VANCOUVER, BC – Seattle Sounders FC (14W-13L-3D) spoiled Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s (15W-11L-3D) bid for a Cascadia Cup threepeat with a 3-0 win on Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd at BC Place.
Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins led the way for Seattle, combining for a goal and three assists between them. Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei also came up big, making eight saves.
The ‘Caps, who could still finish the night atop the MLS table depending on LA Galaxy’s result against RSL, outshot Seattle 15-7 but simply convert their chances. Seattle, meanwhile, proved clinical on the counter to claim their fourth Cascadia Cup by virtue of a 4W-2L-1D record against Vancouver and Portland this season.
Whitecaps FC, who remain the most successful club in Cascadia Cup history with five titles, finished second in the running this year with a 2W-2L-2D record.
From the outset, you could sense the magnitude of this one.
It was a cagey first half with little space either way. Seattle controlled the majority of possession, but Vancouver still managed to create the better chances early.
Striker Octavio Rivero came close twice within the opening 20 minutes. First, he picked up the ball at the top of the box and curled a strike just wide. Then, Rivero got in behind thanks to a brilliant throughball from Cristian Techera but couldn’t beat a sprawling Frei. The Sounders FC goalkeeper came up big again in the 42nd minute, this time denying Techera from close range.
The visitors took the lead shortly later against the run of play.
Just before halftime, Martins found Andreas Ivanschitz at the back post with a perfect diagonal ball and the Austrian finished to put Seattle ahead.
Desperate for an equalizer, the ‘Caps came out flying in the second half.
Carl Robinson’s side created several chances and had a few appeals for a handball before Seattle delivered the dagger in the 71st minute through a sublime strike from Gonzalo Pineda.
Tensions nearly boiled over shortly later, as the two teams came together in midfield after Kendall Waston won a hard tackle on Dempsey, but cooler heads prevailed.
Dempsey would have the last laugh on this night. In the 87th minute, he caught the ‘Caps on the counter and set up Martins for an open net to seal the victory.
Although this was the final regular season meeting between Vancouver and Seattle, the two teams will meet again on Wednesday in CONCACAF Champions League action (7 p.m. PT on Sportsnet ONE/World). The winner will finish atop Group F and advance to the quarter-finals – a draw would also keep Vancouver alive heading into their final group stage match at C.D. Olimpia.
Meanwhile, the ‘Caps return to BC Place a week from today to host star-studded expansion club New York City FC for the first time (7 p.m. PT on TSN1)
NEWS AND NOTES
- Captain Pedro Morales (hamstring), right back Steven Beitashour (left knee sprain), and Darren Mattocks (hip contusion) were all sidelined on Saturday due to injury.
- Midfielder Matias Laba, who was serving the final match of his two-game suspension, was also unavailable for a second straight weekend.
- In the first half of Saturday’s match, Gershon Koffie reached the 10,000-minute mark in MLS. The Ghanaian is Whitecaps FC’s all-time leader in minutes played.
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Budweiser Man of the Match: Jordan Harvey
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
45’ – SEA – Andreas Ivanschitz (Obafemi Martins)
71’ – SEA – Gonzalo Pineda (Clint Dempsey, Nelson Valdez)
87’ – SEA – Obafemi Martins (Clint Dempsey, Cristian Roldan)
Shots: Vancouver 15 – Seattle 7
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 8 – Seattle 5
Saves: Vancouver 2 – Seattle 8
Fouls: Vancouver 10 – Seattle 9
Offsides: Vancouver 1 – Seattle 1
Corners: Vancouver 3 – Seattle 3
22’ – VAN – Russell Teibert
24’ – SEA – Brad Evans
63’ – VAN – Jordan Smith
81’ – VAN – Kendall Waston
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted ©; 6.Jordan Smith, 4.Kendall Waston, 44.Pa-Modou Kah, 2.Jordan Harvey (3.Sam Adekugbe 89’); 28.Gershon Koffie (38.Kianz Froese 89’), 31.Russell Teibert; 13.Cristian Techera, 7.Mauro Rosales (9.Nicolás Mezquida 74’), 23.Kekuta Manneh; 29.Octavio Rivero
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 20.Deybi Flores, 26.Tim Parker, 88.Robert Earnshaw
Seattle Sounders FC
24.Stefan Frei; 4.Tyrone Mears, 14.Chad Marshall, 20.Zach Scott, 91.Oniel Fisher; 3.Brad Evans © (7.Cristian Roldan 74’), 6.Osvaldo Alonso (12.Leonardo Gonzalez 85’), 8.Gonzalo Pineda, 23.Andreas Ivanschitz (16.Nelson Valdez 65’); 2.Clint Dempsey, 9.Obafemi Martins
Substitutes not used
1.Troy Perkins, 10.Marco Pappa, 19.Chad Barrett, 21.Jimmy Ockford