The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
With a chance to take the lead in the race for the Cascadia Cup, Seattle Sounders FC prepares for a pair of Cascadia Cup contests over the next two weeks, beginning with the third and final meeting with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday night. The derby match will be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m. PT at BC Place in Vancouver.
Calling the action for NBCSN will be Arlo White and Kyle Martino. The match can also be heard on 97.3 KIRO FM with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller on the call, and is available in Spanish on La Gran D 99.3 FM.
Following the Vancouver match, Sounders FC will return home for the concluding Cascadia Cup fixture of the season against the Portland Timbers. Sounders FC will open the entire stadium for the match, with more than 60,000 expected in attendance.
A tough weekend matchup against the league-leading San Jose Earthquakes saw Sounders FC (13-7-9, 48 points) fall from second to fourth in the West, one point out of second-place with a game in hand on the four other playoff teams.
The 2-1 loss to the Quakes brought an emotional highlight for the Sounders FC faithful as winger Steve Zakuani scored his first goal in MLS action since suffering a broken leg 17 months ago, only to be undone by two first-half strikes from the league’s most potent attack.
With just its second loss since June 24 (6-2-5), Sounders FC will look to rebound this Saturday in Vancouver – where Seattle is unbeaten in two visits – and earn its fourth straight MLS Cup Playoffs berth with a win or draw. The meeting is the penultimate Cascadia Cup fixture for the Rave Green, who can pull level with Portland atop the standings with a win.
Sounders FC earned a late draw in the previous visit north of the border on May 19, thanks to Fredy Montero’s third goal in two trips to Vancouver. Both Montero and Eddie Johnson have tallied in each previous meeting with the Caps.
Vancouver (10-12-8, 38 points) currently occupies the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, 10 points behind Seattle. The Whitecaps dropped points on Sunday when Colorado struck late to level the score at two apiece.
The MLS campaign continues on October 7 as Sounders FC hosts the Portland Timbers for the lone home match of the season. Three of Seattle’s final four league matches are at home and three will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Despite the loss in league play on Saturday night, all is not woe for Sounders FC, who became the first team to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals with its third consecutive win in group play against CD Marathon in San Pedro Sula, Honduras last Wednesday. Sounders FC has scored three goals in each game, and will wrap up group play on October 24 against Marathon in Seattle.
The MLS Reserve League came to a close for Sounders FC on Sunday as David Estrada helped the team end on a high note. The ever-active forward has returned from injury and scored a goal and assist in the team’s 3-nil win over the Earthquakes, resulting in a 4-5-1 record in the 2012 reserve season.
Best in the Northwest: Cascadia Cup 2012
Seattle, Portland and Vancouver have long battled for soccer supremacy in the Pacific Northwest. Sounders FC is the current Cup-holders after winning the derby competition in its inaugural MLS year in 2011. This season, the Portland Timbers have jumped out to an early lead with eight points through four games, but are yet to play an away derby match. Sounders FC is second in the competition with five points through four games, three of which have been played away from Seattle. The Rave Green can pull even with Portland atop the standings with a win in Vancouver on Saturday. The Whitecaps must win on Saturday to keep their Cascadia Cup hopes alive.
Cascadia Cup Schedule/Results
May 19 BC Place, Vancouver Sounders FC 2 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
May 26 JELD-WEN Field, Portland Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 at Portland Timbers 1
June 24 JELD-WEN Field, Portland Sounders FC 1 at Portland Timbers 2
August 18 CenturyLink Field, Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps 0
August 25 JELD-WEN Field, Portland Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 at Portland Timbers 2
September 15 JELD-WEN Field, Portland Sounders FC 1 at Portland Timbers 1
September 29 BC Place, Vancouver Sounders FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC
October 7 CenturyLink Field, Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers
October 20 BC Place, Vancouver Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Portland Timbers
2012 Cascadia Cup Standings
Team GP Record (points) Goals For/Goals Against
Portland Timbers 4 2-0-2 (8 points) 6/4
Seattle Sounders FC 4 1-1-2 (5 points) 6/5
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 4 0-2-2 (2 points) 4/7
Saturday will mark the 129th meeting between Seattle and Vancouver soccer teams in league, cup and friendly play since the Sounders and Whitecaps first collided on June 9, 1974 at the old Empire Stadium in a North American Soccer League match.
Seattle holds the all-time advantage at 62-46-20. Following the demise of the Sounders after nine years in the NASL, a new club, FC Seattle, made its debut on June 10, 1984, at Memorial Stadium against the Whitecaps. FC Seattle earned a 2-2 draw in the first match with Vancouver and scored its first victory against the ‘Caps, 2-1, on August 4 at B.C. Place. After the NASL folded Vancouver also formed a club around its plentiful native talent. The 86ers began play in the Canadian Soccer League in 1987, and faced FC Seattle in seven friendlies beginning that season through 1990. The rivalry was renewed in 1994 when the Sounders joined the 86ers in the A-League. Vancouver adopted the Whitecaps brand once again beginning in 2001, and soon after supporters groups from Seattle, Portland and Vancouver founded the Cascadia Cup, a three-way competition to determine Pacific Northwest supremacy amongst the Sounders, Timbers and Whitecaps.
Vancouver-Seattle derby matches have always featured raucous crowds and fanatical supporters. On June 20, 1983, a record crowd of 60,342 packed BC Place for the first sporting event, Vancouver’s 2-1 victory over Seattle. Nearly 20 years later, on July 28, 2002, the first event at Qwest Field drew a USL-1 record 25,515 for the Sounders’ 4-1 win over the Caps.
Seattle vs. Vancouver All-Time Series
1974-83: NASL – Sounders 13 wins; Whitecaps 17 wins; 1 draw
1984: Friendlies – FC Seattle 1 win; Whitecaps 0 wins; 1 draw
1987-90: WSL/Friendlies – FC Seattle 3 wins; 86ers 3 wins; 0 draws
1994-08: USL-1 – Sounders 43 wins; 86ers/Whitecaps 25 wins; 16 draws
2011-present: MLS/Friendlies – Sounders 2 wins; Whitecaps 1 win; 2 draws
Totals: 128 matches played – Seattle 62 wins, Vancouver 46 wins; 20 draws
Man in the Middle
Sounders FC broadcast analyst Alan Hinton has been on both sides of the Seattle-Vancouver rivalry, both in the NASL and A-League days. In 1978 during his final season as a player (and his first year as an assistant coach), Hinton established a league record with 30 assists and scored his penultimate goal in a win over Seattle.
In 1980, Hinton became head coach of the Sounders, leading them to a NASL-record 25 wins that season, the Trans-Atlantic Cup title in 1981 and a Soccer Bowl appearance in 1982. Two years later Hinton took over as head coach in Vancouver and his Whitecaps played the first game against FC Seattle.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Series Notes
Seattle is unbeaten against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in MLS play at 2-0-2. The only other MLS team that has not beat Seattle is the Chicago Fire, who are 0-4-3 against the Rave Green. Sounders FC earned a late 2-2 draw in its last visit to Vancouver, and won, 3-1, in the lone 2011 trip to Empire Field. Seattle has scored at least two goals in all four meetings, and Michael Gspurning became the first goalkeeper to earn a shutout in the series when Seattle held Vancouver scoreless on August 18. Fredy Montero leads all scorers with four goals, and has scored three times in two games in Vancouver. Eight of Seattle’s nine goals have come in the final 45 minutes, including four in the last quarter hour.
Whitecaps FC currently hold the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 38 points (10-12-8), just two points ahead of FC Dallas. They have struggled recently, going winless in their last six matches (0-5-1) and winning just twice (2-8-3) in their last 13. They are tied-16th in MLS with just 31 goals this season, 18th with 318 shots, and 16th with 104 shots on goal. However, their defense has been solid, holding opponents to 1.33 goals per game (11th in MLS) and shutting them out nine times (tied-fourth in MLS).
Vancouver is in third place in the 2012 Cascadia Cup standings with two points (0-2-2), trailing first place Portland by six points. A loss or tie this weekend would mathematically eliminate the Caps from winning the 2012 Cascadia Cup.
Whitecaps FC Notables
Martin Rennie’s attack is led by rookie forward Darren Mattocks, the second overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. The Jamaican leads the club with seven goals this season, but has not scored since July 27 in a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake. Forward Camilo has four goals this season and is tied for the team-lead in assists (5) with David Chiumiento. New designated players Barry Robson and Kenny Miller joined Vancouver this summer and have added two goals apiece.
Lee Young-Pyo (29 starts), Martin Bonjour (27 starts), and Jay DeMerit (27 starts) have been staples on the back line this season, all scoring a goal while Lee has four assists. Keeper Joe Cannon is tied-fourth in MLS with eight shutouts in 26 starts.