The Seattle Sounders head north to Vancouver Whitecaps FC for third match-up of the season. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the game.
WHEN AND WHERE: Kickoff is Sunday at 5:00 p.m. PT at BC Place.
WHERE TO WATCH: The game will be telecast on FS1. A full list of Sounders FC Pub Partners can be found here.
WHERE TO LISTEN: The game will air on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM with a pregame show beginning at 4:30 p.m. PT, and also on El Rey 1360AM in Spanish.
RECORDS AND STANDINGS: Sounders (12-13-5, 41 pts., 6th in Western Conference), Whitecaps (9-14-8, 35 pts., 8th in Western Conference).
ALL-TIME HISTORY: The Sounders and Whitecaps are dead even in their all-time history sitting at 6-6-4 against each other since the Whitecaps inaugural MLS season in 2011. With this being their final fixture of the season, one side will have the opportunity to claim that record until 2017 begins.
THE LAST TIME: The Sounders got revenge on their northern neighbor in the last meeting between these two sides just two weeks ago. A late header goal from forward Jordan Morris was the deciding factor in a 1-0 victory in front of a full bowl CenturyLink Field. In their first match, Vancouver earned a 2-1 victory on Seattle turf on the back of two questionable penalty calls.
DEMPSEY UPDATE: On Tuesday, it was announced that forward Clint Dempsey will miss the rest of the 2016 season due to medical issues stemming from an irregular heartbeat. The absence of the Sounders perennial all-star is a huge blow to the squad but general manager Garth Lagerwey indicated that the condition is not career-ending. "If we prioritize this now," he said, "hopefully we can get Dempsey back in 2017."
RED LINE RIDERS: For the first time in 2016, the Seattle Sounders are in a playoff position. After a 1-0 win at home against Chicago on Wednesday, the Sounders replaced rival Portland Timbers in the 6th and final playoff spot in the Western conference. With a game still in hand, the Rave Green are in a favorable situation to finish the season above the red line but with points as tight as they are, room for error is slim to none.
INJURY UPDATE: Captain Brad Evans expects to return on Sunday after missing four straight matches, he told media after Friday's training session. "When the team is playing as well as it is, you want to be involved," he said. Meanwhile, midfielder Erik Friberg made his return on Wednesday, coming off the bench in the 57th minute after sitting out last weekend’s match in Los Angeles. In the opposite camp, forward Kekuta Manneh is out after undergoing foot surgery in July.
LODEIR-NO: Midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro has played every single minute of Sounders soccer since arriving in Seattle…until Sunday. With a yellow card in Wednesday’s match against Chicago, Lodeiro will be forced to miss Sunday’s match at Vancouver due to yellow card accumulation. Lodeiro has been integral to the Sounders recent success, performing at a record-setting pace of three goals and eight assists in ten appearances. His loss will present serious challenges for the team away from home.
THE SCHM-IDAS TOUCH: It seems interim head coach Brian Schmetzer can do no wrong with the Sounders. Since taking over in late July, the Seattle native is 6-1-3 with the team and has landed them in playoff position for the first time all year. The side is also on a three game-winning streak with a chance to make it their longest of the season with a victory on Sunday.
NO REST FOR THE WINNERS: Both teams will be testing their stamina this weekend as both faced mid-week matches on Wednesday. Seattle trumped Chicago 1-0 at home, while Vancouver competed in SCCL, defeating opponent Central FC 4-1 at BC Place.