Sounders Insider

Sounders take day off before Vancouver weekend

LogoSoundersThe Sounders are off today. So in the relative absence of news or quotes, here are some notes from the club:

Riding a dominant run of form and sitting atop the league table, Seattle Sounders FC continues Cascadia Cup play against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT at BC Place.

Saturday's match will be televised locally on JOEtv (KZJO, channel 22/cable 10) and regionally on ROOT Sports with Fletcher and Taylor Graham 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), and Spanish radio is available on ESPN Deportes 1490 AM.

Sounders FC (11-3-2, 35 points) leads the Supporters' Shield race by 10 points, winning nine of its past 11 outings. Seattle earned its league-best fifth road win of the season last Saturday, a 1-nil victory at D.C. United, and will look to extend its three-game (2-0-1) unbeaten streak away from home in Vancouver. Forward Chad Barrett scored his fourth goal of the season against D.C. United while goalkeeper Stefan Frei recorded his fifth shutout. Seattle will regain the services of Obafemi Martins this Saturday as the striker returns from a one-game suspension, though the central midfield pairing of Osvaldo Alonso and Gonzalo Pineda will miss the match due to yellow card accumulation.

Saturday's match kicks off a five-match month of July, including four straight home matches. Sounders FC has historically performed well over the summer months, earning the second-most points in MLS from July 1 through the end of the regular season.

Whitecaps FC (5-3-7, 22 points) sits fifth in the Western Conference after its eight-game unbeaten streak was snapped with a 2-nil loss at the Colorado Rapids last Saturday. Vancouver has gone 3-1-3 at BC Place this season, and is unbeaten in its past four home contests (1-0-3), dating back to April 5.

Seattle and Vancouver soccer teams have been battling for Pacific Northwest supremacy since the first-ever NASL meeting in 1974. Seattle leads the series at 63-48-22, as Saturday's match will mark the 134th all-time meeting.

Following the game in Vancouver, Sounders FC will return to Seattle for a pair of matches against the Portland Timbers. The two rivals will first meet in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal on July 9 at Starfire Stadium as Sounders FC looks to capture its fourth championship. Four days later, the sides will meet again in a full-stadium match on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.

The Seattle reserve team will host FC Edmonton (NASL) on July 6. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. PT at Starfire Sports field 12.

Tickets for Sounders FC home matches, including the Tottenham Hotspur friendly, are available now at SoundersFC.com and 1-877-MLS-GOAL. The 5-Match ticket package is also available now with expanded seating to include the upper bowl at CenturyLink Field.

Competition Schedule (All times Pacific; subject to change)July 5, 7:00 p.m. - Sounders FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, BC PlaceJuly 9, 7:30 p.m. - Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers, Starfire StadiumJuly 13, 7:00 p.m. - Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers, CenturyLink FieldJuly 19, 1:00 p.m. - Sounders FC vs. Tottenham Hotspur, CenturyLink FieldJuly 28, 7:00 p.m. - Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy, CenturyLink Field

Top of the TableSounders FC extended its lead atop the Supporters' Shield standings to 10 points with a 1-0 win at D.C. United last Saturday. Seattle has held the top spot for a club record nine consecutive weeks, first gaining the No. 1 positioning on April 26. With a 10-point lead on the opposition, Sounders FC is guaranteed to remain first in the standings through the weekend. The team's average of 2.19 points per game bests the LA Galaxy's record-setting pace of 2.13 points per game during the 1998 season. Seattle's 10 wins are four more than any other MLS side and the team's 33 goals bests its competitors by five goals.

At the Midway MarkSaturday's match at Vancouver will mark the midway point of the season for Sounders FC. Seattle has posted the best record through 16 games in club history, winning four more games and earning 10 more points than the previous top marks. The impressive record has been spurred by the recent run of form as Sounders FC has won nine of its past 11 outings (9-1-1). There have been seven times in league history when a team has lead its conference by 10 or more points at the halfway point, with the 2006 D.C. United team the last to accomplish the feat.

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