Preview: Vancouver need to turn it around vs. rival Sounders
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
September 29, 2012 (WEEK 30, MLS Game #288)
6 p.m. PT (NBC SN; TSN2/RDS2)
The Cascadia Cup rivalry takes on added importance when Vancouver Whitecaps FC play host to Seattle Sounders FC with both teams needing a victory for different reasons in the MLS Cup Playoffs race when they meet Saturday evening at BC Place. Whitecaps FC currently hold the fifth and final postseason spot, but by just two points ahead of FC Dallas, after their 2-2 draw with Colorado at home last weekend. For Sounders FC, the task is simple: A victory, and they will guarantee their place in the playoffs, after a 2-1 home loss to San Jose last weekend.
REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. AR1 (bench): Frank Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Jeff Hosking; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 55 games; FC/gm: 27.5; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 8; pens: 7
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – QUESTIONABLE: FW Omar Salgado (R foot fracture); PROBABLE: GK Brian Sylvestre (concussion symptoms); MF Russell Teibert (L quad strain)
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – OUT: FW Babayele Sodade (R knee ACL tear); DF Andrew Duran (L knee ACL surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Patrick Ianni (R adductor strain); PROBABLE: MF Mauro Rosales (R quad strain); MF Christian Tiffert (R ankle sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: VAN: Dane Richards (caution accumulation; through Sept. 30)
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Darren Mattocks, Alain Rochat … SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, Fredy Montero
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Martin Bonjour, Camilo, Jun Marques Davidson, Jay DeMerit, Gershon Koffie … SEA: Andy Rose, Zach Scott, Marc Burch, Servando Carrasco, Leo Gonzalez
- ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Sounders FC 2 win, 9 goals … Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 5 goals … Ties 2
- AT VANCOUVER (2 meetings): Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 3 goals … Sounders FC 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 0
5/19: VAN 2, SEA 2 (Rochat 12; Camilo 82 – Johnson 47, 90)
8/18: SEA 2, VAN 0 (Montero 61; Johnson 87)
- The Cascadia Cup rivals are meeting for a third time this season. Sounders FC’s Fredy Montero scored in the 90th minute in yet another wild finish at BC Place, leaving the teams in a 2-2 draw on May 19. Montero and Eddie Johnson scored in a 2-0 Seattle win, Aug. 18 at CenturyLink Field.
- Whitecaps FC have yet to win an MLS game vs. Sounders FC. Seattle has won twice in four all-time meetings in the league, with two draws.
- 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 vs. VAN: P4 W2 L0 D2 … Martin Rennie vs. SEA: P2 W0 L1 D1
- Sounders FC took the lead midway through the second half. Fredy Montero entered the game in the 61st minute and had an almost immediate impact, scoring the opener just three minutes later. A Mauro Rosales free kick was chested down by Jeff Parke and Montero collected the layoff near the far post, slotting the ball between a pair of defenders.
- Eddie Johnson then put the game away with a goal in the 87th minute. A precise ball over the top from Osvaldo Alonso to Brad Evans started the move, and Evans hit a perfectly placed square pass for Johnson to tap home inside the the far post.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-1-1): Michael Gspurning - Adam Johansson (Zach Scott 79), Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez - Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Christian Tiffert, Alex Caskey (Fredy Montero 61) - Mauro Rosales (Andy Rose 88) - Eddie Johnson.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-4-2): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Andy O'Brien, Carlyle Mitchell, Alain Rochat - Dane Richards, Gershon Koffie, Jun Marques Davidson (John Thorrington 90), Camilo (Russell Teibert 74) - Darren Mattocks (Atiba Harris 90), Kenny Miller.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC ended their long losing run but still saw their winless streak extended, the Colorado Rapids scoring a late leveler for a 2-2 draw Sunday afternoon at BC Place. Whitecaps FC are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 37 points from 30 games.
- The Rapids hit for the opener 34 minutes in. Martin Rivero had beaten Brad Knighton after an unhindered 30-yard run, but his shot smacked the left post before falling kindly to Omar Cummings, who slipped into the open goal.
- But Whitecaps FC took the lead with two goals in a five-minute span. In the 64th minute, Gershon Koffie chased down a deflected corner and juked past Cummings in the right corner before driving a low ball into the goalmouth that Alain Rochat cleverly poked past Matt Pickens from close range.
- Then Kenny Miller gave the Whitecaps the lead in the 68th minute, latching onto a through ball from fellow Designated Player Barry Robson and taking a touch before curling the ball past Pickens.
- But Colorado found an equalizer in the 86th minute, when Jamie Smith latched onto the ball after Rochat and Lee Young-Pyo failed to clear their lines and curled an effort past Knighton from inside the area.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made two changes to the team that lost 1-0 to FC Dallas in Frisco. Dane Richards and Darren Mattocks came into the side in place of John Thorrington and Kenny Miller.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): Brad Knighton - Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour (Kenny Miller 46), Jordan Harvey - Gershon Koffie, Alain Rochat - Dane Richards, Barry Robson, Camilo (John Thorrington 75) - Darren Mattocks.
- While Whitecaps FC still haven’t won since a 2-1 victory against Real Salt Lake on Aug. 11, they did put an end to their losing streak at five games, matching the club’s MLS record.
- “We dropped off the game and invited pressure onto us. That’s something we need to do better because that’s a sign that we’ve lost a few games and we were trying to protect the lead in the wrong way. We need to do what we had been doing – creating chances and causing problems – and if we had done that I believe we would have scored another goal,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. “It’s disappointing not to have all three points tonight but at the same time that point could take us into the playoffs.”
- Kenny Miller came off the substitutes’ bench at halftime, after starting five consecutive matches, and scored his second goal in nine appearances since coming to Vancouver.
- “Speak to any striker, and they’ll say you go through purple patches where goals seem to happen and balls fall to you in the box,” Miller said. “Whereas, when you’re struggling for goals, things seem to elude you in the box. If you go front, it goes back, and if you go back, it goes front. Let’s hope after Sunday night, getting a goal, and with that goal for the national team, that can kick me off for the last four games and into the playoffs.”
- Said Rennie: “He’s scored goals at every level he’s played at. He needs time to settle and some people settle in instantly, and other people it takes more time. I think he needs a little bit of time. He’s a good player, he’s proved that throughout his career. He showed that. If we get him chances, he’ll score goals.”
- Darren Mattocks returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Aug. 18, playing the full 90 minutes.
- “He’s a good talent and he’s got a lot of potential,” Miller said. “It’s important if we do play that way that we link up pretty well together. I felt the second half is hopefully something we can build on. The next four games and with a few games in the playoffs, hopefully we can get even better.”
- Alain Rochat started a second consecutive games in a holding midfield role and came through with his second goal of the season.
- “We were looking to build from the back a little bit more so that’s why we kept Alain on,” said Rennie. Martin [Bonjour] hadn’t done anything wrong but Alain is a little bit more comfortable building from the back. We did that and took away the holding midfield player and put another forward on to create more chances and put them under pressure.”
- The Colorado match was the first of four in a row for Whitecaps FC at BC Place, where they are 7-2-5.
- “We’ve lost a goal in the last five minutes of the game which is disappointing, which would have given us a great start to these run of games at home,” Miller said. “But we’ve got a point, we’ve stopped the rot. … If we can build on that in the home games to come and put some wins up on the board I think we’ll be in good shape for the playoffs.”
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC saw their unbeaten streak come to an end after five games, falling to a 2-1 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in a tie for second place in the Western Conference with 48 points from 29 games.
- The Quakes took the lead on the road before the game was even two minutes old. Simon Dawkins found himself unmarked outside the area and let a rising shot rip past Michael Gspurning into the top left corner.
- Sounders FC drew level 12 minutes later. Sammy Ochoa used some tricky footwork to get by his defender and send a left-footed cross across the goal that Steve Zakuani pounded into the back of the net for his first goal since his return from a broken leg.
- But San Jose's Chris Wondolowski got the the winner in the 30th minute. From a corner that flew past the goal, center back Víctor Bernárdez found himself with time and the ball at the far post. He sent in a low, hard pass that an unmarked Wondolowski deflected past Gspurning from about two yards out.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made three changes to the team that came away with a 1-1 draw against the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Patrick Ianni came into the back four for Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Christian Tiffert started in midfield for Andy Rose, and Sammy Ochoa replaced the suspended Eddie Johnson up top.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning - Adam Johansson (Mario Martinez 82), Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 49), Leo Gonzalez - Brad Evans, Christian Tiffert, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani (David Estrada 71) - Fredy Montero, Sammy Ochoa.
- Sounders FC lost for just the second time since the end of June. Both losses have come vs. the Earthquakes, also losing Aug. 11 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
- “I think it’s a great game from the standpoint that it happened now, and not six weeks from now,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “We need to take a lesson from this game, that we cannot play like played in the first half, that we need to play like we played in the second half. If we get that out of this game – fine.”
- Said Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning: “I’m worried about our first half. San Jose is a good team and we know this. You can’t present yourself in the first half like this. We were lucky it’s not a playoff game because we’d be out right now. That’s a tough lesson we have to learn.”
- Sounders FC missed out on clinching a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs with the defeat. A tie or a win Saturday – or an FC Dallas loss or draw – and Seattle will guarantee a spot in the top five in the West.
- “The playoffs, once we get there – we need to avoid, obviously, fourth or fifth – once we're in the playoffs it's a home game and an away game. We got to win our home game and we got to get a result on the away game, and we advance. It doesn't matter whether that game is first or whether that game is second,” said Schmid. “What matters is our attitude and if we learned something tonight in terms of how we need to approach that and what attitude we need to have, then tonight was a very successful game for us.”
- Steve Zakuani scored his first goal since his return from a fractured leg suffered last April, his first goal since last April 9.
- “I would have taken the three points and not scoring,” Zakuani said. “It was a huge game for us, not just because it was San Jose, but because we need to keep getting three points. It’s an important time of the year. It would have been perfect to score and get the win, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
- David Estrada made his first appearance since May 26 after suffering a broken foot. “I felt like I didn’t really have to rush it because the team was doing so well,” Estrada said. “It’s good when the team is doing well and you can just kind of nurse the injury and come back and have a positive impact on the team.
- Said Schmid: “I thought it was good. I thought his touch was good. He connected with some good passes and he was dangerous.”
- Sammy Ochoa also made his first start since Aug. 11, his second start of the season, and chipped in with his first career MLS assist.
- “I thought Sammy played well. We talk about the guys that are on the field and I thought Sammy, on the field, did well,” said Schmid. “He was obviously integral in terms of getting the assist on our first goal and I think he did a good job of trying to hold up the ball. He was dangerous on a number of occasions. I thought he fought and battled for the team.”
- Mauro Rosales missed a third consecutive match, still nursing a thigh strain. “We have to play the guys that are healthy. I don't think that it was one individual that resulted in our play today. I think that it was a team effort in the first and second half, and one or two players aren't going to make a difference,” said Schmid. “We would have been overrun in the first half if we played the way we played even if we had Eddie Johnson and [Mauro] Rosales on the field. Even if those two guys had played with energy we still didn't get enough from the rest of our team.”