'Caps, Sounders tourney hopes hinge on Sunday primetime clash

REUNION, FL - The setting is new but the rivalry is no different.

The 'Caps and the Sounders renew acquaintances on Sunday evening with their tournament lives hanging on the balance.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the primetime matchup.

Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
MLS is Back Tournament - Group B - VWFC Tournament Match #2
Sunday, July 19, 2020 - 7:38 p.m. PT
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Reunion, FL
TV: TSN1/4 - RADIO: TSN Radio 1040

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: The primetime matchup is the second of back-to-back Group B fixtures on Sunday evening. The result of the preceding match between Chicago Fire FC and San Jose Earthquakes will have implications on the Sounders vs. 'Caps fixture. 

SOUND OF URGENCY: The two rivals have the chance to eliminate the other outright with a win. A draw would keep the 'Caps in contention but would erase the Sounders' hopes for a top-two finish and an automatic qualification for the Knockout Stage. The points count toward the 2020 MLS regular season standings but will not factor toward the Cascadia Cup.

CHANCES & CHANGES: If Wednesday night is any indication, the 'Caps could be in for another back-and-forth affair. Whitecaps FC cashed in three goals and will look to tighten up their set-piece defence. The Sounders, who created 24 total chances in the first two weeks of the MLS regular season, have yet to manufacture one set-piece chance in their two tournament matches. 

CRITICAL CLASHES: Peru MNT teammates Yordy Reyna and Raúl Ruidíaz are the focal point of the attack on each side. Right back Jake Nerwinski could be key for the 'Caps as Jordan Morris presents a threat along the wing. Nicolas Lodeiro is the man that makes things happen in the Sounders midfield. 'Caps centre mid Leonard Owusu was solid in his first start last Wednesday but was helped off the pitch late in Wednesday's match versus the Quakes.

BY THE NUMBERS

50: The 'Caps have 50 wins all-time against the Sounders, a rivalry that dates back to 1974.

7: The ‘Caps have seven clean sheets against the Sounders, their most against one opponent in MLS. 

6: 21-year old Ranko Veselinovic was quick to put his stamp on the 'Caps backline in his MLS debut on Wednesday, tying the MLS single-match record with six blocks. 

90+: Both of their meetings in 2019 were decided in added time. On March 30, Inbeom Hwang drew a late penalty on fellow South Korean international and former Sounders centre back Kim Kee-Hee, but the call was overturned after video review, allowing the match to end scoreless. On June 29, Sounders right back Kelvin Leerdam scored the winner in added time for the 1-0 home victory.

100: David Milinković's next appearance will be his 100th in his professional careeer that began in Italy, then Scotland and England prior to landing in MLS this season.