Sounders Insider

Saturday comes: Sounders at Vancouver, 7 PT

VancouverThe Sounders return to MLS action tonight in Vancouver, the first of three straight games against Cascadia rivals. Here's our preview story from the newspaper.

It's a cloudy day in Vancouver, with temperatures mostly in the 60s (F).

A few highlights on the match:

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (11-3-2; 35 POINTS)AT VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (5-3-7; 22 POINTS)7 p.m. Saturday, BC Place, Vancouver, B.C.TV: JOEtv. RADIO: 97.3 FM.HEAD TO HEAD: Seattle leads 3-2-4 in MLS play, and 63-48-22 through all leagues and competitions dating back to the North American Soccer League in 1974. The MLS series is 1-1-3 in Vancouver. The teams played to a 2-2 draw in the previous meeting, May 24 at BC Place. They will meet again Oct. 10 in Seattle. NOTES: The Sounders have the best record in the league, while the Whitecaps are fifth in the Western Conference. … This game will mark the halfway point for the Sounders MLS season and also for their 2014 Cascadia Cup competition. Vancouver (1-0-1) leads the Northwest round robin with four points, Seattle (0-0-2) is second with two, and Portland (0-1-1) is third with one. … The Whitecaps are 3-1-3 at BC Place and have outscored opponents there, 14-10. The Sounders are 5-1-2 on the road. … Seattle will be without midfielders Osvaldo Alonso and Gonzalo Pineda due to yellow-card accumulation. Returning national team members Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin are not expected to play. However, goals co-leader and assists leader Obafemi Martins (eight goals, six assists) will return from red-card suspension. … Chilean midfielder Pedro Morales leads Vancouver with six goals and five assists. … The match is sold out. … The referee is Baldomero Toledo.QUOTABLE: “They probably feel they haven’t played direct enough at times to (take advantage of their speed). With us, I expect them to probably come a little faster, maybe put (Kekuta) Manneh back into the team if he’s not hurt and put a little more pace up front.” – Seattle coach Sigi Schmid on the WhitecapsNEXT: The Sounders meet the Portland Timbers in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila. Then they return to league play against the Timbers at 7 p.m. July 13 at CenturyLink Field.