|Major League Soccer|
· Int'l Soccer
Saturday, May 19, 2012 (All times Eastern)
Seattle (7-2-1) at Vancouver (5-3-2), 5 p.m.
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Seattle Sounders FC will head to BC Place on Saturday to square off against Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2012's first installment of the Cascadia Cup.
Both sides are coming off of losses that ended their respective winning streaks. Seattle had a five-game winning run halted by a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Real Salt Lake while Vancouver was easily brushed aside by the New England Revolution in a 4-1 defeat at Gillette Stadium last weekend.
The Whitecaps had a match midweek as well, but managed a draw with Toronto FC in the first leg of the Canadian Championship. Eric Hassli helped the 'Caps avoid an embarrassing defeat in Wednesday's opening leg by striking a thundering equalizer in stoppage time. With Hassli also netting the opening goal in the 4-1 defeat to the Revs, the French striker will be looking to continue his fine form Saturday.
"It was an excellent goal, and if you analyze the game, there were a lot of positive position and ball movement and things like that," said Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie of his team's performance against New England. "But I think sometimes when you're a couple of goals behind, it's easy to play in, to pass the ball, and it just wasn't there for us [Saturday]."
Vancouver's defense has been largely impressive this season except for a few games. The club has conceded 11 goals on the season, 10 of which came in three losses.
"I think that generally we do defend well and don't give up too many goals and we need to get back to that," said Rennie. "You're going to lose some games in MLS and we know that. Where this team is at right now we're going to get some wins and we'll have some disappointments along the way. But how we respond is important and how we responded last time we lost was to win five in a row."
Seattle strung together a club-record five-game winning streak, ultimately ended by Real Salt Lake last weekend. Fabian Espindola's second-half strike was just the second goal conceded by the Sounders from open play this season.
"Five games in  days is a little bit of a haul, but at the end it's not an excuse," said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. "We had enough chances in the first half that we needed to get a goal. I think a tie would have been a fair result tonight, probably, because they maybe had a little bit more in terms of possession in the second half. Overall, I can't fault our guys for what they've done over the last five games."
"We showed the fatigue in the second half. I thought in the first half we were dangerous, but in the second half we got tired," said Eddie Johnson.
With a full week off to prepare for Saturday's rivalry, the Sounders could be poised for three points to spark another winning streak.
05/18 16:31:16 ET
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