The league-leading Seattle Sounders FC continues Cascadia Cup play on Saturday afternoon at Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. PT at BC Place.
Saturday's match will be televised locally on JOEtv (KZJO, channel 22/cable 10) with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller on the call, and can be heard on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. The match will also be televised live in Spanish on THIS-TV (KOMO2) with Jaime Mendez and Diego Arrioja on the call, and Spanish radio is available on ESPN Deportes 1490 AM with Rene Aleman and Noe Menendez.
Sounders FC (8-3-1, 25 points) remained atop the Supporters' Shield standings with a 1-nil home win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, marking a league-best fourth-straight home win. Seattle leads the league by two points with wins in six of the past seven outings, and continues to lead MLS in scoring with 23 goals. Obafemi Martins notched his fifth goal of the campaign last Saturday in impressive fashion, looping the ball into the far post netting from a near-impossible angle. Martins is the only player in MLS who ranks in the Top 10 in goals (5; T-9th) and assists (6; 1st).
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Seattle will look to regain its road form in Vancouver after suffering its first away loss of the season at New England on May 11. Sounders FC is tied for the league lead with three road wins, ranking second with a .700 road winning percentage (3-1-1) and 11 goals scored.
Saturday's match against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC (4-2-4, 16 points) marks the second Cascadia Cup match of the season after Seattle and Portland played to a wild 4-4 draw on April 5. Vancouver currently sits fourth in the Western Conference following a four-game (2-0-2) unbeaten streak, including wins in the past two outings.
The sides will meet two more times this season, including a July 5 match at BC Place and the final Cascadia Cup contest of the season on October 10 at CenturyLink Field. Saturday's match will be the 133rd all-time meeting between Seattle and Vancouver soccer teams, dating back to the North American Soccer League in 1974. Seattle holds the all-time advantage at 63-48-21, including 3-2-3 in MLS regular-season play.
Sounders FC will continue MLS Reserve League action on Monday, May 26, with a visit to Real Salt Lake. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. PT at America First Field.
The month of May will conclude with a home match on May 31 against West foes Real Salt Lake. The team will then visit the Chicago Fire on June 7 before breaking for three weeks during FIFA World Cup play, resuming MLS action on June 28 at D.C. United.
Tickets for Sounders FC home matches, including the Tottenham Hotspur friendly, are available now at www.SoundersFC.com and 1-877-MLS-GOAL. The 6-Match ticket package is also available now with expanded seating to include the upper bowl at CenturyLink Field.
Atop the TableWith Saturday's win over the San Jose Earthquakes, Sounders FC remained atop the Supporters' Shield standings with 25 points through 12 games, averaging 2.08 points per game. The club currently sits two points ahead of Real Salt Lake, and has earned five more points than any Eastern Conference side. Seattle has held the top spot in the standings for five-straight weeks, marking the longest run in club history. Sounders FC has been first in the West for six of the opening 12 weeks, and has not dipped below fourth place.
In addition to leading the league in points, wins and goals, Sounders FC also ranks first in several other categories. Seattle has taken a league-high 181 shots with 74 on goal - 16 more shots on goal than any other team. The 203 fouls suffered are the most in MLS - 22 more fouls suffered than any other team. Sounders FC also leads the league with 24 assists and seven multi-goal games.
Made it EightSeattle earned its eighth win of the season last Saturday, extending its home winning streak to a league-best four games. The eight wins in the opening 12 games marks a club record, besting the previous record of 19 games set in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The team has won six of its past seven outings, matching the club record set in 2013. Seattle also leads MLS in home wins (5) and road wins (3).
A Look AheadSaturday's Cascadia Cup match at Vancouver marks the beginning of a rare stretch for Sounders FC. Seattle will play four of its next five games away from CenturyLink Field, including three-straight road contests from June 7-July 5. The five-game stretch will be played over 43 days as the team will have a 21-day break during the group stage of the FIFA World Cup.
The tough road stretch will be welcomed by Sounders FC as the team has been one of the top away teams in MLS this season, going 3-1-1 for 10 points (T-2nd in MLS). In its previous three-game road stretch this season, Seattle earned comeback results to earn two wins (Dallas and Chivas USA) with one draw (Portland). Overall, Sounders FC is 32-29-25 away from home since joining MLS in 2009.
2014 Cascadia CupSaturday's match at Portland will kick off the 2014 Cascadia Cup - a regional competition that was founded in 2004 by the largest supporters groups of the three Pacific Northwest clubs: the Emerald City Supporters, Timbers Army and Vancouver Southsiders. Seattle will play four of its six Cascadia Cup matches on the road, battling to a comeback 4-4 draw against Portland on April 5. The first rivalry match at home is set for July 13 against the Portland Timbers, and the competition will conclude on October 10 when Sounders FC hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The Whitecaps FC currently hold the Cascadia Cup after winning it for the first time in the MLS era last season. Sounders FC won the Cup in its first year in MLS (2011), and the Timbers won the 2012 edition. Overall. Seattle has won the Cascadia Cup three times, including the USL era (2006, 2007 and 2011).
Series NotesSounders FC leads the MLS series with Vancouver, holding a 3-2-3 advantage since Whitecaps FC joined the league in 2011. The teams are even at 1-1-2 in Vancouver, with the 'Caps earning a 2-nil victory in the last meeting at BC Place. Vancouver currently has a two-match winning streak against Seattle, marking its only two wins of the series. The two sides have each scored 13 goals, but the scoring has been a tale of two halves. Vancouver has scored eight of its 13 goals in the first half, including seven in the first half hour, while 11 of Seattle's goals have been scored in the second half, including 10 in the final half hour.
All-Time Series with VancouverSaturday will mark the 133rd 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 63-48-21. In the 217 all-time games against Portland and Vancouver soccer teams, Seattle reigns supreme with 105 wins, 79 losses and 33 draws.
1974-83: NASL - Sounders 13 wins; Whitecaps 17 wins; 1 draw1984: Friendlies - FC Seattle 1 win; Whitecaps 0 wins; 1 draw1987-90: WSL/Friendlies - FC Seattle 3 wins; 86ers 3 wins; 0 draws1994-08: USL-1 - Sounders 43 wins; 86ers/Whitecaps 25 wins; 16 draws2011-present: MLS/Friendlies - Sounders 3 wins; Whitecaps 3 wins; 3 drawsTotals: 132 matches played - Seattle 63 wins, Vancouver 48 wins; 21 draws
About VancouverWhitecaps FC is fourth in the Western Conference with 16 points (4-2-4), including a 3-1-1 record at BC Place. The team's plus-four goal differential is tied-fourth in MLS with Seattle and the 16 goals scored are tied-seventh. Five of Vancouver's 16 goals have come in the final 15 minutes of games this season. Despite playing just 10 games, the Whitecaps rank eighth in assists (13) and third in shots on goal (56). The 'Caps are currently riding two-match winning streak after wins over Columbus and San Jose, and have not lost in the past four (2-0-2) outings.
Whitecaps FC NotablesCoach Carl Robinson's balanced attack features three players with three goals each. Chilean newcomer Pedro Morales leads the club with eight points on the season (three goals, two assists) and netted a brace earlier this month in a 3-2 win over San Jose. Also tied for the team-lead in goals are Gambian winger Kekuta Manneh, who has appeared in all 10 games for Vancouver this season, and Scottish forward Kenny Miller, who departed the club on May 4. Darren Mattocks leads the club with three assists to go along with two goals, starting all nine of his appearances in 2014. There backline has remained consistent this season with Andy O'Brien, Jordan Harvey and Steven Beitashour starting all 10 games. Danish goalkeeper David Ousted has manned the nets in every game this season, making 27 saves and recording two shutouts. Throw-insDeAndre Yedlin will participate in a Google+ Hangout with Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. PT...U.S. Soccer announced the dates and times for the fourth round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Sounders FC would either host PSA Elite (USASA) at Starfire Stadium on June 11 or visit the LA Galaxy II (USL PRO) at the StubHub Center on June 18. The LA Galaxy II host PSA Elite on May 28 at 7:30 p.m. PT...On May 26, 2010, Sounders FC earned its first victory over an international opponent in a friendly against Argentine power Boca Juniors...The referee for Saturday's match will be Ismail Elfath, with assistants George Gansner and Adam Garner, and fourth official Dave Gantar...Sounders FC will wear its Pitch Black third kit at Vancouver.