New York City FC has cobbled together three consecutive victories to reside on the cusp of first place in the top-heavy Eastern Conference.
NYCFC (13-5-8, 47 points) conceivably could take that final step as it vies for a season-high fourth straight win on Saturday against the host Vancouver Whitecaps (6-14-9, 27 points), who occupy a share of the Western Conference cellar.
NYCFC rests one point behind Eastern Conference co-leaders Atlanta United and Philadelphia Union, who happen to square off against one another earlier on Saturday in Chester, Pa. A draw in that match and a victory by the visitors at BC Place would catapult NYCFC into first place in the East.
Heber continued his torrid stretch by scoring for the fourth time in his last four matches last Saturday to lift NYCFC to a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls in the Hudson River Derby at Yankee Stadium.
"I'm very happy to be able to score. For us forwards, we always have a better night when we score," Heber said.
Heber hopes to have another strong night on Saturday when he takes his show on the road, where he has recorded 10 of his team-leading 13 goals.
"We're doing well. We know what we want and what we're looking for," midfielder Maxi Moralez said. "We have a couple games in hand and obviously winning the games we have left, we can go to the top."
Vancouver fell victim to the same 2-1 outcome in its last match, as it squandered an early lead in its loss to Montreal on Wednesday.
Yordy Reyna converted Tosaint Ricketts' cross at the back post in the 17th minute, but his attempt for a brace was denied after he came up empty on a penalty kick.
An own goal and an Impact tally two minutes later sent the Whitecaps to defeat in the fourth straight match in which they have scored the game's first goal.
"It's frustrating. I feel like we shot ourselves in the foot once again," Vancouver goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau said. "It's the story of the year for us, honestly. We have difficulties to put the game away. ... There's not much to say more than this. We made a mistake and we paid cash, and we're chasing the game once again."
--Field Level Media
NYCFC look to extend win streak against Whitecaps
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