The Sounders will return to training Tuesday, preparing for a rare one-game week. However, it’s a big game: meeting Cascadia/playoff rival Vancouver at 1 p.m. Saturday at CenturyLink.
I’ll have news from training tomorrow. In the meanwhile, here are some basics from the club:
Cascadia Rivalry Comes to Seattle
The 38-year rivalry between the Sounders and Whitecaps will be reignited on Saturday afternoon as Seattle hosts its first home Cascadia Cup fixture of the season. A crowd of more than 50,000 is expected for the battle between Seattle and Vancouver. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
Saturday’s match will be televised live on KING 5 with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller on the call, and can be heard on 97.3 KIRO FM. ROOT Sports will broadcast the match live out of market. The game will also be carried live in Spanish on KOMO2 and La Gran D 99.3 FM.
The busy stretch of five games in 15 days concluded in heartbreaking fashion last week as Seattle narrowly missed its fourth straight U.S. Open Cup title, falling to Kansas City in a penalty shootout, and lost its first league match since June 24 with a late loss at San Jose.
Fredy Montero once again came off the bench to contribute for Sounders FC, scoring the stoppage time equalizer at San Jose – his third goal in the past four matches. The Rave Green then conceded a late corner that Steven Lenhart headed in for the winner as Seattle’s MLS-best six-game unbeaten streak was snapped.
Sounders FC (10-6-7, 37 points) sits third in the West, five points behind second-place Real Salt Lake with two games in hand. The team now readies for a month of road trips as five of the next seven contests are away from home, including trips to Trinidad and Tobago and Honduras for CONCACAF Champions League group play.
Sounders FC returns to the Pacific Northwest after last week’s two-game road trip to take on the Whitecaps in the 128th all-time meeting between the Seattle and Vancouver sides in a rivalry that dates back to the North American Soccer League in 1974.
The teams met earlier this season on May 19 at BC Place with Montero scoring a dramatic late equalizer as Seattle remained unbeaten in MLS play against the ‘Caps. It will be the first Cascadia Cup contest of the 2012 season at CenturyLink Field, where Sounders FC is unbeaten in its past seven (6-0-1) home games across all competitions, dating back to May 23.
The resurgent Whitecaps have overhauled the group from its inaugural campaign, and have added four impact players since the two sides last met in May. Designated Players Barry Robson and Kenny Miller have joined the group as well as MLS veteran Dane Richards and Irish centerback Andy O’Brien. Vancouver downed Salt Lake at home on Saturday, 2-1, to move into a tie with Seattle at third in the West.
MLS Reserve League action continues at Starfire Stadium on Sunday against the LA Galaxy. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. PT. There is no charge for admission at Sounders FC Reserves home matches. However donations will be accepted at the gate ($5 suggested) with proceeds directed toward the Sounders FC community partners. Parking is $5 or free with a Starfire membership.
Sounders FC travels to Los Angeles for its next league match against Chivas USA on August 25. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
A Rivalry Revisited
Saturday will mark the 128th meeting between Seattle and Vancouver 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 61-46-20. 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.
Seattle vs. Vancouver 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 1 win; Whitecaps 1 win; 2 draws
Totals: 127 matches played – Seattle 61 wins, Vancouver 46 wins; 20 draws