Major League Soccer

Whitecaps FC-Los Angeles FC Preview

Vancouver Whitecaps FC interim head coach Vanni Sartini admitted he would like the full-time role as his side prepare to travel to Los Angeles FC.

The Caps can officially clinch their playoff position with a win on Tuesday, having captured 24 points from 12 matches since Sartini took interim charge in August.

While eyeing a first place in the postseason since 2017, Sartini explained how his team have changed their fortunes and commented on a potential permanent role in the future.

"Of course if I say I don't want it, I'm a liar," Sartini said. "I would like the job permanently. But I'm not focused on that. I'm focused on getting to the playoffs.

"I'm walking on the clouds in this moment. But we need one more result for sure either against LAFC or against Seattle in order to get into the playoffs.

"I would be confident if we played Real Madrid next Tuesday, but ask me the question again in a month."

The hosts could at least temporarily move into the Western Conference playoff standings, too, after most recently cruising past the Seattle Sounders 3-0.

Indeed, Bob Bradley's side have collected 11 points from their last possible 15 and goalkeeper Jamal Blackman is looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd as Los Angeles chase the playoff pack.

"Everyone's been really welcoming, it's been really good so far," new signing Blackman started. "I've been adjusting really quickly.

"Coming here and seeing how passionate the fans are about the club, it shows and it brings you to do the best you can for them."

Los Angeles FC - Carlos Vela

Carlos Vela has four goals in his LAFC career versus Vancouver.

Vancouver Whitecaps - Brian White

Eleven of Brian White's goals have come in his last 14 appearances while generating an exceptional relationship with Ryan Gauld.

- Vancouver won the last meeting between the sides, 2-1, at BC Place in August. The Whitecaps have never won consecutive meetings with LAFC and have also never won at Banc of California Stadium (D2 L2).

- Los Angeles FC is unbeaten in five straight matches (W3 D2) for the first time all season. LAFC has scored three goals in all three wins in that time and since the beginning of September has scored 18 goals in six wins and four goals in the other five matches in that time (D2 L3).

- The Whitecaps have won nine of their last 14 matches (D3 L2) dating back to mid-August and now sit fifth in the West on 47 points. Vancouver has recorded at least 50 points in a season just three times in club history, most recently in 2017 (52 points).

- Cristian Arango scored his 13th goal in his 15th MLS appearance on Tuesday. Including playoffs, only Josef Martinez (13 appearances) and Mamadou Diallo (14 appearances) reached 13 goals faster than Arango.

- Despite not making his Whitecaps debut since mid-June, Brian White has scored 12 times for Vancouver this season. Only three players have scored more goals in a single regular season for the Whitecaps: Camilo Sanvezzo (22) in 2013, Kei Kamara (14) in 2018 and Fredy Montero (13) in 2017.

Updated November 1, 2021

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