Fri, 21 Sep 2018
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Portland

Sounders, Whitecaps carry unbeaten streaks into matchup

Sports Xchange
14 Sep 2018, 17:16 GMT+10

There's going to be a lot on the line this weekend in Vancouver.

The Seattle Sounders and the Vancouver Whitecaps, who renew their Cascadia Cup rivalry Saturday at BC Place, enter the match with long unbeaten streaks.

The Whitecaps (11-9-7) have won two straight after a 2-1 win over San Jose two weeks ago and haven't lost in six games (4-0-2).

The Sounders (12-9-5) make the 240-mile trip north with an eight-game win streak, and are unbeaten in their past 11 (9-0-2).

And together the teams straddle the Western Conference playoff cutline with Seattle in sixth and Vancouver in seventh, separated by a point (41-40).

"We're both in the same boat," Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson said, according to the league's website. "We're both on good runs. Obviously, they've strung (together) eight consecutive wins. I've watched all their games, and I think they've deserved most of them. I think they've been lucky in one or two of them, but so have we.

"It's a new game of football. There'll be freshness in the game, as with all derbies. Whenever you play Seattle or Portland, there'll be energy, mistakes, wrong decisions, and it'll be down to the players as to who will win the game."

Also at stake: The Sounders can claim the Cascadia Cup with a win or draw Saturday.

"Two teams that are playing at a pretty high level, it should be a very exciting match," Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. "The added bonus, the flavor, the little bit of sparkle, to the match is the Cascadia Cup. I know we can go up there and get a result and that will come back to us. That's something we're aware of as well so there's lots to play for up there."

Seattle, which also last played Sept. 1, beating Sporting Kansas City 3-1, has surrendered a league-low 27 goals this season, complicating matters for the Vancouver offense, which will be without Yordy Reyna.

Reyna, who has scored twice and added six assists in the past four games, is suspended because of yellow card accumulation.

Vancouver has been shut out in each of the teams' past four meetings. Seattle has three wins and two draws in the past five meetings.

The teams' remaining schedules favor the Sounders.

Seattle trails Real Salt Lake and Portland by three points in the standings. Six of its seven remaining games after Saturday all come against teams below the MLS playoff lines.

Vancouver, meanwhile, still faces FC Dallas, Sporting Kansas City, Los Angeles FC and Portland -- the first-, second-, third- and fifth-place teams in the West -- before the end of the regular season.

"We've got a seven-game season, and that's the way we're breaking it down," Robinson said, according to the Calgary Herald. "It's one game at a time, and we've got to try to finish in the top half of the mini seven-game season to try to get in the playoffs."

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