Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - There will be plenty on the line when Seattle
Sounders FC heads to BC Place to face Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday.
Not only will Vancouver be hoping to maintain its place in the Western
Conference table as the last team into the playoffs, but it will need to
defeat Seattle to have any hope of winning the Cascadia Cup.
The Portland Timbers sit atop this season's Cascadia Cup table with eight
points from four games. The Rose City club is followed by Seattle on five
points and Vancouver on two points.
With all three clubs having two games left in the competition, Vancouver would
need to win both of its matches while hoping that Seattle edges Portland to
put all three club level on eight points apiece.
These pivotal matches could be coming at the right time for the 'Caps as their
strike partnership of Kenny Miller and Darren Mattocks is beginning to pay
Vancouver had a stable of quality strikers at the beginning of the season, but
Sebastien Le Toux and Eric Hassli have parted with the club, leaving Miller,
Mattocks and Camilo Sanvezzo to pick up the slack.
It has taken a bit of time, but if the club's 2-2 draw with the Colorado
Rapids last time out is any indication, Vancouver may not miss Le Toux and
Hassli too much.
"When you're my age, you learn to adapt with whoever you're playing with," the
32-year-old Miller said. "Darren is a very quick player, he's got good
movement - he's got pretty much every attribute you like. For a guy who is
probably the size of me, he's got a hell of a leap as well - very strong in
the air - so I think there are attributes in both of our games that can
complement each other."
Ten points separate Vancouver and Seattle in the Western Conference table,
leaving the Sounders in good stead for yet another postseason berth.
Seattle is 3-1-2 over its last six games, a stretch in which the Sounders have
been far from their best. Mauro Rosales is expected to return to the fold on
Saturday, something that certainly should worry the 'Caps.
"I've been training with the group the last three days and that's something
that I needed - playing with them and getting my timing again," said Rosales,
who is third in the league with 13 assists. "It's good. I feel good."
Vancouver is 2-8-2 since July 11 and will be desperate for a win against a
local rival, but the return of Rosales certainly makes three points a tall
order for the 'Caps.