Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs Seattle Sounders FC
Location: Lumen Field
Date and Time: Jun 14th, 7:30 pm PST, 10:30pm EST
Watching: TSN (in Canada) & MLS Live on ESPN+ (in US)
After a purple patch of form for Vancouver, they were faced with the prospect of an extended break as the football world settled the last of its World Cup teams. And an extended rest is probably what the Whitecaps will need to face off against continental champions Seattle Sounders, who are coming back into form after prioritizing the CCL for the first number of games of the season. Usually great, the Whitecaps shouldn’t sleep on the two time MLS cup champions based on their start of season form, as this is something they’ve often done throughout their history.
As mentioned before, it is the last of World Cup qualifiers along with Nations league games, so the Whitecaps are missing some key personnel, most notably defender Javain brown and top scorer Lucas Cavallini. For a team with limited striking options such as Vancouver this is a major blow against a rival with such strength. Luckily, this is offset a little by the arrival of Cubas who has begun training with the team after a stint with Paraguay. Seattle, on the other hand, are missing five players, many of key importance. These five are Arreaga, Morris, Cristian Roldan, Rusnak, and Nouhou. This is a bulk of the Seattle attack out for the count, but they have coped with less before. For one, they are not missing star striker Raul Ruidiaz, who after dealing with some injuries, has been back to goalscoring form, alongside Sounders legend and ex-Whitecap Fredy Montero. The Whitecaps cannot let their guard down for even a second lest Seattle take advantage of their carelessness. Had this match taken place during its original time period, the Whitecaps could have capitalized on Seattle prioritizing the Champions league and taken a victory much like FC Dallas did shortly after their CCL victory, but MLS wanted to give Seattle the highest chance of victory against Pumas, which they inevitably did and led us to where we are today. Compounding what seems like insurmountable odds, this is also a trip to Seattle, and the Whitecaps’ away record hasn’t been exactly stellar enough to install hope that they can snatch a victory on enemy territory.
With the middle of the season well underway, it’s do or die for many teams and they can’t afford to take their foot off of the gas pedal and this is crucial for both of the teams today as they hover right below the playoff line. Due to this, it’s hard to see how the Whitecaps could stand a chance against a Seattle determined to reclaim their spot at the top of the table. I foresee a 2-0 loss at the hands of Seattle, but not without a good showing from the Whitecaps.
Eighty Six Forever Staff Picks:
Sam: 3-1 SEA
Caleb: 0-0 DRAW
Andrew: 2-2 SEA
Ian: 2-0 SEA