After an off day today, the Sounders return to training Tuesday for the first of back-to-back MLS matches that also will determine the Cascadia Cup.
The Sounders, of course, play at Vancouver this weekend, and then Portland comes to Seattle the next weekend, with a crowd of around 65,000 expected.
Here are some advance notes sent out by the club:
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.