The Vancouver Whitecaps are rolling.

In their last ten matches, (in MLS play) they have six wins, three losses and one draw. On this seven game road trip, they have gotten 10 points out of a possible 12. Considering that the Whitecaps couldn’t win on the road earlier in the season, it is impressive.

Toronto FC may not be a geographical rival but for Whitecaps fans, it is always fun to beat them. Given the hype of a full year of Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernadeschi, it has been a massively disappointing year for the team on the Lakeshore. The Whitecaps have beaten every Canadian Team this year, in MLS and in the Canadian Championship. They are the Kings of Canada this year. They are on a different level above Toronto FC and CF Montreal.

But the season defining tour continues and there isn’t much rest. The Whitecaps are playing their next set in the home of NASA, Houston.

The Dynamo have been dynamite

The Whitecaps have been good but the Houston Dynamo have been just as good.

They have not lost a game (again, in MLS play) since July 12 when they fell to Minnesota United 3-0. They have won four games and drew two. The draws were in their last two games as they drew 0-0 to LA Galaxy and 1-1 to St. Louis SC.

The Dynamo are fifth in the Western Conference and have 40 points which is one point behind the Whitecaps. Yeah, this game has huge implications.

The last time these two teams met, it was one of the wildest games in MLS this season. It was 2-2 after 20 minutes but Vancouver managed to win 6-2 at BC Place on May 31.

Houston are lead by former Atletico Madrid midfielder Hector Herrera. The Mexican international is tied for second in MLS in assists with nine. Who is he tied with? Vancouver’s Ryan Gauld. ( Who by the way, deserves to be nominated for MLS MVP)

Amine Bassi and Corey Baird scored the two Dynamo goals in the last meeting. Bassi leads the Dynamo with nine goals and Baird is behind him with seven. Baird seems to always play well when he plays in Vancouver but that goal last May was his first goal against them. It was Baird who scored Houston’s only goal against St Louis.

The Whitecaps need to be a problem for Houston

The Whitecaps have not won in Houston since 2018. That was on March 12, 2018 and Kei Kamar and Brek Shea found the back of the net that day.

It won’t be easy to beat the Dynamo but the Whitecaps have carried this “anything is possible” attitude. Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini spoke about how each game down the stretch is like a harder level from a video game.

I’m Italian, so I’m thinking about Mario,” (from Super Mario Bros.) he said after the win over Toronto FC. “So, let’s arrive at the princess at the end. That’s the qualification for the playoffs.”

Houston may not have goombas, or fire spitting plants but it sure feels like that. The Dynamo are 9-3-2 at home this season and that is the sixth best home record in MLS.

The ‘Caps will definitely rely on the dynamic duo of Gauld and Brian White. They’ve been one of the best duos in MLS this season and have looked unstoppable as of late.

It looks like we could see a heavily rotated squad and Sartini provided some injury updates. According to Har Johal of Daily Hive, Sartini said on Monday at training that Andrés Cubas (who didn’t play in Toronto due to an abductor strain) is an option for the game (and for Saturday’s game against Real Salt Lake) and Sam Adekugbe (who is also dealing with a knee issue) will make the trip to Houston and his knee issue isn’t too major.

Whatever squad the Whitecaps put out on Wednesday, the high pressing and high intensity will still be wanted by Sartini.

The Whitecaps have been known for putting the ball in the back of the net this season. They have scored 45 goals and that is second in the Western Conference and eighth in MLS. But they will go up against a Dynamo team which has conceded 32 goals this season and that is the fourth least in MLS.

Hey, the Whitecaps scored six on them back in May. It’s possible! But let’s face it, scoring six is a tall task. The ‘Caps need to score as early as possible to get the Dynamo off their game.

Next two games crucial for home playoff game implications

Not only does the game against the Dynamo have big implications regarding the playoff picture, Saturday’s game against Real Salt Lake. RSL also have 40 points and are breathing down the necks of the Whitecaps. They play FC Dallas at home on Wednesday and they have won two and lost three in their last league games.

Vancouver has a game in hand on both RSL and Houston. They’ve done a good job of getting points on this road trip so far, but the next two games will be the toughest.