Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders
2017 MLS Regular Season
BC Place – Vancouver, B.C.
Friday, April 14 – 10 pm ET
WATCH: TSN in Canada | MLS LIVE in the US
Both clubs could do with a win, particularly Vancouver. The Whitecaps have endured a rough start to 2017, posting a 1-3-1 record in their first five matches of the year. They fought valiantly in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals against Tigres, but ultimately fell short in the second leg last Wednesday before a reserve-heavy lineup got throttled 3-0 in the snow at Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
Friday’s match will be an especially big one for Vancouver striker Fredy Montero, who will be suiting up against Seattle, where he played from 2009-13, for the first time since returning to MLS this winter.
“I’m just wondering how is that feeling going to be for me and for all the people that used to be supporting me [in Seattle],” Montero said on Tuesday. “To be honest, it’s not going to be any different than the other games for me [in that] I would like to win, I’m going to do everything I have to win. But this game, it’s going to be special, that’s for sure.”
Things are a bit sunnier in Seattle, but the Sounders will no doubt be looking for all three points on Friday after giving up a 90th minute equalizer to draw 1-1 at San Jose last week. The result was Seattle’s third draw in their current four-game unbeaten streak.
The aftermath of a CONCACAF Champions League series often comes with a hangover, and the ‘Caps weren’t immune last Saturday at RSL. Due to injuries and fatigue, Carl Robinson fielded a reserve-laden lineup on Saturday, making six changes to the team that lost 2-1 to Tigres in Leg 2 of the CCL semifinals last Wednesday. The conditions didn’t exactly cooperate, but Vancouver were under it at RSL, holding out in the first half before conceding three times after the break to fall 3-0.
The loss dropped Vancouver to 1-3-1 on the season, putting them in a tie for last in the West with Minnesota and Colorado. With trips to Portland, Montreal, Colorado and Houston coming in their next four, getting three points on Friday at home – where the ‘Caps are 1-1-1 this year – is absolutely critical.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injured: OUT: D Brett Levis (ACL tear), F Yordy Reyna (foot surgery), D David Edgar (PCL, MCL tear), F Erik Hurtado (foot contusion), F Brek Shea (knee)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): David Ousted – Sheanon Williams, Tim Parker, Kendall Waston, Jordan Harvey – Matias Laba, Tony Tchani – Alphonso Davies, Cristian Techera, Christian Bolanos – Fredy Montero
Notes: Since starting last season by losing just one of their first seven home games, Vancouver have won just three of their last 12 matches at BC Place (3-5-4). They’ve allowed multiple goals in eight of those 12 games.
With Oniel Fisher returned from injury and Roman Torres back from international duty, it looked like the Sounders backline – who have been without Brad Evans all year – were finally approaching something resembling full availability last weekend. That changed rather quickly in Saturday’s match at San Jose, with Torres forced out in the 15th minute due to a minor hamstring strain.
The Panamanian center back is officially “day-to-day” due to the injury. If he’s unable to go, Gustav Svensson – who came on for Torres at San Jose and started for him against Atlanta on March 31 – would likely get the nod alongside Chad Marshall.
The Sounders are healthy in the attack, but haven’t really started firing yet. Seattle have scored just seven goals in their five games this season, and have only scored once in their last two matches. Clint Dempsey, Nico Lodeiro and Jordan Morris will look to break out against Vancouver, who have conceded 10 goals in their five matches, second-most in the league.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injured: OUT: D Brad Evans (calf strain), M Aaron Kovar (groin surgery); QUESTIONABLE: D Roman Torres (left hamstring strain)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Stefan Frei – Oniel Fisher, Gustav Svensson, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones – Cristian Roldan, Osvaldo Alonso – Jordan Morris, Nicolas Lodeiro, Harry Shipp – Clint Dempsey
Notes: Seattle have won four of their last six games against the Whitecaps (4-2-0). In the five games prior to that current stretch, Seattle were winless against Vancouver (0-4-1) … Dating back to last year, Seattle have allowed an average of 1.9 goals in their last 14 away matches (3-6-5).
The Sounders hold a narrow edge in the all-time MLS regular season series between the clubs, posting a 7-6-4 record against the Whitecaps.
- Overall: Vancouver 6 wins (23 goals)… Seattle 7 wins (24 goals)… 4 draws
- At Vancouver: Vancouver 2 wins (9 goals)… Seattle 4 wins (14 goals)… 3 draws
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Jeffrey Hosking, Cameron Blanchard
Fourth Official: Dave Gantar