Major League Soccer (Mid)Week 16 Preview, Pick: Toronto FC Tops Whitecaps

The Reds and Whitecaps will be playing for a bigger prize on Saturday, but Wednesday's game could have a significant effect on either team's playoff aspirations.

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Toronto FC Vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: Penalty Gives Reds Victory

Nick Soolsma converted a 54th minute and Toronto FC picked up just their third win of the season, beating the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 on Wednesday. The win was TFC's first since May 7 and ended a nine-match winless streak.

The goal was Soolsma's first in MLS, and he drew the penalty that led to it as well. Soolsma was taken down in the edge of the penalty area by Whitecaps defender Greg Janicki. Soolsma actually had to convert the penalty twice as Joao Plata was whistled for box encroachment on the first attempt.

Both coaches elected to sit several of their starters as the two teams will play again on Saturday in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship finals. The winner of that match will also earn a spot in the preliminary round of the CONCACAF Champions League.

The win puts Toronto FC on 18 points, just one point shy of the final playoff spot.

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Major League Soccer (Mid)Week 16 Preview, Pick: A Nutrilite Canadian Championship Warm-Up

Toronto FC will be hosting the Vancouver Whitecaps in a MLS match on Wednesday. While both teams could badly use a win, the reality is that this is a mere dress rehearsal for Saturday's encounter. That game will actually determine the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, which comes with a spot in the preliminary round of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Both teams do need a MLS victory in the worst way, though. The Whitecaps have won just once since beating Toronto FC during First Kick. Although that win came two weeks ago, they followed it up with a loss to Sporting Kansas City.

TFC, which just signed a pair of Designated Players but won't be able to use them until July 20, have just two wins all year, are riding a two-game losing strak and a nine-match winless run. 

Still, both teams are close enough to the playoff race that they still have hope. The Reds are only four points out of the final playoff spot and the Whitecaps are within five points. 

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