Christian Bolanos vs. Seattle Joevin Jones
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Big stakes on Saturday as 'Caps, Sounders FC clash at CenturyLink Field

Carl Robinson wasn’t pulling any punches when asked about Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s MLS playoff chances following Tuesday’s historic CONCACAF Champions League win in Kansas City.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Robinson told reporters. “We’re underdogs and we‘ve got a massive game on Saturday. Our season is on Saturday against our rivals.”

How’s that for a battle cry?

The ‘Caps face Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field (1 p.m. PT on TSN1) with renewed confidence and a little optimism after a pair of road wins.

Both teams are fighting for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The ‘Caps currently sit seventh in the West, four points out of a playoff spot with five games to go. Seattle, meanwhile, trail Whitecaps FC by two points but have two games in hand.

As Robinson said, it’s a big game.

“Big rivalry, big game, big everything,” said Whitecaps FC defender Kendall Waston. “All of us are very excited for that game.”

It’s also a big game in the Cascadia Cup standings.

Seattle needs a win to stay alive. Otherwise, it will be a two-legged race between Vancouver and Portland down the stretch. Either way, the Cascadia Cup can’t be awarded until Vancouver’s regular season finale vs. Portland on October 23 at BC Place.

Back to that MLS playoff race…here are the current standings and remaining schedules of the teams just above and below the red line.

5. Sporting KC: vs. LA, @SJ, @NE, @RSL, vs. SJ
6. Portland: vs. PHI, @HOU, @COL, vs. COL, @VAN
7. Whitecaps FC: @SEA, vs. COL, vs. SEA, @SJ, vs. POR
8. San Jose: @COL, vs. SKC, @MTL, vs. RSL, @COL, vs. VAN, @SKC
9. Seattle: vs. VAN, @LA, vs. CHI, @VAN, vs. HOU, @DAL, vs. RSL

And here’s some further analysis from MLSsoccer.com, which says Whitecaps FC have one of the easiest remaining schedules but are projected to finish ninth in the Western Conference.

Like Robinson said, the ‘Caps are underdogs.

But a couple more results could change that pretty quickly.

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