To say things are not going as planned for the Seattle Sounders FC in this young MLS season would be an understatement. After two games the Sounders find themselves at the bottom of the Western Conference scrap heap with a 0-2 record and a minus two goal differential.
The Sounders find themselves in the said predicament due to some unfortunate circumstances as well as some self inflicted wounds. In the home opening 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City the Sounders were winning the on field battle of ball possession and shots taken when Sounder defender Oneil Fisher was sent off for a reckless challenge in the 41st minute. While they battled the one man disadvantage eventually took it’s toll and led to the one goal loss for the Sounders. The Sounders started the game without first team starters Tyrone Mears( quad strain) and Eric Friberg( concussion protocol)
In last Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake the visiting Sounders took a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute on a Osvaldo Alonso goal only to see the home side tie the game in the 43rd minute on a goal by Sunny and the game winner by Jamison Olave in the 86th minute. While the Sounders suffered another bite from the injury bug similar to the first game, Erik Friberg ( knee) Brad Evans ( shoulder) and Stefan Frei( elbow) both goals might have been avoided with better communication between defenders.
If the Sounders are to snap the winless streak they will have to do it against Cascade Rival Vancouver Whitecaps who are also 0-2. “They are going to be hungry, we are at home, we want to be dominant here and don’t want to lose a bunch of game, forward Clint Dempsey said after the teams practice on Thursday morning.”Its going to be a tough game given the Cascadia rivalry and the fact that both teams are winless and looking to win.”
As for the goals, Dempsey believes it’s just a matter of time before the offense clicks.
“Still a work in progress,” said Dempsey, who has yet to score from the run of play in 2016. “[We’ve] got to do a better job as a team just circulating the ball in the attacking third and getting better looks in front of goal. The first game against Club America I thought we moved the ball well, but since then we haven’t been able to create chances that we want. The chemistry is still building.”
The two teams met three times in league play a year ago – and the visiting team won all three, all by shutout. Sounders FC won twice at BC Place, a 2-0 win May 16, and a 3-0 win Sept. 19. Whitecaps FC took a 3-0 win Aug. 1 at CenturyLink Field. The Sounders FC win in the first meeting last year snapped a five-game undefeated streak for Whitecaps FC in the series. It was also the first win ever for Sounders FC at BC Place in six trips. Whitecaps FC have won three consecutive league games against their Cascadia rivals at CenturyLink Field.
Vancouver will be without Jordan Smith and Kianz Froese who each picked up a red card in the teams 2-0 loss at Houston. Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei is expected to start in goal for Saturdays 7 p.m. PT kickoff at Century Link Field.