Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
October 9, 2013, 7 pm PT; CenturyLink Field
TV/Radio: KONG 6/16; 710 ESPN Seattle; KOMO2 (Spanish); La Gran D 99.3 FM (Spanish)
The last time Sounders FC lost a match, it reeled off a five-game winning streak.
On Wednesday, Seattle hopes to have a similar fate as it looks to bounce back from a loss to the Colorado Rapids, facing off with Cascadia rivals the Vancouver Whitecaps FC at CenturyLink Field.
“We want the revenge right away,” Seattle midfielder and captain Mauro Rosales said. “We have to learn from that game. We weren’t in the game from minute one. That’s the reason we got that result.”
It’s a match filled with playoff and Cascadia Cup implications, too. With a win or draw, Sounders FC would win the Cascadia Cup, getting the best of the Whitecaps and Portland Timbers in the three-way Northwest derby. A win would also clinch a playoff spot for Seattle. Vancouver, meanwhile, needs a win to stay in a tight race for the final playoff spot in the West, currently trailing Colorado by six points with just three matches remaining.
Having that match sooner than later means the team has the chance to quickly eliminate the sour taste of defeat.
“The quick turnaround makes it easier. You know you have a game coming up on Wednesday. You’d rather have a game coming up than to sit and stew on it for the whole week,” Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “We know what our task is for Wednesday. We want to secure a playoff spot and we’d like to wrap up the Cascadia Cup if we can. We’ve got to show who we are and what we are. Saturday night in Denver is not who we are.”
Getting back to the form of the recent five-game winning streak could simply be a matter of altering the mentality of the team. That is what the players pointed to in the midst of the run, which extended out to a seven-match unbeaten streak.
With aspirations of winning the Supporters’ Shield, that approach needs to come on Wednesday night.
“We need to have our winning mentality that we had before and face the last four games that we have if we want to get the Supporters’ Shield and get into the playoffs,” Rosales said.
Vancouver is just 1-4-3 in its last eight matches, but a late comeback against the Timbers at BC Place on Sunday showed that the Whitecaps are not going to let their season end without a fight.
Vancouver forward Camilo Sanvezzo scored twice in that match, giving him 18 goals on the season to rank second behind Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio in the Golden Boot race. He has 35 goals and 15 assists in three MLS seasons, including four goals in seven matches against Seattle.
Sounders FC has controlled the all-time series, going 3-1-3 since Vancouver came into MLS in 2011, but will be playing without regular starters Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans, who are away with the U.S. National Team. Seattle will have players at the ready to fill in, and it will be a motivated group, regardless of the opponent on the other side of the field.
“You have to be motivated just wearing the shield we are wearing. It doesn’t matter which team we have in front of us,” Rosales said. “Being a part of this organization has to be enough for everybody.”