MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps

2017 MLS Cup Playoffs – Western Conference Semifinal (2nd Leg): Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps

CenturyLink Field – Thursday, November 2 – 22:30 ET (02:30 GMT)

Match Odds: Seattle 8/15 – Draw 3/1 – Vancouver 9/2

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Preview

The Seattle Sounders meet Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps for the second leg of their Western Conference Semifinal on Thursday night. The first leg ended in a fairly uneventful 0-0 draw. That result does set up for what should be a thrilling night here though.

The scenarios are fairly simple. A Seattle win inside 90 minutes will send them into the Western Conference Final. Another scoreless draw would take the game to extra-time and maybe penalties. A score draw or Vancouver win would send them through.

Both sets of fans have reason for optimism. Both teams have the quality to win Thursday’s meeting. And their previous meetings this season suggest there is nothing to pick between the two.

Seattle are the slight favourites as they have home-field advantage. They won all three home postseason games on their way to their MLS Cup title last year and haven’t lost a home playoff game since 2013.

They will be going out to win. A Vancouver goal would pile the pressure on the hosts but they know they have enough to get past the Whitecaps, having beaten them 3-0 at CenturyLink Field just over a month ago.

It’s been almost five months since the Sounders lost a home game. They have won three on the spin in front of their own fans, scoring 10 and conceding none in that stretch. They need to keep that going if they are to advance.

The Whitecaps might arrive with a more cautious game plan. They will be looking to counter and steal an away goal early to put themselves in the driving seat.

They have done well at CenturyLink Field in recent seasons too, despite the hostility from the home support. The Whitecaps have won four of the last six MLS meetings between the two sides at the stadium. Although they have dropped the most recent two without scoring.

These two went 1-1-1 through their three regular season meetings in 2017. That was followed by a 0-0 draw in the first-leg of this semi. So expect this to be close, hard-fought but most of all, entertaining.

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Team News

Clint Dempsey is available for the Sounders again as he returns from suspension. Osvaldo Alonso and Gustav Svensson could be in line to start, after both came off the bench in the first-leg draw at BC Place. However, Jordan Morris and Brad Evans are out. Victor Rodriguez is listed as ‘questionable’.

Vancouver have a couple of significant injury worries of their own. David Edgar and Matias Laba are ruled out with long-term injuries. While Yordy Reyna and Cristian Techera might have to start on the bench as both are carrying knocks.

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/L/W/W/D

Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: L/D/L/W/D

Key Stat: The Vancouver Whitecaps have never won an away game in the MLS Cup Playoffs (0-2-1). Their only draw was a 0-0 tie at Portland in 2015.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – He’s back from suspension and should be raring to go on such a huge night. This will be his 10th game against the Whitecaps but he only has one career goal against them. However, that did come in the 3-0 win in late September. If anyone is going to provide the difference, it’s likely to be Dempsey.

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps – This one should be close but it’s hard to look past the Sounders. The Whitecaps have never won an away game in the playoffs, while the Sounders tend to produce their best in front of their home crowd. An early goal would open the tie right up but we see the hosts prevailing by the odd goal on the night.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Saturday, September 17 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Seattle 3/4 – Draw 13/5 – Vancouver 100/30

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in the latest battle between these Cascadia Cup rivals on Saturday afternoon, in what is a huge battle between sides stuck outside the playoffs in the Western Conference.

Seattle have seen their form pick up since long-time manager Sigi Schmid left his position in the summer. The arrival of Nicolas Lodeiro has inspired a change of fortunes but they still have a lot of work left to do if they are to make the postseason.

The Sounders sit ninth in the West heading into the weekend, six points off the final remaining playoff spot with seven to play. It’s up for grabs but they need to be winning games like this one if they are to make the playoffs.

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - Dempsey, Morris and Lodeiro

A 1-1 draw at San Jose last time out took their winless run to three but the Sounders have only lost one of their last seven and look solid at the moment.

The same can’t be said for the Whitecaps, even if they did win 3-1 at Columbus last weekend. That victory snapped an eight-game winless run and they now need to build on it if they are to move back into the top six.

Vancouver have just five games left, including this one, to try and recover. They will face the Sounders again in two weeks in what should be an even more intense battle than the one set to play out at CenturyLink Field.

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps 2016

Vancouver had only scored one goal in seven prior to the victory at MAPFRE Stadium last time out, so goalscoring has clearly been a major problem for Carl Robinson’s troops.

The only other meeting this season ended 2-1 to Vancouver in Seattle back in Week 3. These two are also fighting each other and Portland for the Cascadia Cup Series, with the ‘Caps three points behind the Timbers in the race for that accolade.

Team News

Seattle will be without Aaron Kovar and Clint Dempsey once again, with Dempsey still yet to return following concerns about an irregular heartbeat. Nicolas Lodeiro will look to lead the team to victory and will be out to feed Jordan Morris as much as possible. Roman Torres returned from a long-term injury at San Jose and may keep his place at centre-back. Joevin Jones and Ossie Alonso are one booking away from a suspension.

Vancouver have two injury concerns themselves, with Christian Dean and Kekuta Manneh both sidelined for Saturday’s derby. Star centre-back Kendall Waston is one booking away from suspension and needs to therefore be careful.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/W/D/L/D

Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: L/L/D/L/W

Key Stat: Vancouver has won four consecutive away games at Seattle in MLS, including a 2-1 win there back in March. In that time, the Whitecaps have outscored the Sounders 10-2 at CenturyLink Field.

Key Player: Nicolas Lodeiro – Seattle’s summer signing has been sensational since joining the club. He has six assists and three goals in seven games and looks dangerous every time he gets the ball. If Vancouver fail to cope with Lodeiro, they’ll be in for a long afternoon.

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - Nicolas Lodeiro Celebrates

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps – The Sounders to end their three-year wait for a regular season home win over Vancouver with a narrow victory on Saturday. The Whitecaps may have won their last outing but they’ve been in dreadful form over the past couple of months and don’t look like a side ready for the playoffs. Seattle are pushing hard and will likely move in front of their Cascadia rivals on Saturday.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Saturday, March 19 – 22:00 ET (02:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Seattle 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – Vancouver 5/2

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders host Vancouver Whitecaps in the first Cascadia rivalry clash of the 2016 season, with both sides looking to put their first points on the board after a poor start to the campaign.

Both sides have lost their opening two games and will be desperate for a win here to stop problems from worsening. Beating fierce rivals would be a real boost for either and so there’s plenty at stake in their early-season clash.

Seattle fell 1-0 at home to Sporting Kansas City in their opener, before losing 2-1 to Real Salt Lake last weekend. Both results will have disappointed Sigi Schmid but he need to rally his side to bounce back here.

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The visit of Vancouver is sure to be a testing one, especially as the away side has emerged victorious in each of the last four regular season meeting between these clubs. Seattle need to give the home crowd something to celebrate early to try and set the tone.

The Whitecaps will be hugely disappointed to have lost both games so far. Their 3-2 defeat to Montreal was followed up by a 2-1 loss in Kansas City last Saturday and Carl Robinson knows his team need to shore up defensively very quickly.

Vancouver were excellent at the back last year but have conceded five in their first two and have already seen both Ignacio Piatti and Dom Dwyer net braces against them through the first two weeks.

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The Whitecaps did win last season’s only regular season game in Seattle by an emphatic 3-0 scoreline, although the Sounders recorded victories in both games at BC Place. The home side has struggled in this fixture of late and so Vancouver will be confident of leaving with at least a point.

Both clubs have already received a red card this term and need to keep their discipline to prevent this rivalry from getting out of hand on Saturday evening.

Team News

Seattle will be without defensive duo Brad Evans and Roman Torres once again here, while Erik Friberg is also still sidelined through injury. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei is a doubt, as are Michael Farfan, Nelson Valdez and Jordan Morris, though both Valdez and Morris are expected to be fit.

Vancouver have two suspensions to worry about as they head to CenturyLink Field. Jordan Smith will sit out after being sent off in last week’s loss to SKC, while Kianz Froese has been given a one-game suspension by the MLS Disciplinary Committee. Christian Dean and Russell Teibert remain injured, while Kekuta Manneh is a doubt as he is struggling with an ankle injury.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ form: L/L

Vancouver Whitecaps’ form: L/L

Key Stat: The Sounders have lost three-straight home matches to Vancouver in MLS and have been outscored 1-8 in that time.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – The Seattle star has had a slow start to 2016 but will hope to get his first goal of the campaign at home to Cascadia rivals on Saturday night. He can turn any game on its head in an instant, and needs to start producing the goods for the Sounders if they are to pick up positive results.

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Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps – It’s too difficult to separate these sides heading into this important game. Both will be desperate to stop the rot as far as losses are concerned and that could lead to a cagey affair. A draw would get both sides off the mark and so that looks the most likely result between two teams that have looked far from convincing so far.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Saturday, August 1 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle Sounders 5/4 – Draw 12/5 – Vancouver Whitecaps 19/10

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders entertain Western Conference rivals Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night with four points separating the sides ahead of the latest Cascadia Cup clash.

The Sounders have been out of form recently with just one win in their last seven games but despite their baron run they are still sitting fifth in the Western Conference and are on track to make the playoffs – the minimum expectation for last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners.

Sigi Schmid will know his side need to put an end to their three-game losing run and this would be a great game to do it in against their fierce rivals.

They come into the game off the back of their third 1-0 loss in a row, after the defeat by Montreal Impact last time out. Worryingly, the Sounders have failed to score in five of their last seven regular season games but the return of Clint Dempsey should see things improve dramatically.

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By contrast Vancouver Whitecaps have ensured their recent form has been steady. Despite losing two of their last five regular season ties, they have still picked up seven points in those games.

Carl Robinson will be disappointed not to be leading the Western Conference given how tight the table is, but knows his side are in a great position to take all three points in this one and keep their Western Conference winning hopes alive.

Vancouver come into the game off the back of their 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes last Sunday and they will be looking to build on their solid away form this season which has seen them win six of their 12 road trips.

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The Sounders currently lead the 2015 Cascadia Cup series, with Portland and Vancouver both tied on five points – one fewer than Seattle. The Sounders beat Vancouver 2-0 in May and will look to get revenge for last season’s 1-0 home loss to their rivals.

Team News

Seattle Sounders are set to be without Obafemi Martins and Andres Correa. Andy Craven and Stefan Frei are both doubts. Clint Dempsey will return to the side after playing in the Gold Cup and MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday night.

Vancouver Whitecaps have two injury concerns. Sam Adekugbe and Pedro Morales are doubtful, while Pa Modou Kah is one booking away from a suspension.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five in MLS: L/W/L/L/L

Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five in MLS: W/L/L/D/W

Key Stat: Seattle Sounders have lost six of their last seven in Major League Soccer and have failed to score in five of those games.

Key Player: Octavio Rivero – The Whitecaps forward got back to scoring ways in the 3-1 victory over San Jose and has now netted eight this season. He could be in for a treat against a Sounders side who keep letting in goals.

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Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps – Vancouver to pile more misery on a struggling Sounders side in what should be another entertaining Cascadia Cup clash at CenturyLink Field.