Competition: Major League Soccer – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: BC Place – Friday, April 14 – 22:00 ET (03:00 GMT)
Match Odds: Vancouver 13/10 – Draw 11/5 – Seattle 2/1
Vancouver Whitecaps welcome Seattle Sounders to BC Place on Friday night for the first Cascadia Cup clash of the 2017 season, with both sides desperate for points after picking up just one win each so far.
Vancouver are struggling. They have lost three of their five games so far, with their 4-2 win over LA Galaxy two weeks ago followed up by a disappointing 3-0 defeat at RSL in Saturday’s snowstorm.
Carl Robinson will be under pressure to get the team firing. They have the players available to be doing a lot better than they currently are but need to perform to a much higher level to get back into contention this season.
Defensively, the Whitecaps have been poor so far. Only Minnesota’s leaky backline have shipped more goals than Vancouver so far and that highlights their problems at the back. David Ousted is averaging 2.5 saves-per-game so they could be doing a lot worse if it wasn’t for their last line of defence.
Seattle Sounders have the attacking players at their disposal to add to Vancouver’s defensive misery but haven’t been firing on all cylinders themselves so far this season.
Seattle have only won one game too, but haven’t lost since the opening weekend of the season, drawing their last two against Atlanta United and San Jose Earthquakes.
Last week’s 1-1 draw in San Jose was particularly disappointing for Brian Schmetzer’s team as they took the lead in the 84th minute but then conceded in the dying minutes after a lack of concentration saw Chris Wondolowski fire in from close range.
It’s difficult to split the two teams ahead of Friday’s game. Both can score goals and cause endless problems but both have struggled to defend well, so there could be plenty of entertainment in the first Cascadia Cup battle of the season.
This will be the 18th MLS clash between the two rivals. Seattle hold the edge having won seven to Vancouver’s six so far, with four meetings ending in a draw.
Vancouver Whitecaps have five played ruled out through injury as Brek Shea, Erik Hurtado, David Edgar, Yordy Reyna and Brett Levis are all sidelined.
Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer is still without Brad Evans and Aaron Kovar, while Roman Torres is a doubt with a hamstring strain.
Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: D/L/L/W/L
Seattle Sounders’ last five: L/D/W/D/D
Key Stat: The away team has been victorious in this fixture in six of the last seven meetings between the two.
Key Player: Nicolas Lodeiro – The Uruguayan playmaker is still one of the best in MLS, despite a relatively slow start to 2017. He reminded us all of his quality with his goal in San Jose last weekend and he’s now scored in back-to-back road games in MLS. The Vancouver defence is vulnerable and Lodeiro is sure to take advantage of that.
Vancouver Whitecaps 1-3 Seattle Sounders – Vancouver’s terrible form doesn’t look likely to improve on Friday night as the trend of away victories in this fixture is poised to continue with a Seattle win. The Sounders haven’t been great themselves but the reigning MLS Cup champions have the attacking threats to hurt a poor Whitecaps defence and that should see them leave with all three points.