Today's match between the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Seattle Sounders isn't about a trophy (though it will influence the Cascadia Cup). It would be easy to say it is about rivalry, as the competition between these cities within soccer goes back nearly 40 years and 125 games. Instead though, it is about standings. Pure and simple, the Whitecaps are not bad this season. They look like a Western Conference playoff team, though probably just into the play-in round. These are teams that could meet again in bigger games and gaining an advantage early in the season can only help.
The Whitecaps are a bit weak defending crosses. They've given up three goals in their 10 MLS games played from that type of attack. With Adam Johansson, Mauro Rosales, Alvaro Fernandez and Marc Burch able to swing the ball in during today's action Seattle has an advantage. Burch and Fernandez will have their hands full with Seb Le Toux and Y-P Lee though, so positional awareness on Seattle's left flank will be important. Offensively the Sounders can look to the far post a bit more and finish those opportunities. Vancouver allows a higher rate of shots on frame than the Sounders. There should be a bit more opportunity and not just from Seattle getting the preferred attacking four together.
There's also an opportunity for Eddie Johnson to show not just Seattle fans, but Jurgen Klinsmann that he's back. The ‘Caps central defense is strong by league standards and with a USMNT qualifying cycle starting up his ability to return would be greatly aided by a charge up the goal scoring charts.
Rennie plays that 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 formation that will put a bit of communication issues to test. With Seattle likely to have two attacking fullbacks playing the ability to defend the center will be imperative. The not-Alonso central midfielder may play further back in a defensive role to help against counters. As usual that will not define the defense, instead it will be the success of Alonso, Parke and Hurtado.
The game is on KONG 6/16 and 97.3 FM (KOMO2 & 99.3 in Spanish) at 2 PM Pacific
Team Statistics Matchups
Team Shots +/- Run of Play Dead Ball Conversion % Conversion Against OnFrame % OnFrame Against Seattle 3.0 5 2 9.9% 4.0% 29.0% 29.7% Whitecaps -1.1 -3 2 9.3% 9.2% 33.3% 36.1%
Run of Play
- Flank Attacks
- Far Post Finisher
- Frustrate Hassli
- Central Defense
How We're Watching
Where I'm Watching: Silly weddings
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