The Vancouver Whitecaps and the Seattle Sounders will face off on Saturday evening, at 7pm, at BC Place. This derby match will be the fifth of six Major League Soccer matches that will count to the supporter-created Cascadia Cup, with only the season-ending Whitecaps versus Portland Timbers match remaining.
Currently, the Sounders lead the standings with six points, with the Timbers and Whitecaps each with three. If the Sounders win Saturday’s match, they will reclaim the Cascadia Cup, and make it different winners in each of the last five seasons: Vancouver, Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, [Sounders].
In Major League Soccer play, there is a lot on the line too. The Vancouver Whitecaps sit one point behind the Seattle Sounders for the sixth and final playoff spot in the West. This is thanks, in large part, to the Sounders EIGHT! game win streak. Yes, in their previous eight matches, they have accumulated 24 points!
Luckily for the Whitecaps, they have a bit of a reputation for breaking long win streaks. Despite the ups and downs under Carl Robinson, the Whitecaps have broken long home winning streaks, and a few game winning streaks. Could Saturday see the Caps do it again?
The task to break the Sounders stream is made a bit harder, with Yordy Reyna being suspended last match, due to yellow card accumulation. This is a big break for Seattle, as Reyna has been red hot of late with two goals and six assists in his four starts (five appearances). On the Sounders side, there are no major injuries or suspensions to speak of (with Morris being out all season); although it might be strange to not see Dempsey and Russell Teibert fighting it out. I am not sure whether Teibert will be happy for that or not, as he seemed to thrive on their competition.
Despite how the fan frustration might lead many to think that the Whitecaps are playing poorly of late, they are on a bit of a streak, having four wins and two draws in their previous six. However, it is worth noting that three of those wins are Minnesota and San Jose (twice). Not exactly stiff competitions. Then again, they have the recent Portland away victory and draws against the two, strong, New York clubs.
The Whitecaps have a BRUTAL end to their season, which is probably why MLS Analysts do not see the Caps making the playoffs. It is understandable, as the Caps close out with Seattle, Dallas, LA Galaxy, Toronto FC, Kansas City, LAFC, and Portland. YIKES! Therefore, while it is cliche, this is a must-win match for Vancouver, at home.
The Whitecaps have a slim chance to make the playoffs, and their slim chances become almost non-existent if they are unable to get a win Saturday night.
Match Information (Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC)
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 29
Location: BC Place — Vancouver
Game Time: September 15th — 7 pm PST (10 pm EST)
Watch: TSN2 (Canada), ESPN+ (United States)