by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Time for a trip to the Great White North. Seattle Sounders Football Club travel to the BC Place for a Friday night showdown, under the lights in Vancouver, BC against our auld rivals of 43 years, Vancouver Whitecaps. This time, our friends to the north piled on the weird factor by signing former Sounders, Mauro Rosales and Fredy Montero over the winter. Sauce for the goose. Unless of course, you’re vegetarian…or vegan…never mind, you know what I mean.

Vancouver’s new signing used to be our best weapon against Vancouver. Oh Fredy, what’s become of ye?

The Good News
Sounders are unbeaten in the last four matches, outscoring opponents by a ratio of 6:4. The metrics favour us in this matchup as we are allowing less than two goals a match, and the ‘Caps are conceding two goals per. In addition, Seattle are scoring slightly more goals per match. Vancouver have lost 3 of their last four (1-0-3), and we drew San Jose, whilst the ‘Caps were beaten by them. The Sounders lead the all-time series against the ‘Caps, 7-4-6. All things being equal, this should add up to a win, and a desperately needed three point meal for the Sounders. Reyna, Edgar, and Shea are out for the ‘Caps due to injury. All play for their national teams.

The Bad News
Although unbeaten in our last four, three of those results were draws. We are having trouble scoring goals. I believe this is largely due to a failure to pass well in combination. Many of the Sounders’ scoring ills would likely go away if the side can return to an old skool pass-and-move style. Wondolowski’s 90’ strike torpedoed our hopes of a win away at Coleman Avenue. That’s got to be demoralising. Being on the road is rarely a good thing, and then there’s the weird factor as our old striker, Fredy Montero faces off against us in the shirt of the other team. Then there’s the sobering fact that the top Seattle career goalscorer against the Whitecaps all-time is Fredy Montero…who now plays for the Whitecaps.

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper – Ousted, 32,  is a veteran ‘keeper and has over 200 matches in Danish football. Over 100 of those with Randers FC, which competed twice in the Europa League during his time there. His backup is Tornaghi, 28 a product of the Inter Milan system. He played only 12 matches in Italian football and has only 24 matches of MLS experience. Tornaghi was capped six times for Italy youth teams.

Defence – Parker, 24, is a domestic product who played his NCAA football at St. Johns, he has played just over 60 games as a professional. Waston, 29, has 16 caps for Costa Rica and over 170 appearances as a pro. Dean, 24, is a product of the University of California, he has 21 professional appearances, only 9 of which are at MLS level. Nerwinski, 22, is newly recruited out of UConn. On the bench last week was Williams, who at 27 has nearly 180 matches of MLS experience.

Midfield – Tchani, 28, Has over 170 pro appearances and has earned caps for both United States and Cameroon. Laba, 25, of Argentina, Has 179 matches under his belt. 62 of those were at his first club, Argentinos Juniors. Teibert, 24, has 17 caps for Canada. A Whitecaps man through and through, Teibert has 134 appearances, 105 in the first team. de Jong, 30, has 50 caps for Canada. He played 170 matches in the Dutch league and 67 matches with Augsburg in Germany. He’s played in 260 matches as a professional. Mezquida, 25, plays in a midfield-striker role.  The Peñarol product has 17 Caps and 11 Goals for Uruguay. and also played some Norwegian football. He has 109 appearances as a pro. He never really settled in Uruguay or Scandinavia, and 63 of his appearances are with Vancouver.

Forward – We know Fredy Montero, 29, all too well. Success at his Colombian teams, then in Seattle, and then in Europe and China. His transfer fee to Sporting Lisbon totalled $2.75M. His transfer fee from Sporting to Tianjin TEDA was €5M. His career strike rate is over 36%. He is the most dangerous attacker in the Vancouver side.

Familiar Faces
Richey: This dude is Mister Seattle. Born in Seattle. Played for Tacoma Tide, Washington Crossfire, and Puget Sound Gunners. NCAA career at UDub, add to this eight USA U-17 caps. Why did we not sign him? Rosales played 86 times for Seattle Sounders FC scoring 12 goals. Montero played 119 times for the Sounders scoring 47 Goals and helped us win three US Open Cups.

Selections for Last Match
Vancouver: Ousted, Parker, Waston, Dean, Nerwinski, Tchani, Laba, Teibert, de Jong, Montero, Mezquida.

Bench: Tornaghi (gk), Williams, Techera, Rosales, Jacobsen, Bustos, Greig.

Sounders FC: Frei, Fisher, Torres, Marshall, Jones, Alonso, Roldan, Lodeiro, Dempsey, Shipp, Morris.

Bench: Meredith (gk), Svensson, Fernández, Alfaro, Delem, Bruin, Wingo.

Injury List
Vancouver –
OUT: Levis (ACL), Reyna (foot surgery), Edgar (PCL, MCL tear), Hurtado (bruised foot), Shea (knee)

Sounders FC –
OUT: Evans (calf), Kovar (groin surgery)
MATCHDAY DECISION: Torres (hamstring)

No suspensions.

Fun Fact
Sounders’ goalkeeper, Bryan Meredith’s initial trial with the Sounders was in 2011 after being drafted. He was beaten to the third goalkeeper’s place in the squad by Josh Ford. Then Meredith signed with Kitsap Pumas and was signed again by Seattle in 2011 to replace the injured Terry Boss. In winter of 2012, Seattle declined the option to re-sign him. Then Sweden, the Cosmos, and then San Jose in 2014. San Jose declined his option and Seattle selected him in the 2016 re-entry draft. What a crazy business, yeh?