This Saturday, the Vancouver Whitecaps will be shipping up to Boston. Actually, they will be shipping up to Foxborough, which is a suburb of Boston and about 51 minutes from downtown by car or approximately 40 minutes by train.

Foxborough is best known for Gillette Stadium. It is home of the NFL’s New England Patriots and New England Revolution of MLS. After two weeks off, the Whitecaps will look to take three more points at Gillette Stadium.

Wait a minute, Saturday is June 15 and a Vancouver team is playing a Boston based team. Oh no… the flashbacks!

The Whitecaps history against the Revolution

The Whitecaps have won two games, drawn four and lost five against New England since coming into MLS in 2011. Their last win against them was back on June 27, 2015. Cristian Techera and Octavio Rivero scored in a 2-1 Vancouver win at Gillette Stadium. Teal Bunbury scored for the Revolution that day. He now plays for Nashville SC.

The last time these two teams met was on June 26, 2022 at BC Place. The game ended in a 0-0 draw and Djorde Petrovic stood on his head stopping six Whitecaps shots. The Serbian goalkeeper now plays for Chelsea.

The last time the Whitecaps played in Foxborough was on July 17, 2019. Gustavou Bou, Diego Fagundez, Carles Gil and Bunbury scored in a 4-0 rout of Vancouver.

Tough times in New England

The 2024 edition of the New England Revolution have been one of the worst teams in MLS. They sit with a 4-1-10 record with 13 points and sit last in the Eastern Conference and second last in the Supporter Shield standings.

One of the reasons why they have been really bad is that they only scored 12 goals all season. That is the lowest in MLS. They conceded 27 goals this season and that is tied for eighth most in the league with Inter Miami.

They brought in Caleb Porter to replace Bruce Arena in the offseason. Porter has experience in MLS with the Columbus Crew and Portland Timbers. With both clubs, he won the MLS Cup? Surely, things would get better in New England under him. Well that is an obvious no.

The Revs are a far cry from the 2021 team that won the Supporters Shield. Gil is a key player from that team that is still around. After all, he won MLS MVP that season. The 31-year-old attacking midfielder is great at creating and one on ones but it is clear he can’t do it alone.

However, as bad as the Revolution’s record is, they won their last two games. Emmanuel Boateng’s 81st minute goal lifted New England to 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls at home. The week before that, the Revs beat Nashville SC on the road with goals from Gil and 19-year-old Esmir Bajraktarevic.

Time for the Whitecaps to hit the ground running

It doesn’t matter if they are the worst team in the league, the best team or somewhere in the middle, the Whitecaps cannot take an opponent lightly.

They need to prove there isn’t any rust in their game and they took two weeks off to learn and improve. After all, they did beat Sporting Kansas City and the Colorado Rapids before the break. The latter was a sloppy win and hopefully they look lessons from that.

The ‘Caps will look to their captain Ryan Gauld to lead them to victory. In the last month, he has four goals and two assists. Brian White has been without a goal since April 27 so Saturday would be a good time to end his drought.

Vancouver also has to be defensively organized in New England. One way to penetrate a team struggling to score is to maintain structure.

Head coach Vanni Sartini will likely stick with the 3-5-2 that was used in the last few games. However, Andres Cubas as he got called up for Paraguay for friendlies ahead of the Copa America. Speaking of, it was announced Thursday that he got called up for Canada’s Copa America pre camp squad. It seems the Whitecaps will be without Ahmed too.

Sam Adekugbe has been dealing with a calf injury over the past month and as it stands, he seems questionable for Saturday. However, Adekugbe has been working in the gym according to Har Johal of Daily Hive.

It also looks like Fafa Picault will be in the squad after playing World Cup qualifying matches with Haiti.

Predicted starting XI (3-5-2/3-1-4-2)

Ryan Gauld Brian White

Pedro Vite Fafa Picault

Luis Martins Sebastian Berhalter Ryan Raposo

Tristan Blackmon Ranko Veselinovic Bjorn Inge Utvik

Yohei Takaoka

Kickoff is at 4:30 pm Pacific.