The Vancouver Whitecaps (0-2) and the Seattle Sounders (0-2) have been what you might call feckless so far this season. The two sit at the end of the table, if/when one team defeats the other they will be propelled forwards into the midcard of the MLS. The other team will fall into ignominy.
The Sounders won 2 of the 3 games vs the Whitecaps and ultimately snagged the Cascadia Cup. Oddly enough, each game was won by the visiting team: The Sounders won twice at BC Place, a 2-0 win May 16, and a 3-0 win Sept. 19. Whitecaps FC took a 3-0 win Aug. 1 at CenturyLink Field.
The Sounders also took a 3-nil game vs the Whitecaps in CCL play, coupled with a draw in Vancouver allowed Seattle to advance in CCL play.
Lineup changes for the Whitecaps
When last the Whitecaps and Sounders clashed, Vancouver was 2nd in the Western conference. The Whitecaps undergone changes from the roster. They added former Dallas midfielder Blas Perez, and the veteran Panamanian has thus far come off the bench for his new club. The Whitecaps also sent Darren Mattocks to Portland for allocation money and an international roster spot on Monday.
“They’re still a team that’s got good speed even though they’ve gotten rid of some guys with good speed,” Schmid said. “(They) can go direct over the top, we have to be aware of that. Also with Blas Perez, it gives them a different look, it’s somebody who can target for them when they bring him in.
The Rave Green are hurting and hurting bad. The following players will not (or may not play)
- OUT: D Roman Torres (left ACL tear)
- OUT: D Brad Evans (left shoulder sprain)
- OUT: M Erik Friberg (left MCL strain)
- QUESTIONABLE: M Michael Farfan (right hamstring strain, DNP 3/12)
- QUESTIONABLE: GK Stefan Frei (right elbow inflammation, DNP 3/12)
- QUESTIONABLE: F Nelson Valdez (left quad contusion)
- F Jordan Morris (head injury)
The vaunted strength at forward looks to be weakened with the loss of Valdez and Morris. Another game with out Stefan Frei could prove a disaster for the hometown squad.
Too little too late
The MLS Disciplinary Committee issues fine on key play in Seattle Sounders’ loss to Real Salt Lake. RSL midfielder Sunny was issued an undisclosed fine for embellishment after he drew a foul on Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso in the 86th minute of the Sounders’ match against RSL on Saturday. On a blatant flop at a critical moment, RSL was erroneously awarded a free kick that allowed midfielder Juan Manuel Martinez put a cross into the box, giving RSL the 2-1 win.
Sounders fans appreciate that the MLS got it right, but the loss still counts and the Sounders are in a deep hole.
Hoping for a bit of Frei
If the Sounders are to win this Saturday, they will need Stefan Frei to get back in the net. Tyler Miller filled in for Frei last week, but at times he looked outclassed and a bit lost. Miller is only in his second year, so it is a bit understandable; however, the Sounders are in no position to be putting 2nd tier players when a win is so desperately needed.
With an injury to captain Brad Evans, grizzled veteran Zach Scott filled in. Scott performed yeomen work, however, a yellow card was indicative that 35 year old is past his prime and should not be counted on except for spot duty
Erik Friberg did not look to be on his game against RSL. Friberg looked slow and outclassed. Compounding injuries may be slowing the 30 year old Swede. One wonders if evem when healthy if University of Washington product Christian Roldan takes a hold of the the midfield postion.