Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Whitecaps Seek First Road Win against Rival Impact and Red-Hot Scorer Jackson-Hamel

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Whitecaps Seek First Road Win against Rival Impact and Red-Hot Scorer Jackson-Hamel

Article excerpt

Red-hot Jackson an option for Impact vs Caps

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MONTREAL - As hot as Anthony Jackson-Hamel has been, the Quebec City striker does not appear likely to get his first start of the season when the Montreal Impact play host to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday afternoon.

Jackson-Hamel has scored three times in the Impact's last two games, both times as a second half substitute. It's a small sample size for sure, but his three goals in a total of 37 minutes of play has him on a pace of more than seven goals per 90-minute game.

Coach Mauro Biello now must decide whether to give him a start while he's hot or stick with what has been working and bring him in off the bench. The latter option sounds more likely for now.

"You have to be careful sometimes," Biello said this week. "I know the statistic is amazing, but we also have to consider his strengths, the game, the opposition and how he can help us.

"When the game is opened up you can see how Jackson can use his qualities with his speed and agressiveness. So that (going in as a substitute) becomes a good option for me, and if he's able to score it's a bonus. But for sure if he continues to score, it's going to push my hand to give him a start."

That suggests Matteo Mancuso will be in his familiar spot up front when the Impact (1-2-4), 10th in the MLS Eastern Conference, face the Whitecaps (2-4-1), ninth in the west, in a mid-afternoon contest in mild weather at Saputo Stadium. Montreal is 1-0-1 at home.

Vancouver, 0-3-0 on the road this season and 1-8-3 in MLS road games since last summer, is coming off a 2-1 defeat in Portland in which forward Freddy Montero notched his fourth goal of the season. The away record is deceiving, as the Whitecaps lost one of them in a snowstorm at Salt Lake and another when goalkeeper David Ousted was shown the red card while Vancouver was leading 2-0 in the 23rd minute in San Jose.

The Whitecaps have also been juggling league matches with CONCACAF Champions League play, in which they beat the New York Red Bulls in the quarter-finals before losing to Tigres of Mexico. …

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