and two assists in four matches.

Marcel de Jong (LB) vs. Diego Rossi (RW): Diego Rossi has been LAFC’s biggest threat thus far, recording three goals and four assists in four matches. Certainly, shutting down the 20-year-old Uruguayan will be priority number one for ‘Caps left back Marcel de Jong.

QUOTABLE

Kendall Waston on facing Jordan Harvey for the first time: “Even if I played against my mom, I would tackle her. With Jordan, he’s a great guy. I love him so much. We had great times when he was here. I think it’s going to be a nice game.”

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