The Seattle Sounders are taking on the Vancouver Whitecaps on Tuesday (7 p.m. PT; JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM) at Providence Park in Portland, Ore. Here are three matchups to watch.
Shane O’Neill vs. Fredy Montero
O’Neill has performed admirably in his first year in Seattle and will need to keep up his strong run of form through the remainder of the regular season and into the MLS Cup Playoffs. While Yeimar will presumably go head-to-head with hulking forward Lucas Cavallini, O’Neill will be tasked with slowing down a shifty and clever forward in Montero, someone with whom Sounders fans are quite familiar.
Cristian Roldan vs. Ali Adnan
At this point, everyone across MLS knows what Jordan Morris brings on the left side of the Sounders’ attack. When Seattle has had real offensive firepower, it’s been because Roldan has provided a spark on the opposite flank. His efforts in the final third help keep defenses honest and prevent them from cheating to Morris’ side, which allows more room for Morris, Nicolás Lodeiro and Raúl Ruidíaz to do what they do best. Roldan will have a good battle on Tuesday against Adnan, the Iraqi international left back and Designated Player, who scored a beautiful free kick of his own over the weekend in a win over the San Jose Earthquakes.
Nicolás Lodeiro vs. Leonard Owusu
After recording a goal and/or an assist in four consecutive matches, Lodeiro has now gone two games without either, something uncharacteristic of the Uruguayan magician, who has been brilliant all season. He’ll look to rediscover that form against a Vancouver side against which he already has a goal and two assists in two matches this season. If the ’Caps want to slow down Lodeiro & Co., much of the onus will fall to Owusu, one of two central midfielders in Head Coach Marc Dos Santos’ 4-4-2 formation. If Owusu can’t contain the best No. 10 in MLS, it’ll be a long evening for Vancouver.