Erik Hurtado (blue jersey), who has scored two goals in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, is suspended for the Vancouver Whitecaps' quarterfinal, second-leg encounter against the visiting New York Red Bulls on March 2, 2017. (Photo: Mexsport)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Whitecaps find themselves only 90 minutes away from making some history in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
A win over the visiting New York Red Bulls on Thursday in the second leg of the quarterfinal series in B.C. Place will propel the Canadian side into the semifinals for the first time. Last week’s first leg ended in a 1-1 draw.
"It's a great landmark for the club to be in this position," Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson said. "We want try to get as far as we can, so we've got a good opportunity…but we've got to take care of business."
That business included shutting down the Red Bulls' vaunted attack, which is anchored by 2016 MLS Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips and playmaking midfielder and U.S. international Sacha Kljestan.
"We know it's going to be a difficult game," remarked Robinson. "We know they're a good team. We've got to be prepared."
With Erik Hurtado and Cristian Techera unable to play due to suspensions, the Whitecaps will welcome two new additions to the team. Striker Fredy Montero and U.S. international defender/midfielder Brek Shea, obtained in a trade that sent Jamaican international Giles Barnes to Orlando City SC over the weekend, were listed on the team's match roster.
Robinson said that Shea and Montero could see action in the game.
"There's always a chance," the former Wales international commented. "We'll see how they are. There's a possibility."
Montero, who is on a one-year loan from the Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda, indicated that he was raring to go.
“I am ready,” said the 29-year-old, who has six career SCCL goals. “Obviously not 100 per cent, however I’m just ready if the coach needs me to add something to the team. I will give everything that I have right now. We’re looking forward to advance from this round.”