Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Preview and Prediction

Seattle Sounders will welcome Vancouver Whitecaps as they eye the top spot in the MLS Western Conference.

We have another thrilling Cascadia Cup clash at Lumen Field this weekend as the Seattle Sounders strive to extend their MLS unbeaten streak to three matches against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

Seattle Sounders’ previous encounter ended in a scoreless draw against FC Dallas, while the Whitecaps missed a chance to claim the top spot in the Western Conference, falling 3-1 at home to the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Despite Seattle’s quest for their first away victory of the season, they have shown promise by securing at least a point in consecutive matches, a positive sign for manager Brian Schmetzer. The Sounders have demonstrated defensive solidity, keeping clean sheets in their last two domestic games and conceding just one goal or fewer in each home match this season at Lumen Field.

Currently positioned in 12th place in the Western Conference, Seattle Sounders have accumulated six points from seven league fixtures, marking their lowest tally at this stage of an MLS campaign since 2018. However, they remain unbeaten in six consecutive regular-season games at Lumen Field dating back to the 2023 season.

The Sounders have displayed resilience when leading at half-time this season, never losing a match in such circumstances. Additionally, they have enjoyed dominance over Vancouver in their home encounters, remaining undefeated in 11 consecutive matches against them at Lumen Field.

Meanwhile, Vancouver Whitecaps find themselves in second place in the Western Conference with 13 points, matching their best-ever start to an MLS campaign after seven matches.

They have showcased proficiency away from home in 2024, securing victories in both of their domestic road matches by a combined score of 5-1. Another victory on Saturday would mark only the second time in club history that they have won three successive regular-season matches away from Vancouver.

Although Vancouver have struggled defensively against counter-attacks this season, they have excelled in their attacking play, particularly down the flanks, where they have utilised the speed of their wing-backs to create numerous scoring opportunities.

While Vancouver Whitecaps have not secured a win at Lumen Field since 2016, they have managed to collect seven points from their last four regular-season meetings with the Sounders, including a goalless draw in Seattle last season. The Hard Tackle takes a look at how both sides could line up for the game and their tactics.

Team News & Tactics

Seattle Sounders

Braudilio Rodrigues and Reed Baker-Whiting were sidelined for the Rave Green’s previous match due to right and left hamstring injuries, respectively. They are unlikely to return to the starting lineup this weekend.

Meanwhile, Pedro de la Vega has been absent from the Sounders lineup for the past few weeks due to a hamstring strain and could be close to returning. Gut he is unlikely to be fit for this game.

Similarly, Joao Paulo has come off the bench in the last two fixtures after recovering from a hip issue. Leo Chu, who recently resumed full training, is also another option off the bench. A 4-2-3-1 appears to be the system for the home side with Stefan Frei in goal. He should be protected by the back four of Alex Roldan, Yeimar Gomez Andrade, Jackson Ragen and Nouhou Tolo.

Joao Paulo and Josh Atencio should act as the double pivot with Albert Rusnak holding down the number 10 role. Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris should provide the width, with Raul Ruidíaz leading the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Frei; Alex Roldan, Andrade, Ragen, Tolo; Paulo, Atencio; Cristian Roldan, Rusnak, Morris; Ruidiaz

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Preview and Prediction.

Vancouver Whitecaps

Last week, Vancouver Whitecaps missed Bjorn Inge Utvik due to a sore ankle. But there is a possibility he may be back for Saturday’s game. However, Belal Halbouni’s availability is uncertain due to a hand injury.

Luis Martins was listed as an unused substitute in the match against the Galaxy, marking his return to the team sheet for the first time since sustaining a thigh injury on March 23rd. Meanwhile, Ralph Priso is still waiting for his first start with the club.

The visitors are expected to line up in a 3-4-2 formation, with Yohei Takaoka in goal. He should be protected by the back three of Mathias Laborda, Ranko Veselinovic and Tristan Blackmon.

Pedro Vite and Andres Cubas should form the central midfield pairing with Alessandro Schopf and Ryan Raposo providing the width. Brian White should lead the line with Ryan Gauld and Fafa Picault providing the width and also dropping deeper when needed.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Takaoka; Laborda, Veselinovic, Blackmon; Raposo, Vite, Cubas, Schopf; Gauld, White, Picault

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • Brian White has notched 42 goals for the Whitecaps across all competitions, placing him just one goal behind Camilo Sanvezzo for the most goals scored in club history during the MLS era.
  • Vancouver have not have not claimed three points at Lumen Field since the 2016 campaign when they won 2-1.
  • The Vancouver Whitecaps have scored in every MLS match they have played this year.
  • Victory on Saturday will mark just the second time in club history that the Vancouver Whitecaps triumph in three successive regular-season contests outside Vancouver, the first since 2015.

Player to Watch

Brian White

Embed from Getty Images

White will lead the Vancouver Whitecaps attack on the night and will have his eyes set on making club history. He has now racked up 42 goals for the club in the MLS era, a tally only bettered by Camilo Sanvezzo. Doing it at Lumen Park will certainly make for a memorable night out.

The 28-year-old is capable of playing anywhere along the frontline and will prove to be a difficult man to keep tabs on. As long as he turns up, the visitors have a sound shot at securing all three points.


Seattle Sounders 2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

The home side have looked defensively more solid of late. This is good news given Vancouver’s attacking prowess. However the visitors lack in terms of attacking push from the midfield, handing Seattle Sounders a slight advantage in the department. The Hard Tackle envisions a close 2-1 win for Seattle.

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