Competition: Major League Soccer – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: BC Place – Saturday, May 16th – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: Vancouver 11/8 – Draw 12/5 – Seattle 19/10
Vancouver have already played two of their six Cascadia Cup games against the Portland Timbers, winning at home before drawing away and look to be in good shape at the top of the Western after 11 games.
Seattle have only played one Cascadia game so far as they beat Portland 1-0 at home and they will hope to move into pole position in the chase for the Cascadia Cup with a win over the Whitecaps this weekend.
That won’t be easy as Vancouver have not conceded a goal in their last two, beating Philadelphia Union last weekend 3-0 to calm any fears of a lapse after a slight dip. They started the season with four wins from their opening five but then only picked up one win in five before last weekend’s victory.Embed from Getty Images
They have been inconsistent but look in good shape heading into this clash. The Whitecaps have won the Cascadia Cup series the past two seasons and will expect to do so again this year as a result.
Seattle Sounders come into the game off the back of a 3-2 defeat in Columbus last weekend and they have not won in Vancouver for four years, so this is by no means a straightforward task for either side.
Seattle had won three in a row before last week’s loss and will look to recapture that form here. If Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins are at their best, it will be almost impossible to stop them. The attacking duo are probably the most lethal in MLS and have 13 of the team’s 15 goals this season.Embed from Getty Images
The Whitecaps have their own attacking duo to unleash in the form of Pedro Morales and Octavio Rivero. The South American attackers have scored eight of Vancouver’s 14 goals this term.
Last season saw the Whitecaps go unbeaten against the Sounders, winning two games 1-0 and drawing the other 2-2. There are usually goals between these two and this has all the makings to be the game of the weekend.
Vancouver boss Carl Robinson has five injury worries heading into the game as Andre Lewis and Marco Bustos are both out, while Diego Rodriguez, Steven Beitashour and Mauro Rosales are all doubtful. Sam Adekugbe and Pa Modou Kah are one booking away from suspension and need to be careful. Darren Mattocks came off the bench to score his third of the season last week and will be pushing for a start here.
Seattle Sounders have no injury worries or suspensions to deal with and are at full strength. Sigi Schmid is likely to make changes after last week’s loss and Lamar Neagle could come in for Andy Rose. Dempsey and Martins will partner each other in attack.
Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: L/W/L/D/W
Seattle Sounders’ last five: L/W/W/W/L
Key Stat: The Whitecaps have not lost to Seattle in their last five meetings, winning four of those games.
Key Player: Clint Dempsey – The Sounders’ hopes rest on Dempsey’s shoulders. The attacker has been phenomenal this year and has an MLS-leading seven goals so far with four more assists. Expect him to cause trouble for the Vancouver defence.Embed from Getty Images
Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2 Seattle Sounders – Expect this one to have goals. Both sides boast some of the best attacking players in MLS but both team will not want to lose this. A draw is a likely outcome and the 2-2 draw from BC Place last season could well be repeated.