Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sounders head up north to face their rival Vancouver Whitecaps

By Money Mike

The Seattle Sounders make their first trip to BC Place as they take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Cascadia Derby. Last year, the Sounders defeated the Whitecaps on the road 3-1 in Vancouver's final match at Empire Field thanks to two second half goals from Fredy Montero. The Whitecaps are off to a good start so far with a 5-3-2 record (17 points), however they've been short of goals. With stars like Eric Hassli and Camilo Sanvezzo in place, the Whitecaps added a familiar face to the Sounder nation, his name is Sebastien Le Toux. They've also looked better Defensively with the addition of Martin Bonjour and Lee Young-Pyo and in the Midfield with a couple new faces like Matt Watson and Jun Marques Davidson. It's just a question of how the French connection will shape up with Vancouver and whether or not they're ready to compete with the big clubs, which they're not.

The Sounders are coming off a 1-0 loss last Saturday at home to Real Salt Lake after a poor second half display. Good news though, Alvaro Fernandez is back in the starting 11 after making his return last Saturday as a sub for David Estrada who's really struggling. This will be the first time that Fredy Montero, Mauro Rosales, Eddie Johnson and Alvaro Fernandez are all in the starting lineup together. A good opportunity for the Sounders to inch closer to the top spot in the Western Conference after that tough loss last Saturday.

Injury report:

Seattle Sounders FC - For the Sounders, Michael Gspurning did not make the trip so that means he's out. Patrick Ianni, Brad Evans and Leo Gonzalez have also been ruled out. The rest of the guys out for the Sounders are Josh Ford, Michael Tetteh, Steve Zakuani and Babayele Sodade. Alvaro Fernandez was listed as probable, but he's on the squad and ready to go.

Vancouver Whitecaps - For Vancouver, Bryan Sylvestre is out after having right knee surgery. I think that was last year he had it and he's still recovering. Atiba Harris is listed as questionable with a right quad contusion. He has made four appearances this season after making appearances in the first five matches of last year, but he's missed the last two.

A lot of Soccer to be played on Saturday. We got the NPower Championship, which the second division of English football. West Ham United and Blackpool will square off in that match kicks off at 7am on FOX Soccer. The winner of that match will book their place in the Premier League next season along with Reading and Southampton. Just to recap the teams that are relegated from the Premier League, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers. So there's that match. Then at 11:30am, it's the UEFA Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea and much to the delight of the Munich supporters, the final will be at Bayern's home ground Allianz Arena which was chosen to host this years final. So even if Bayern didn't make it to the final, the match would still be at Allianz Arena. Then shortly afterwards, the Sounders and the Whitecaps kickoff at 2pm. So I'm going to have a pretty busy day recapping these matches.

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