Preview: Whitecaps FC return to BC Place for Cascadia derby with first-place Seattle Sounders FC

'Caps looking to increase lead atop Cascadia standings

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (5W-3L-7D) are back at BC Place this weekend for a Cascadia derby with first-place Seattle Sounders FC (11W-3L-2D).

Kickoff for Saturday’s match is set for 7 p.m. PT at BC Place. You can watch the match live on TSN2, Bell mobile devices, and TSN GO. The match will also air live on TEAM 1410 and teamradio.ca, starting with the pre-game show at 5 p.m. PT. TEAM 1410 will also have a two-hour post-game show immediately following the match.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

Highlights: Colorado Rapids 2-0 Vancouver Whitecaps FC

The 'Caps, who are coming off a 2-0 loss at the hands of Colorado Rapids, enter Saturday’s contest fifth in the Western Conference – though they have at least a game in hand over the four teams above them.

Last weekend’s loss to Colorado, one of just two teams to have beaten Whitecaps FC in the 2014 regular season, was Vancouver’s first defeat in over two months. The result also snapped their club record eight-match unbeaten run.

“We came back into training this week and tried to do different sessions that help guys switch on and not take that lull defensively,” veteran defender Jordan Harvey told reporters earlier this week. “I think that’s happened. We’re on offensively for the majority of the games, but when we lose the ball it’s when we really need to switch on and win it back. We kind of went away from that the last two games and we’re trying to get back to it.”

The ‘Caps could have Harvey’s fullback partner back in the fold this weekend, as right back Steven Beitashour has returned from the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Prior to leaving for Iran’s World Cup camp, Beitashour started each of Vancouver’s first 10 regular season matches, in which they posted a 4W-2L-4D record.

“He’s been given a bit of shtick in the changing room because he’s come back with his World Cup boots,” Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson told reporters this week. “It’s nice to have a fresh face now and again. Beita’s been away for a month or so it feels like a fresh face for us. He’s a great guy to have in the locker room. Obviously we’ll bring him down a peg or two... But it’s nice to have him a part of the group again.”

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Highlights: DC United 0-1 Seattle Sounders FC

It’s been quite the season for Sounders FC, who sit atop the MLS standings thanks to an 11W-3L-2D record thus far. As it stands, Seattle’s 35 points are at least 10 more than any other MLS side.

No team in MLS has more road wins (5) or goals (17) than Seattle, who have lost just one game away from CenturyLink Field all season. On the other hand, Sounders FC have conceded a conference-high 16 goals in eight road matches.

Seattle’s most recent outing was a 1-0 road win over D.C. United on June 28. Striker Chad Barrett, who has three goals in his last four appearances, provided the scoring on that day.

Sounders FC pulled out the victory without the likes of Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin, who were away with the U.S. men’s national team at the World Cup, and striker Obafemi Martins, who was serving a one-game suspension.

Martins, who leads Seattle with eight goals and six assists, will be available again this weekend against Whitecaps FC – one of just four teams to have kept the Nigerian off the scoresheet this season. Dempsey and Yedlin could also be available, as the U.S. national team was eliminated from the World Cup on Tuesday.

On the other hand, Seattle will definitely be without the services of midfielders Osvaldo Alonso and Gonzalo Pineda. Both players are suspended due to caution accumulation.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

May 24, 2014: Whitecaps FC 2-2 Sounders FC

This will be the second of three meetings between Vancouver and Seattle this season. The Cascadia rivals played to a thrilling 2-2 draw at BC Place on May 24, when Seattle salvaged a point with a late penalty.

It was a match to remember for midfielder Gershon Koffie, the Budweiser Man of the Match. Not only did the Ghanaian score a goal from 40 yards, he also set new career-highs in touches (95), shots (8), and tackles (8).

Since joining MLS, the ‘Caps have posted a 2W-3L-4D record against their longtime Cascadia rivals.

CASCADIA CUP

The Cascadia Cup is awarded to the Pacific Northwest club that has the best head-to-head record in MLS regular season matches between Vancouver, Portland, and Seattle.

Each team has played two Cascadia matches in 2014 – Whitecaps FC are currently at the top of the table with four points, followed by Seattle with two and Portland with one.

After claiming their fourth title last season, the 'Caps are the most successful club in Cascadia Cup history. In addition to last season, the Blue and White hoisted the trophy 2004, 2005, and 2008.

NEXT UP

Saturday’s contest is the first of back-to-back home matches for Whitecaps FC, who will also host Chivas USA on Saturday, July 12 at 7 p.m. PT. Tickets are still available at whitecapsfc.com/tickets.

It’s not too late to participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including prorated season tickets ($202), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets, and a youth soccer half-season ticket. Single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.