Sounders-Whitecaps rivalry is a long time outdated, however there's nonetheless some maturing for Vancouver to do

Sounders-Whitecaps rivalry is a long time outdated, however there’s nonetheless some maturing for a still-young Vancouver to do.

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The historical past between the Seattle Sounders and the Vancouver Whitecaps is lengthy, fervid and feisty.

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This Saturday would be the a hundred and fiftieth aggressive assembly — far more for those who embrace pre-season or exhibition — since they first knocked heads in 1974.

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The Sounders have gotten the very best of their Canadian foes, going 72-52-25, so you’ll be able to forgive the Caps if latest historical past is the half they need to give attention to.

They’ve now crushed Seattle in consecutive video games — each at house — for the primary time of their MLS historical past.

There’s no have to invoke anymore Hatfield and McCoy comparisons to explain their relationship; everybody is sort of conscious of it, thanks. (And let’s not neglect the Vance household on this metaphor, the Portland Timbers.)

The Cascadia Cup is among the most cherished chalices that the groups’ fan bases can have. In 2023, Portland leads the way in which with seven factors in 4 video games, adopted by Vancouver (six) and Seattle (one), with 4 video games total left within the collection. The Caps have gained the Cup six instances, however not since 2016, with two Portland wins sandwiching three of Seattle’s in that span.



Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

7:30 p.m., B.C. Place

TV: TSN/Apple. Radio: AM730

“Soccer is fabricated from rivalries, so it’s stunning to have a rivalry in opposition to Portland, Seattle. I believe it’s much more necessary this season as a result of we play each Portland, Seattle 3 times,” mentioned Caps coach Vanni Sartini. “If we, knock on wooden, win the Cascadia Cup, it will imply that we’ve completed very properly in six video games. So we have already got an even bigger portion of factors to get into the playoffs.”

The Whitecaps (6-6-7, ninth West) had been dominant of their final assembly in opposition to Seattle (9-7-5, second West), beating the Sounders 2-0.

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The Rave Inexperienced had an xG of simply 0.5 in that recreation, however lead the league in that class per 90 minutes (1.51) regardless of targets drying up not too long ago. Since shedding to Vancouver, Seattle has tread water with a 2-2-3 report, getting shut out 4 instances over that span. Aside from a 3-3 tie with Charlotte, they’d two 1-0 wins — and that’s it.

The Sounders will get a lift with the return of Alex Roldan from the Gold Cup — Jordan Morris remains to be away with the U.S. nationwide group — and he’s assured in his group’s probabilities bettering.

“I believe the video games that they performed had been really superb, they’d stable performances,” he mentioned. “I believe the one factor we had been missing in was simply the ball behind the web. Defensively, we continued to get shutouts in order that’s clearly a really large constructive. If we are able to hold a clear sheet, then we’re giving our offence an opportunity. They performed properly, they’d good performances, it’s nearly ending with targets now.”

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Whereas the Sounders are sitting excessive within the West standings — tied on factors with LAFC, however the SoCal squad has a recreation in hand — the Whitecaps are presently within the closing playoff spot. Ought to the playoffs begin as we speak, they’d journey to Austin, Tex., for a one-off play in recreation.

So what could be the larger triumph for the Caps: beating Seattle on Saturday or recording a win within the first of a four-game house stand earlier than their unprecedented September problem of seven straight highway video games?

“It’s one and the identical,” mentioned striker Brian White. “We have to win video games for the factors. House video games are necessary for us, particularly the way in which we began the season on the highway.

“After which, Cascadia Cups are at all times necessary for the membership, for the group, for the followers.

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“So it’s a ‘two-birds,-one-stone’ type of night time, and hopefully we’ll come away with three factors.”

One concern that, nonetheless, wants addressing is a constant mentality. Final season, the Caps had been susceptible to collapses when different groups scored first or took the lead. This 12 months was purported to have been totally different, with these younger gamers a 12 months older and extra skilled, however the identical ugly beast reared its head of their final recreation, a 3-0 loss to Sporting Kansas Metropolis — the primary shutout defeat of the season.

Vancouver was the stronger group earlier on, however Okay.C. weathered the strain, turned it round on the Caps, and as soon as they discovered the again of the web, the guests at Kids’s Mercy Park mentally waved the white towel. They strayed from the sport plan, reverting to particular person play.

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“We’ve had a few these video games thus far this 12 months,” mentioned White. “Fortunately, it’s not been too, too many, however there have been moments the place we glance again and … type of misplaced our heads.”

Sartini concedes the group hasn’t been capable of shake these psychological lapses, however thinks they’re slowly maturing, pointing to their final two house video games, each 1-1 ties. Sporting scored early within the first earlier than Ryan Gauld tied it late in regulation; within the different, Cincy went up 1-0 with seven minutes left earlier than Gauld once more tied it on the finish.

“We’re doing higher,” mentioned Sartini. “I’m fairly certain that final 12 months we most likely would have misplaced these two video games. There’s nonetheless quite a lot of margin of enchancment.

“The message stays: belief the method … (Don’t) divert from the trail. I believe it’s the one approach for us to turn into profitable.”

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