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Scouting Report: Riding the Whitecaps

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The Sounders will look to end their three-game losing streak.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

What You’ll Watch

In what feels like an eternity, the Seattle Sounders return to the field this Saturday to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps. This is the second and final regular season meeting between these two Cascadia rivals. Earlier this season, the two drew 0-0.

Vancouver currently sits in ninth place in the Western Conference with a record of 4-6-8 (20 points in 18 games; 1.11 ppg) and the Sounders sit in third place with a record of 7-4-5 (26 points in 16 games; 1.63 ppg). Last time out, the Sounders lost on the road to Montreal 2-1 on June 5. Vancouver drew 2-2 against FC Dallas this past Wednesday.

This will be the 24th all-time regular season meeting between these two. Overall, Seattle is 10-7-6 with 33 goals scored and 27 conceded. At home, the Sounders are 5-4-1 with 15 goals scored and 14 conceded. The Sounders have won their last four home encounters with the Whitecaps, which includes one playoff game in 2016.

Tale of the Tape

Seattle

Last Five: W-T-L-L-L

Leading Goal Scorer: Raul Ruidiaz, six goals

Assist Leader: Nicolas Lodeiro, eight assists

Vancouver

Last Five: T-T-W-T-T

Leading Goal Scorer: Fredy Montero, six goals

Assist Leader: Ali Adnan, Inbeom Hwang and Montero, two assists

Injury Report, Suspensions and International Duty

Vancouver

Out: Jasser Khmiri (left knee injury), David Norman Jr. (right foot surgery), Joaquin Ardaiz (left hamstring strain), Thomas Hasal (left shoulder sprain)

Questionable: none

Suspensions: none

International Duty: Derek Cornelius, Russell Teibert, Doneil Henry, Maxime Crepeau

Seattle

Out: Will Bruin (ACL tear)

Questionable: Kim Kee-hee (hamstring)

Suspensions: none

International Duty: Nicolas Lodeiro, Raul Ruidiaz, Jordan Morris, Roman Torres, Cristian Roldan

Match Officials

REFEREE: Alan Kelly

AR1: Jeremy Kieso

AR2: Mike Rottersman

4th: Elton Garcia

VAR: Edvin Jurisevic

AVAR: Joshua Patlak

What to Watch

  • The Whitecaps were able to take three weeks off during the international window, but they actually have been playing matches for a week. Saturday’s match will be their third in eight days and their second straight on the road. Their two previous games ended in 2-2 ties, first at home against the suddenly surging Colorado Rapids and then at FC Dallas, a match in which they erased a 2-0 deficit and equalized on Lucas Venuto’s 95th minute strike. Nine players ended up starting both games, so it’s possible that Marc Dos Santos could feel compelled to use some additional rotation.
  • Since going winless in their first six, the Whitecaps have gone 4-2-6 and are now just one point out of a playoff spot. They’re actually on a six-game unbeaten run, although they have just eight points in those matches. They are still the only team to have beaten LAFC this year and have used a similar game plan that they used in that game to steady the ship. For the most part, they cede a majority of possession and look for chances and play a opportunistic style of offense that is predicated on set pieces and drawing penalties. Just 13 of their 21 goals have come from open play.
  • Fredy Montero has been by far their most dangerous scorer, but four of his six goals have come from the penalty spot. The former Sounder is not quite as active as he was in his younger years — he’s averaging one shot fewer per game than his career MLS average — but he’s still finding a way to squeeze off about two shots per game.
  • South Korean Hwang In-Beom and Brazilian Venuto are probably their two most exciting players with the ball at their feet, but they have just four goals and three assists to show for it between them. Iranian left back Ali Adnan has also been a nice addition for them and he’s proven himself very dangerous in the attack.
  • Like the Sounders, the Whitecaps are a bit shorthanded and are missing eight players through either injury or international duty. Among them are regular starters Henry, Teibert and Crepeau, The Sounders are likely without five of their regular starters, and are most likely going to be starting the recently signed Justin Dhillon at forward. One of Saad Abdul-Salaam and Jonathan Campbell are also likely to start as Xavier Arreaga is attending to family matters and has not yet rejoined the team after Ecuador was eliminated from Copa America.

How to Watch

Date/Time: Saturday, June 29 @ 7:00 PM

Location: CenturyLink Field — Seattle, WA

TV: JOEtv

Streaming: YouTube TV, ESPN+ (out of market, affiliate-link)

Radio: 950 KJR AM (English), El Rey 1360AM (Spanish)

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