VANCOUVER, BC – “It’s the biggest game of the year.”
Those were the first words out of Russell Teibert’s mouth on Tuesday when asked about Saturday’s marquee matchup against Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders FC (7 p.m. PT at BC Place; TV: TSN2, RADIO: TSN 1040; limited tickets available).
And he’s not wrong.
It’s not a do-or-die scenario just yet as there are still plenty of points to play for regardless of Saturday’s result, but as you can see below there’s certainly a lot at stake for both sides.
As it stands, the ‘Caps sit one point below the playoff line in the Western Conference with seven matches remaining. The team directly ahead of them? Seattle.
This is the true definition of a “six-point game.”
With a win, the ‘Caps would take a two-point lead on Seattle and jump into the sixth and final playoff position. Whereas with a loss, they would fall to four points back – thus the six-point swing.
The stakes are even higher in Cascadia Cup play.
The ‘Caps must win on Saturday to stay alive in the race for the Cascadia Cup – a supporters-created trophy awarded to the best team in MLS regular season matches between Pacific Northwest rivals Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland Timbers.
A ‘Caps win against Seattle would set up a showdown for the Cascadia Cup in Vancouver’s regular season finale against Portland on October 28 at BC Place.
A draw or loss, meanwhile, would see Seattle lift the trophy.
Vancouver and Seattle enter Saturday’s match as two of the hottest teams in MLS.
Interestingly, it was the last meeting between these two teams – a 2-0 win for Seattle on July 21 – that kickstarted both of their current runs. The ‘Caps are unbeaten in six matches since that defeat, while the Sounders are riding an MLS record eight-match winning streak that started vs. Vancouver.
Which team will keep their streak alive on Saturday?