Sounders FC @ Whitecaps FC
July 6, 2013, 8 pm PT; BC Place in Vancouver, B.C.
TV/Radio: NBC Sports; KIRO Radio 97.3 FM; La Gran D 99.3 FM (Spanish)
Sounders FC is unbeaten at 3-0-3 in MLS against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and will look to continue that unbeaten run against their rivals to the north on Saturday night.
Here are three key matchups to watch in the nationally televised match.
Seattle’s speed vs. Vancouver’s defense
In Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins, Seattle has plenty of speed and savvy in their forwards. In recent matches, Vancouver has been victimized by teams with speedy forwards and that lack of speed on the defensive side could be something Sounders FC can take advantage of. With Jay DeMerit out since the first match of the year with a torn Achilles and Andy O’Brien limited by a hamstring strain recently, Vancouver has turned to Brad Rusin and Johnny Leveron, who can be bested by balls played into space.
Camilo’s streak vs. Seattle’s defense
Camilo Sanvezzo has been on an absolute tear of late, scoring in each of Vancouver’s last five matches for seven goals and two assists. He is second in Major League Soccer with 10 goals and Seattle’s defenders are well aware of how he can hurt them as he scored two against Sounders FC on June 8.
“Now we know him – especially me, I know him now from the first game,” Sounders FC defender Djimi Traore said. “I know which kind of player is in front of me and I will do my best to shut him down.”
While he got the best of the Sounders defense with two headers in their previous meeting, he has also been a tremendous threat on free kicks around the 18-yard box, so Seattle will also have to wary of where they are committing fouls, as deep free kicks are dangerous scoring chances when Camilo is over the ball.
ECS vs. Southsiders
It’s the first opportunity of the year for the Sounders FC faithful to show their numbers in a road Cascadia match and the Emerald City Supporters are ready to represent Seattle in the stands at BC Place. They have good memories of trips to Vancouver in previous years, hoisting the Cascadia Cup there in 2011 and with Fredy Montero’s 90th minute equalizer in their first match there last year, and have never failed to make the presence heard loud and clear. On the other side, the Southsiders traveled in droves to CenturyLink Field in June and are hungry as ever for their first derby win since the Cascadia Cup took to MLS in 2011.
For more on the Cascadia Cup, watch the first segment this week’s edition of MLS Insider on NBC Sports here.