The Vancouver Whitecaps will go looking for another three points this weekend, but they will be met with a very tough test in the visiting Seattle Sounders. While the Sounders haven't won in BC since 2013, they still boast an impressive lineup, and could cause fits for the Whitecaps backline. To break down the match-up further, we touched base with Dave Clark of Sounder at Heart for 'Three Questions With'.
86Forever: How on Earth do you stop Dempsey and Martins? My uh, friend wants to know
Sounder at Heart: The easiest way is to have one of them not play. You're probably in luck, since Obafemi missed practice on Thursday. He could still play, but I'd say that's unlikely.
So far I don't know that there is a way to stop them both.With just Dempsey the idea would be to have one of the CBs come out to him and have one of the DMs drop back. That will limit his passing options and force his less-talented-than-Martins teammates to play those intricate passes. There will still be moments of magic, but maybe only one is successful.
86F: What's Seattle's biggest weakness?
SAH: Two fans answered this over on our Facebook page.
Tristan says, "It's hard to put my finger on. We've had some inconsistent performances in the defensive side, despite having a decent goals against. The team also seems to lag in adjusting defensively, thinking of the matches against Colorado, NYC, and Columbus. The best bet might be to try to overwhelm Seattle early for a goal, make them chase the lead, sit back to contain ObaDeuce, and try to feast on the quick counter."
Patrick answers, "That we've had trouble finding a midfield partnership that functions properly. That or the lack of a true wide attacking player."
86F: How do you think the Sounders could find success against the 'Caps?
SAH: I see two keys to this game for Seattle. The first is to sit the midfield line a bit deeper so that the the defense can get some help and prevent a goal from space between lines. With three natural central midfielders likely to start they should be able to control Vancouver's attack.
The second is to get Waston or Kah sent off. Both are prone to yellows and Dempsey can get under players' skin pretty easily. If Vancouver has to play down a man the weakened Sounders attack will have success. If it is Waston that leaves than look for Sounders to succeed on set-pieces. Without Kah Dempsey and Pappa can play at the top of the 18.
Projected Lineup: Frei; Remick, Marshall, Evans, Mears; Rose, Pineda, Alonso, Pappa; Neagle, Dempsey