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Heading into the final week of the MLS season Vancouver Whitecaps playoff fate is in their own hands, and given the tumultuous offseason at the club that is a big achievement in itself. The Whitecaps know a win at home against Colorado Rapids on Saturday (live on TSN) will ensure they finish fifth in the West and face a road trip to either Real Salt Lake or FC Dallas in the Western Conference Knockout Round. There are other scenarios as well - put simply, the Caps just need to match whatever result Portland Timbers gets at FC Dallas to finish above their Cascadia rivals. Having come this far anything other than postseason qualification would be a massive letdown, but in my view whatever the outcome, when the dust settles this season can be classed as a success. The Whitecaps have won the Cascadia Cup and also qualified for the 2015/16 Champions League, but most importantly, they have started to build a strong foundation for future success as they aim to become a club that can challenge at the top of the Western Conference on a yearly basis. They have a plan. They have an identity. They have strong leadership under the ever impressive rookie head coach Carl Robinson, and they have the base of a very good squad. Someone asked me last week: who has been the Whitecaps best signing this season? The fact that question is difficult to answer speaks to the strength of Robinsons recruitment and gives faith that future additions will continue to make the club stronger. They also have a commitment to developing young talent and giving those players a chance. Pedro Morales will likely win the team MVP award because he leads the way with goals and assists, but Matias Laba has had an outstanding season and has shown himself to be a league-leader in his position. And while much of the talk in Vancouver has been about the lack of a goalscorer - a position that will be addressed in the offseason - the midseason additions of Mauro Rosales and Kendall Waston have played a vital role in getting the Caps to where they are now. So where are they now? They are a young team still with plenty to learn but they have proved this year they have the ability to live with the top teams in the league. The performance at Seattle two weeks ago was in my mind without doubt their best since joining Major League Soccer. It was a game that showed they have started to grow up as a squad. Four weeks ago, after the disheartening 3-0 loss at Portland, it seemed the playoffs would be out of reach, but since then the players have shown immense character and belief to go four games unbeaten, with three wins and three clean sheets along the way. It has been, and will continue to be a steep learning curve for Carl Robinson and his players, but under difficult circumstances they have already shown themselves to be up for the challenge. This weekend, they face a Colorado team that they are expected to beat but these games have often been a challenge for the Caps this season. The fact they have already lost to Colorado twice this year, couldnt beat Chivas in three meetings and struggled to a 0-0 draw against Montreal Impact highlights their inability to win matches when they are clear favourites. With a few more points against those teams below them in the standings, they would already be safely in the top five. Thats the next step for this team. Next season they need a Plan B and Plan C for when things arent working. But back to what matters right now and the task in hand on Saturday. The Whitecaps have the more favourable final match. They are at home to a Colorado Rapids side that hasnt won in 13 matches while Portland Timbers - a point behind the Caps - will head to Texas to face a Dallas side that will most likely still be fighting for third place in the West. Portland kicks off 90 minutes before the Whitecaps, so shortly after kick off at BC Place, the Caps will know the result they need to make the postseason, but Carl Robinson has made it clear his attention will be focused purely on ensuring his team gets the job done without the need for help from elsewhere. This Saturday could be another defining moment in the life of this squad. They have coped with the pressure so far, but have one more cup final to go. 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The pair ended pointless droughts when they each scored two goals in a 6-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets that halted a two-game losing skid for the Stars (15-11-5).OCALA, Fla. - Jessica Korda pulled a hand warmer out of each jacket pocket, showing just how cold she was during the opening round of the LPGA opener.Her scoreboard told a much different story.The 21-year-old American shot a 6-under 66 in the opening round of the Coates Golf Championship on Wednesday and was in a three-way tie with fellow American Stacy Lewis and Azahara Munoz of Spain. All three teed off in windy conditions and finished in chilly temperatures just before dark.I cant feel my fingers right now, Korda said.She might be in for more of the same Thursday morning, with temperatures expected to be the mid- to late-30s for the early tee times.Twenty players failed to complete the opening round at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, which boasts eight tribute holes from famed courses around the world. They will finish up beginning at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, just before Korda, Lewis and Munoz tee off in the second round.Only 26 of 120 players were under par when play was halted.American Austin Ernst and Ha Na Jang of South Korea finished at 5 under, one stroke ahead of New Zealands Lydia Ko and South Koreas Na Yeon Choi. Nineteen-year-old American Lexi Thompson and Mi Jung Hur of South Korea were 3 under.Top-ranked Inbee Park was 1 under, one shot ahead of reigning U.S. Womens Open champion Michelle Wie. Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, was 4 over through 17 holes.Ernst was maybe the most surprising name on the leaderboard. She hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation and made just about every putt inside of 10 feet.Ive had rounds in the past where youve hit it close and then you cant get annything to go in, Ernst said.dddddddddddd. But today everything was going in so I was really confident with everything.Korda, Lewis and Munoz were feeling it, too.Korda straightened out an errant driver on the front nine and birdied six of her final 13 holes. Considering shes won two of the last three LPGA season openers — in Australia in 2012 and in the Bahamas last year — starting fast is nothing new.I just feel like Im refreshed and ready to go, she said. I try and bring the mentality with me all the time, every time I try to play, but for some reason it just shines brighter the first event of the season. Honestly, I dont know what it is about it. Im just happy to be back. Its so much fun. Its like the first day of school; youre always happy to be back the first week of school.Lewis birdied five of her final six holes, the last coming on an uphill, 6-footer just after the horn blew.I stayed patient out there, Lewis said. Finally, on the back nine, I got more comfortable with being back playing again and just started hitting golf shots. It was a good day. I almost wish we didnt have darkness and I could keep going since I finally got into a rhythm there. Munoz was solid throughout, hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation, and closed with consecutive birdies to make it a three-way tie at the top. The only green she missed was at the par-4 13th, her approach shot coming up just a few feet short and rolling off the front.I gave myself a lot of opportunities and I made them, too, she said. If I didnt hit a really good shot, I made a couple nice 5-, 6-footers for par, so that was nice. Cheap Jerseys 2019 China NFL Gear Wholesale NFL T-shirts Wholesale NFL Autographed Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale NFL White Jerseys China NFL Gear ' ' '