MLS did not schedule an early Saturday game as not to conflict with the EUFA Champions League final.I am an avowed European club soccer agnostic, but am actually tuned in to the match. Those Euro guys play okay. But the real soccer starts later today when your Seattle Sounders cross the border to continue their longstanding rivalry with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
I had written the Caps off this season. No Camilo, too much youth, and the uninspired decision to merely promote an assistant instead of bringing in a “known commodity” coach in Bob Bradley (who they conspicuously flirted with). Wow. Was I wrong. They are currently 4th in the West and at times have looked like world-beaters. Their attack is built around youth and fast, fast, fast. Darren Mattocks (currently injured), Kekutah Manneh (nightmares of his hat trick last season) and Erik Hurtado are speedsters extraordinaire. Couple that with the technical ability of Chilean international Pedro Morales and you have a helluva potent attack. Thankfully, Vancouver suffers a similar Achilles heel as Seattle in a leaky defense.
This game has the potential to be a barnburner. But I think Seattle will travel north looking to continue their clean sheet trend. I see Coach Sigi Schmid building a defense first lineup and starting Andy Rose for the injured Lamar Neagle in the midfield. Captain Brad Evans, burning for vindication,also starts. I don’t believe any of that lack of fitness crap, that is just smokescreens and mind games. He teams up with Gonzalo Pineda as Seattle protects the back and hunts the counter.
Bold Prediction: Vancouver wants to prove they belong. The Caps push and push but Seattle holds firm. The scores are back and forth, but Vancouver benefits from home form. The Cascadia Cup Rivalry continues with another draw, 2-2