MLS: Whitecaps yearn to end 14-match road winless skid at St. Louis City

The Vancouver Whitecaps will take another shot at halting their road skid when they battle St. Louis City SC on Saturday night.

The Whitecaps are 0-3-3 on the road this season as part of a 14-match winless stretch away from home (0-7-7). The issues are preventing seventh-place Vancouver (4-4-5, 17 points) from being higher in the Western Conference standings.

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“I think we need to really work mentally on what the players do here (in Vancouver) in order to prepare for the game and what we do when we are in a different environment and play away,” Whitecaps coach Vanni Sartini said after last Saturday’s 2-0 home win over the Seattle Sounders. “The readiness we have (at home) is different than the readiness we have away.”

Expansion St. Louis City (7-4-1, 22 points) is a solid 4-2-0 at home and resides in a tie for third place in the West with FC Dallas.

St. Louis City ranks second in the league with 26 goals and has tallied three or more on six occasions.

The latest onslaught came in last Saturday’s 4-0 shellacking of visiting Sporting Kansas City. Indiana Vassilev scored two goals and Eduard Lowen and Niko Gioacchini each added one tally.

St. Louis leading scorer Joao Klauss (five goals) will likely miss his fourth consecutive MLS match due to a quadriceps injury.

Klauss was initially forecast to be sidelined 10 to 14 days.

“Klauss is week-to-week now,” St. Louis coach Bradley Carnell told reporters. “We just have to see. He has some good days and some bad days. … We’re hoping he’s back sooner than later, but there are no guarantees.”

The Whitecaps will be without defender Ali Ahmed, who sustained a concussion during the club’s 3-0 win over Pacific FC on Wednesday that lifted it into the Canadian Championship title match. Vancouver hosts CF Montreal on June 7.

Ahmed was motionless on the turf before eventually being put on a stretcher and taken to a nearby hospital. There is not yet a timetable for his return.

“I didn’t quite see exactly what happened,” Whitecaps midfielder Julian Gressel said. “The scary moment for me was when I saw them go over with the board to pick him up. I saw his chest moving, which was a big thing for me, that I saw him breathing and his eyes were closed, and everyone was waiting for the trainers to come out.”

Simon Becher and Brian White are tied for the Vancouver lead with four goals apiece.

–Field Level Media

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