The Vancouver Whitecaps may have put forth a lame effort against the Seattle Sounders over the weekend, but they have a chance for redemption when the two teams lock horns again on Wednesday. It's going to be another tough test for the 'Caps, and to preview what they're up against, we spoke to Dave Clark from fellow SBNation site Sounder at Heart.
Dave Clark: This is the team that everyone thought they saw back when they were preseason favorites for multiple trophies. It was a long, winding road to get there and now there is more talent than there was then, but they are for real.
Seattle has a top 3 offense and a top 3 defense. There are weaknesses, so nothing is assured, but any team that can go into BC Place and do that damage is a quality side.
86F: Which team do you see as the biggest threat to the Sounders in the west?
DC: There is a possibly irrational fear of the LA Galaxy. They've stopped so many previous Playoff runs that they are the bugbear. It's not that they are the most threatening this year (their pathetic road record being a signal for playoff struggles), that would lie with Vancouver.
Seattle is a touch weak on defending the counter (both Whitecaps and Galaxy are great at it) and so need to find a way to stifle that in a couple November matches. But there is reason for hope. No club looks unbeatable. All it takes is a good couple of matches and the one annual unclaimed trophy can find its home in Seattle
86F: What would you say is Seattle's biggest weakness right now?
Set-pieces, both offensively and defensively. Having an ineffective dead ball attack means that other teams are willing to foul aggressively and there is little to punish them for it. The defense is a larger issue. Sounders are best when they aren't give up goals, because this is soccer.
Unfortunately the set-piece defense is poor enough that it is a surprise when they do not give up a goal on a corner or a free kick.
Lineup: Perkins; Remick, Lowe, Ockford, Fisher; Neagle, Friberg, Roldan, Pappa; Barrett, Valdez