If familiarity truly breeds contempt Sunday night’s game one (5:30 P.M. PT) of the two game Western Conference Semifinal series between the No. 2 seeded Seattle Sounders FC and the No.3 seeded Vancouver Whitecaps will be a tough, gritty and physical match. This will be the fourth time the Cascadia Rivals will face off this season. The regular season record between the two teams was 1-1-1.
The Whitecaps beat the visiting Sounders 2-1 April 14th at BC Place, draw1-1 August 23rd in another home game and lost 3-0 September 27th at CenturyLink Field. With no secrets between the two rivals, the key to winning the two-game series will be one team’s ability impose its will and style of play on the other.
The Whitecaps are coming off a momentum-building 5-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes Wednesday night in Vancouver. After a slim 1-0 halftime lead, the Whitecaps erupted for four second-half goals. The Whitecaps scored three of there five goals on set pieces. Former Sounder Freddy Montero, Cristina Techera, Kendall Waston all chipped in a goal while Nicolas Mezquida came off the bench to score two goals.
Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer believes the key to winning the two-game series will be to play smart disciplined soccer.
The first game will test the Sounders depth due to suspensions and injuries. Forward Clint Dempsey is suspended for the first game after receiving in red card in the Sounders season finale against the Colorado Rapids. Jordan Morris, Brad Evans, Ozzie Alonso and Gustan Svensson are all dealing with various injuries that will likely sideline them for the first match.
Season Goal Leaders
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Seattle Sounders FC|
|Fredy Montero||14||Clint Dempsey||12|
|Cristian Techera||7||Will Bruin||11|
|Yordy Reyna||6||Nicolás Lodeiro||7|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC Seattle Sounders FC|
|140||Shots on Target||153|