Match Preview: Seattle Sounders v Vancouver Whitecaps

Match Preview: Seattle Sounders v Vancouver Whitecaps

It’s crunch time folks.

The Whitecaps conclude their three game road trip at the CLink in the soccer equivalent to “crunch time”. Two is the magic number between the ‘Caps and Seattle Sounders, who have two games in hand on the ‘Caps and sit two places behind Vancouver with two points fewer.

It’s actually very simple: if the Whitecaps lose this game, the Sounders will overtake the Whitecaps, banishing us further from potential post-season exploits.

Vancouver have started to turn things around. Wins in Columbus and Kansas, the latter of which led to a historic first qualification for the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League, were a long time coming.

Erik Hurtado is on a two game goalscoring streak, which isn’t usually something to write home about, but in this dumpster fire of a season it makes Rufio look like our very own Robert Lewandowski. We are far from being out of this rut, but at least the results are changing.

Seattle are winless in three, drawing with San Jose and Houston, and losing to Portland in an entertaining 4-2 game. The Sounders are performing well below expectations, but have revived their season thanks to the signing of Nicolas Lodeiro. The Uruguayan midfielder has sparked the stuttering Sounders offence since joining the club in the transfer window, a fact that the Whitecaps defenders will have to be aware of in Saturday’s match.

With five games in the regular season to go, the Whitecaps need to get positive results to keep the season alive. I’m not talking about a draw away from home, we need a win. Portland sit four points above us on an equal amount of games. That gap needs to be closed before we play them on the last day of the season, a game that could be one of the biggest of the season if a playoff place is on the line.

This match is one of two remaining games against the Sounders this season, meaning we could eliminate their two games in hand if we win both matches. It starts at the Clink, and anything but three points will have the death bell ringing.


What formation to go with is a tricky question. The 4-2-3-1 really hasn’t been working this season. I say we stick with the 4-4-2 and go for it. Seattle are a struggling team, just like us, so why not have at them?

Matias Laba also seems to thrive in this formation, he should be partnered by Andrew Jacobson, who is one of our best performers right now, with Cristian Techera and Christian Bolanos on the wings to provide some creativity. I can also see Fraser Aird starting in the right midfield spot; he has done well partnering with Jordan Smith behind him. That said, the Bolanos/Smith combination is a defensive liability.

For me, the backline should be Jordan Harvey, Kendall Waston, Tim Parker and Jordan Smith. Marcel De Jong and David Edgar are good replacements for any potential absences. David Ousted in goal, obviously. Up front will be the white-hot Hurtado and possibly Masato Kudo. What a time this would be for Kudo to click with this team, although Giles Barnes didn’t feature in Tuesday’s squad, so will be the more likely option.

The gameplan should be one of patience. The team need to wait for the right opportunity to strike. We are away from home after all.

AFTN’s Player To Watch:

Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris – these two much hyped players could hurt the ‘Caps if we don’t keep an eye on them and continue with defensive mistakes.

The View From 202 Crew’s Predictions:

Joe: 1-0 Vancouver

Nick: 2-1 Seattle

Dan: 2-1 Vancouver

Authored by: Joe Deasy

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