The Seattle Sounders take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in the second of a little two-game home stand, the final home game of the regular season. Both teams are pushing to lock up home-field advantage in the playoffs, having secured their postseason places in their midweek fixtures. A win for Seattle would guarantee a top-four finish, while a win for the visitors would see the Whitecaps level on points with the Sounders.
Vancouver and Seattle both won on Wednesday night, although the Whitecaps did it in a more emphatic fashion. St. Louis CITY SC traveled up to Vancouver after securing first in the West last weekend, rotated pretty heavily, and got punished for it to the tune of a 3-0 beating from their hosts. As has become typical, Ryan Gauld and Brian White both found their way to the scoresheet, having both broken the 20 combined goals-and-assists mark for the season. They make Vanni Sartini’s attack go, and keeping them quiet will be a crucial and difficult task for the Sounders.
The Sounders have managed to turn what felt like a pretty lackluster season when they were grinding out draws and being hard to beat, but not picking up wins as often as we’d all have liked, into something that could be much, much more after a couple of 2-1 wins and an impressive 0-0 draw against Nashville SC. They’re on a seven-game unbeaten run, and facing a Whitecaps team that’s had a tough time keeping their opponents off the scoreboard the Sounders could use an opportunity to get the attack clicking ahead of the playoffs.
One key stat
12 - Nico Lodeiro has 12 goal contributions against the Whitecaps, tied for his most against any single opponent, with 7 goals and 5 assists in 16 games.
This game seems destined to have goals. Vancouver score a lot – 54 on the season, second in the West only behind St. Louis – and they get scored on a lot as well – 47 allowed is the second most of any playoff team in the West behind Portland’s 51. This match-up has been particularly goal-filled in recent years, with an average of 3.4 goals per game over the last 10 meetings. Vancouver are riding a big win over St. Louis after going winless in four, while the Sounders should be fielding something like their best lineup after a dramatic win over the LA Galaxy. The Sounders should take this opportunity to build on the work they’ve put in with a win.
How close to full strength is everyone?
- Raul Ruidíaz returned to training on Friday, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to play. Everyone else is basically available.
- Goalkeeper Thomas Hasal remains out with a knee issue for Vancouver, while Luis Martins is listed as questionable with a quad strain.
Sounders (4-2-3-1): Frei; Nouhou, Ragen, Yeimar, A. Roldan; Atencio, João Paulo; Chu, Lodeiro, C. Roldan; Morris
Opponent (3-5-2): Takaoka; Blackmon, Veselinovic, Brown; Laryea, Vite, Cubas, Schöpf, Berhalter; Gauld, White
What you need to know
Sounders record (2nd place): 13-9-10 +7 GD
Whitecaps record (5th place in the West): 12-10-10 +7 GD
Where: Lumen Field, Seattle, WA
Kickoff time: 7:39pm Pacific Time
Commentators (Apple TV): Chris Wittyngham and Lori Lindsey