SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Tick tock. Time is dwindling and the window is rapidly closing on achieving a berth in MLS Cup. The Treecutters are currently in the last Western Conference berth, six points clear of our boys in Green. We seem to play poorly against Vancouver regardless of where the match is or who is in the team. Goals for and against all time are essentially even, and bookings between the sides only marginally different in their 15 league meetings. There is plenty of quality in our team, with or without Dempsey in the side. Even in the face of history and statistics, I believe that our team, such as it is today, have more than enough quality to get a result this Saturday. What the Green Family has that Vancouver doesn’t have are ECS, FCF, and all of ECS’s sub-groups. This is representative of acres and acres of heart, the likes of which the rest of the league would love to have behind their clubs. We will make a noise such as we never have never made before in support of our lads in Green. I haven’t given up on our boys, and neither have any of the rest of our lot. I will be at Royal Brougham Park for our Matinée against the British Colombian side. I will link up with the Green Family, and at our pre-funk will lead our supporters in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

The Good News
Sounders have only lost one game in their last seven matches. There are seven matches left in the league for a possible 21 points in the standings. Vancouver have only won one match in the last six and have dropped four matches within that span. With Roman Torres back in the side, we have two first choice centre-halves in the back four. One of the ‘Caps leading scorers against us all time, Manneh with four goals, is out through foot surgery.

The Bad News
The Sounders last win was on 21st August against the Treecutters. The Treecutters still sit in the last MLS Cup berth six points clear of us. Following the draw at Coleman Avenue last Saturday, Seattle have dropped two places to 17th in the league table. Whitecaps have won more recently than we have taking all three points in their league match in Ohio last weekend. Whitecaps were more than enough to win midweek in the CONCACAF Champions League at Kansas City 1:2 behind a rookie goalkeeper (see Familiar Faces). Sounders offense has produced no more than two goals in a match since Dempsey’s irregular heartbeat diagnosis. With Torres back in the side, where does Evans fit in to the club’s first team plans? Dempsey’s absence in attack seems to have allowed opposing sides to pay more defensive attention to Lodeiro, making him arguably less effective as a playmaker. All-time, the Sounders have only won five of 15 meetings against the Whitecaps, winning two out of seven matches at Royal Brougham Park in Seattle.

The Rest
This is the second of three meetings between the two sides in the league. On 19th March we lost to the Whitecaps 1:2 at Royal Brougham Park. Both of Vancouver’s goals coming on Morales penalty kicks. Barnes and Kudo were the starting strikers for the Whitecaps last weekend in Ohio. They are both finely-honed goal scorer’s having much of their match experience in England and Japan respectively. Bolaños, Morales, and Techera are threats to score from midfield. Bolaños has 60 caps for Costa Rica, and Morales has represented Chile 12 times. It’s possible that Jacobsen will feature at holding midfielder over Tiebert as the latter has a nagging hamstring problem that may keep him out of action. Tiebert is the source of many of Vancouver’s bookings against our Sounders. In defence, Waston will have to mind his manners as he is out next booking. Waston used to play for Costa Rican giant CD Saprissa, and his teammate in defence, Smith, is on loan from that same club. Edgar was produced by Newcastle’s youth system and has a wealth of English league experience to add to 39 caps for Canada. Danish import, Ousted, is the likely starter in the Whitecaps’ goal. He once led Danish side Randers FC (appearing 103 times for them) to a Europa League berth.

Familiar Faces
Whitecaps 2 goalkeeper, Spencer Richey, who played midweek in the CONCACAF Champions League for the Whitecaps FC in a 1:2 victory at Kansas City, played his entire collegiate career at the University of Washington (NCAA), making 71 appearances for the Huskies with 30 clean sheets. He also made eight appearances for Washington Crossfire in the PDL. Richey was born in Seattle, WA. Although Dean will not likely feature in today’s match for Vancouver, Both defender #22 Christian Dean, and midfielder #17 Andrew Jacobsen (both from Palo Alto, CA) were former standouts for the California Golden Bears. Defender, Jordan Harvey, from Mission Viejo, CA, played 12 matches on loan at Sounders FC, scoring one goal in 2006.

Selections for Last Match
Seattle (MLS): Frei, Mears, Torres, Marshall, Joevin Jones, Friberg, Alonso, Roldan, Lodeiro, Ivanschitz, Morris.

Bench: Miller (gk), Scott, Fisher, Valdez, Fernández, Gómez, Anderson.

Vancouver (CCL): Richey, Seiler, Waston, de Jong, Parker, Davies, Jacobsen, Aird, Morales, Hurtado, Mezquida.

Bench: Tornaghi (gk), Smith, McKendry, Levis, Bustos, Pérez. Greig.

Injury List
Seattle –
OUT: Kovar (broken clavicle), Dempsey (irregular heartbeat).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Evans (calf).

Vancouver –
OUT: Dean (torn meniscus), Manneh (foot surgery).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Teibert (hamstring).

Discipline
None suspended this match
Seattle: Alonso, Joevin Jones out next booking.
Vancouver: Waston out next booking.

Fun Fact
The Whitecaps have their same management group as they had back in their USSF 2nd Division days. Gotta give it up for consistency.

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