MLS Regular Season
Score: Sounders FC 3 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0
Goal-scorers: Andreas Ivanschitz (45’), Gonzalo Pineda (71’), Obafemi Martins (87’)
Site: BC Place
Man of the Match: Stefan Frei. As impressive as Sounders FC’s scoring outburst was on Saturday, the Swiss goalkeeper was just as stellar in keeping Vancouver off the score sheet. The Whitecaps put constant pressure on Seattle after going down 1-0 in the first half, and Frei made eight saves en route to his 10th shutout of the season, which marks a career high.
Telling Stat: Vancouver was the top defensive team in MLS coming into the match, having given up just 28 goals in 28 games this season. The Sounders became just the second side this season to tally three goals on the ‘Caps, who had won four straight home matches prior to Saturday’s defeat. This was the second time the Sounders have beaten Vancouver at BC Place this season.
Clint Dempsey assisted on the final two Seattle goals, bringing his team-leading total this season to nine. Despite missing numerous games due to injury and international duty, Dempsey ranks in the league’s top 10 in assists. His second assist of the night went to Obafemi Martins, who has now scored six goals in six matches since returning from injury.
What You Missed: Andreas Ivanschitz and Gonzalo Pineda each scored their first goals of the season on Saturday. Ivanschitz joined fellow midseason pickup Nelson Valdez as the second Sounders player this season to score in his first start, and Pineda’s goal was his first non-PK goal in his two seasons with the club.
Midfielders Lamar Neagle and Erik Friberg were not in the 18-man lineup against Vancouver. It marked the first game across all competitions this year that Neagle did not see the field, while Friberg had started every single match since signing with the Sounders in late June. Friberg was sidelined on Saturday due to a groin injury he suffered in training during the week.
So What: With the victory, the Sounders clinched the 2015 Cascadia Cup, their first such title since 2011. The Sounders are now within three points of the Whitecaps for first place in the Western Conference with four games remaining. The Sounders and Whitecaps will meet again at CenturyLink Field next Wednesday, when Seattle can secure a spot in the Knockout Round of the CONCACAF Champions League with a victory.