'Caps down to the wire

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

The Vancouver Whitecaps need wins tonight and Sunday to clinch home field advantage in the first round of United Soccer Leagues' playoffs.

The defending First Division champions, seventh-place with a 9-7-10 record, host the Atlanta Silverbacks tonight at Swangard Stadium (7 p.m. Team 1040/Shaw TV). The 12-9-6 Silverbacks, however, need only a tie to clinch fourth place.

"Atlanta is a very physical team," said Vancouver head coach Bob Lilley. "They've got plenty of firepower up top."

Whitecaps end the regular season Sunday afternoon against the Portland Timbers (4 p.m. Team 1040). Portland is jockeying to remain in first place over the Montreal Impact and Seattle Sounders.

Whitecaps clinched their playoff entry with last week's 1-0 win over the Minnesota Thunder.


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