Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders | MLS Match Preview
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
May 24, 2014 (WEEK 12, MLS Game #107)
4 p.m. PT (TSN2/RDS2; JOEtv)
A massive Cascadia Cup clash is ahead on Saturday afternoon when Vancouver Whitecaps FC play host to Seattle Sounders FC at BC Place. Whitecaps FC return to action off back-to-back league victories, their last MLS match a 1-0 win at the Columbus Crew two weeks ago. Sounders FC have jumped to the lead in the Western Conference, returning to their winning ways last weekend with a 1-0 home win vs. the San Jose Earthquakes.
REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): George Gansner; AR2 (opposite): Adam Garner; 4th: David Gantar
MLS Career: 29 games; FC/gm: 24.8; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 8; pens: 8
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Matias Laba, Andy O’Brien … SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda
DISABLED LIST: SEA: Damion Lowe; Kevin Parsemain
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: SEA: Clint Dempsey, DeAndre Yedlin (USA) … VAN: Steven Beitashour (IRN); Bryce Alderson (CAN)
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Whitecaps FC 2 wins, 13 goals … Sounders FC 3 wins, 13 goals … Ties 3
AT VANCOUVER (4 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 wins, 5 goals … Sounders FC 1 wins, 5 goals … Ties 2
RETURN MATCHES: 7/5: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7 p.m. PT; 10/10: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7 p.m. PT
LAST YEAR (MLS)
6/8: SEA 3, VAN 2 (Rose 9; Carrasco 70; Neagle 81 – Sanvezzo 10, 26)
7/6: VAN 2, SEA 0 (Miller 4; Mattocks 79)
10/9: SEA 1, VAN 4 (Rosales 69 – Manneh 12, 42, 54; Reo-Coker 82)
- After going the first six meetings between the clubs in MLS play winless, Vancouver Whitecaps FC have won the last two games vs. their Cascadia rivals, including a 2-0 win last year in the only meeting at BC Place on July 6.
- The clubs have a rivalry dating back to 1974 in the old North American Soccer League, and continuing through the A-League and USL First Division.
- Coaches record: Sigi Schmid v VAN: P8 W3 L2 T3 … Carl Robinson vs. SEA: first game
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC return to league action after a week off, their last match a second consecutive victory, winning 1-0 at the Columbus Crew on May 10. Whitecaps FC sit in fourth place in the Western Conference with 16 points from 10 games.
- The game's lone goal came in the 37th minute. From a free kick by goalkeeper David Ousted just outside the Whitecaps FC penalty area, Erik Hurtado controlled the long service, turned left into space and unleashed a perfectly placed drive that left goalkeeper Steve Clark with no chance.
- Ousted was credited with two saves in recording the clean sheet, in addition to gaining an assist on the goal.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made one change to the team that hung on for a 3-2 win against the San Jose Earthquakes at BC Place. Erik Hurtado started up top in place of Darren Mattocks.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): David Ousted - Steven Beitashour, Andy O'Brien, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey - Gershon Koffie, Matias Laba (Nigel Reo-Coker 89) - Sebastian Fernandez, Pedro Morales (Russell Teibert 82), Kekuta Manneh - Erik Hurtado (Omar Salgado 74).
- Whitecaps FC have won back-to-back games in league play for the first time this season, and have taken points from four of their five away matches in 2014.
- “If [the team] wasn't creating the chances – I was told that Columbus had two shots on target at home – I'd be worried if that was the case,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “Obviously, that's not the case at the moment, and it's important that we continue to work in the same way to try and create those chances, because we've got players who can score goals.”
- With Darren Mattocks out with a hamstring injury that forced him off early in the win vs. San Jose, Erik Hurtado made his first start of the season – and scored his first career professional goal.
- “He causes defenders problems,” Robinson said. “Sometimes he runs down blind alleys and I've said that to him. We've [got] to learn, teach him with that, because he's a powerful boy. But when he's in full stride, people can't live with him. He's playing with confidence and it's important that he continues to do that.”
- Whitecaps FC also kept a clean sheet for the second time this season, the first time since the scoreless draw at New England on March 22.
- “It was a great clean sheet. I think the guys in front of me did really well, especially second half by blocking a lot of shots and clearing a lot of things. It was a really good team effort,” said goalkeeper David Ousted.
- Omar Salgado came off the substitutes’ bench for the final 16 minutes, his first appearance since Oct. 21, 2012, missing the entirety of last season with a foot fracture.
- “It’s great for him. He has fought his way back. He has been down to Charleston, and I recalled back into the squad and I want him to be a part of this squad, because he has a lot to offer,” Robinson said.
- After the league win vs. Columbus, Whitecaps FC fell in the Canadian Championship semifinals vs. Toronto FC. They won the second leg 2-1 at BC Place, leaving the series level 3-3 on aggregate, but TFC advanced to the final vs. Montreal after a penalty shootout.
- Hurtado scored his second goal in as many matches, while Pedro Morales netted a late penalty kick to send the match into extra time.
- Here’s the VWFC team: Marco Carducci; Nigel Reo-Coker, Carlyle Mitchell, Johnny Leveron, Christian Dean (Sebastian Fernandez 82’); Russell Teibert, Bryce Alderson (Matias Laba 67’); Nicolas Mezquida (Omar Salgado 71’), Pedro Morales, Kekuta Manneh, Erik Hurtado
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC returned to their winning ways after their long win streak was ended, getting the game’s only goal for a victory against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in first place in the Western Conference with 25 points from 12 games.
- The game's lone goal came after just eight minutes. Obafemi Martins ran down a pass from Gonzalo Pineda deep on the left side of the penalty area, then clipped it to the far post from the bounce past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch, who could only watch as the shot nestled into the side netting.
- Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei was called upon to make just a single save, not until the 90th minute when he wasn't much troubled by a Khari Stephenson free kick from about 30 yards out.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made four changes to the team that fell 5-0 to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Jalil Anibaba, Zach Scott and Leo Gonzalez all came into the back four and Kenny Cooper started up top, with DeAndre Yedlin, Brad Evans and Clint Dempsey all on international duty and Djimi Traore out of the team.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei - Jalil Anibaba, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez - Lamar Neagle (Andy Rose 90), Gonzalo Pineda, Osvaldo Alonso, Marco Pappa (Dylan Remick 87) - Kenny Cooper (Chad Barrett 70), Obafemi Martins
- A week after shipping five goals in their worst-ever defeat since coming to MLS, Sounders FC recorded a shutout – their first since March 23, and third of the season.
- Sounders FC have won six of their last seven games, returning to their winning ways after seeing their five-game winning streak put to an end.
- “It comes at a really good time for us,” goalkeeper Stefan Frei said. “Every one is three points, but [the loss to New England] in particular hurts because of how they completely ran over us. We wanted to come back, make a statement and take some pride in a clean sheet, especially at home and bounce back from that loss real quick. We’ve been scoring lots of goals, but we only needed one, which is great.”
- “I think the defenders did a great job. The outside guys, Marco (Pappa) contributed a much better effort defensively, as did Lamar (Neagle), so that really helped us as well,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “The nature of (Jalil) Anibaba and Leo (Gonzalez) are little more defensive-orientated than DeAndre (Yedlin) and Brad (Evans), but overall, even with those guys, we would have done well because of the commitment of the team after what happened last week.”
- Obafemi Martins returned to the score sheet with his fourth goal in the last six games, after going two games without a goal. Martins has five goals and six assists, tied with Sounders FC teammate Clint Dempsey for the most combined goals and assists in MLS.
- Gonzalo Pineda collected his fourth assist on the season, his first since April 22. Pineda has been ever-present in the Sounders FC midfield since March 23.
- With Dempsey away with the US national team, Kenny Cooper made his first start since April 12, partnering Martins in attack.
- “He knows he's got to drop and find the ball a little more,” Schmid said. “I thought Oba was fantastic. He was busy, he was active. He put in a tremendous effort in terms of covering ground tonight. I thought he was really motivated and played well. In his disappointment in not being selected, he's not walking around moping. He is going out there and showing, 'Hey, you made a mistake.' And that's good for us. What he did for Seattle was fantastic.”
- Jalil Anibaba came in at right back with Brad Evans also away with the U.S. national team, making his first start since April 5. Leo Gonzalez made his first start since April 19 on the other flank.
- “Anibaba has played a lot of right back last year for Chicago, so that's what we came with him at right back. Depending on what they were coming with-they like to play long balls and big target players-so we thought Zach Scott was a good choice because he is one of our better players in the air, along with Chad Marshall. We felt that was good for us as well. Leo (Gonzalez) was healthy enough to come to the team, as well as Kenny Cooper,” said Schmid.