The Vancouver Whitecaps (15W, 10L, 6T) are the top team in the Western Conference, but they’re sizeable underdogs for Saturday’s match against the No. 6 team in the East, the New York Red Bulls (12W, 12L, 7T). The opening touch at Red Bull Arena is scheduled for 5 PM ET; New York are –165 favorites at press time, with Vancouver at +475 and the draw pegged at +285.
Vancouver has already qualified for the MLS playoffs, which begin October 25, but they’re still fighting for a spot in the Conference Semi-Finals. The Red Bulls (plus-14 goal differential) are skidding toward the postseason with four losses and five draws in their last nine matches, while the Whitecaps (plus-5) have six wins, a loss and two draws over the same span.
Saturday will be the first and only time these two clubs play during the regular season – although they could very well end up meeting in the playoffs. When they played earlier this year in the CONCACAF Champions League, Vancouver easily won the two-match series 3-1 on aggregate and advanced to the semi-finals, where they were eliminated by Tigres UANL of the Mexican leagues.