Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps MLS is Back 2020-09-22
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Five things to watch for in final phase of 2020 MLS regular season

Major League Soccer on Tuesday released the final portion of the 2020 regular season schedule that will conclude on Nov. 8. Here are five things to watch for in the home stretch.


NEW OPPONENT

The Seattle Sounders will take on the Colorado Rapids for the first time this season when they play twice inside three weeks. Seattle will host Robin Fraser’s side on Oct. 14 (7 p.m. PT; JOEtv, Prime Video) before visiting Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Nov. 1. (6 p.m. PT; JOEtv, Prime Video).

Since the return from the MLS is Back tournament, the Sounders have only been scheduled to play five of the other 11 Western Conference teams. The Rapids currently sit in sixth place in the West and have lost just once in their last six matches, punctuated by an impressive 5-0 win over Rocky Mountain Cup rivals RSL. Colorado is led by two promising young Americans in Cole Bassett and Sam Vines, and the Rapids recently added some defensive reinforcements in MLS veteran Steven Beitashour.

CASCADIA RIVALRY RENEWED

The Sounders will meet their rivals to the north twice in the final phase of the season. Seattle and Vancouver have played once already this season, but not since group play at the MLS is Back tournament in July where the Sounders posted an emphatic 3-0 win to secure a place in the knockout rounds.

In accordance with travel protocols for Canadian clubs during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Whitecaps, Montreal Impact and Toronto FC will all play their home games in the United States. So when the Sounders take on the ‘Caps on Oct. 27 (7 p.m. PT; JOEtv, Prime Video), the match will coincidentally be held in Portland, Ore., at Providence Park, where the mutual rival Timbers play.

CONTINUED FORM VS. LAFC AND SAN JOSE

Three of Seattle’s final nine matches are against LAFC and the San Jose Earthquakes. In the last three games against those two opponents, the Sounders have outscored them 13-2.

The Sounders will look to best Bob Bradley’s LAFC side for the third consecutive match when they visit Banc of California Stadium on Oct. 11 (4 p.m. PT; ESPN) for the first time since winning the Western Conference Championship there last season. Seattle then gets two more cracks at the ‘Quakes, who are currently last in the West with just 11 points from 12 matches and who have conceded a league-worst 33 goals.

TIMBERS VISIT CENTURYLINK FIELD AGAIN

The Sounders will play the Timbers for what will be the fourth time this regular season when Portland travels to Seattle on Oct. 24 (7 p.m. PT; broadcast TBD). Despite much recent success on the road in Portland, the Sounders are looking for their first home win over the Timbers since June 2017.

DECISION DAY

The Sounders will host the Earthquakes on Decision Day, as all 12 Western Conference teams kick off simultaneously at 3:30 p.m. PT. Seattle played San Jose on Decision Day in 2018, with the Sounders winning 2-1 at CenturyLink Field.

Seattle has won its last six Decision Day matches and hasn’t lost since 2012. This year’s match could have massive implications for both teams, especially given MLS’ revamped postseason format.

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