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Back to focusing on MLS’ regular season for the Seattle Sounders. Another round of the Cascadia Cup is now upon us. Fought by MLS’ three most northwestern sides (Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, and Vancouver Whitecaps), the rivalry is an intense one that was started by supporters for the clubs.
And although the Seattle vs Portland match-up tends to get the most attention for the fiercely loyal fanbases involved in either side, Seattle vs Vancouver deserves praise as well.
That said, the Sounders are truly looking like the favorites in this one. Outside of the New England Revolution, no team in MLS has been more dominant than Seattle. Currently sitting on top of the Western Conference table, the Sounders are looking well on their way towards a strong finish to the regular season. Vancouver have been a bit hit or miss in 2021, and despite their latest improvements, this upcoming task will be too imposing for them.
Just days after losing to Leon 3-2 in the Leagues Cup final, Seattle manager Brian Schmetzer knew his team needed to respond.
One article alone wouldn’t be enough to praise manager Brian Schmetzer and his roster for what they have accomplished so far this season.
Striker Raul Ruidiaz is a beast in front of net, midfielder Joao Paulo has been commanding, defender Yeimar continues to impress, the goalkeepers have been incredible, the list goes on…
In spite of injuries and key players leaving earlier in the year, Schmetzer has made his squad a cohesive unit that rarely missteps. There is one figure we have forgotten to mention though, and no matter the plaudits others have received, this name has been brilliant since late last month.
It’s not easy to overshadow Ruidiaz or Paulo. Drifting through the right-hand side and middle with clever runs and key passes, Cristian Roldan has been amazing to watch in recent games. In his last four matches in all competitions, the 26-year-old has amassed four goals and two assists.
Outstanding might be an understatement to describe what he has done. And even though someone like Ruidiaz or Paulo will inevitably and justifiably steal the spotlight back, at the moment, Roldan has emerged as an irreplaceable member of the XI.
They’re scoring plenty of goals, they’re throwing numbers forward, and they aren’t afraid to be attack-minded, but can Vancouver keep up with Seattle for 90 minutes?
With their more proactive approach that has led to their climb up the Western Conference table, there is a risk of re-employing the approach this Saturday. If you don’t believe me, ask the Colorado Rapids. The Rapids have had an exceptional season and had the same amount of possession and shots as Seattle when they faced the Sounders last week.
Nonetheless, Seattle were so much more lethal going forward and eventually finished with a statement-making 3-0 win. And by the way, those three goals arrived in the 1st half. Will the Rapids take a similar risk and attempt to go toe-to-toe?
It’s not a surprising statement, but it’s one that needs to be made. Time and time again, they’ve exceeded expectations and have often appeared as likely title-contenders for this year’s MLS Cup.
The weak links are minimal within the roster, and even when they’ve had problems, the Sounders don’t tend to stumble for long. With Schmetzer leading the charge — who looks like a candidate for manager of the season — Seattle should be set to secure another victory.
|Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps Information|
|Teams||Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps|
|Location||Lumen Field (Seattle, Washington)|
|Time||Saturday, October 9th at 6:00 pm PT/9:00 pm ET|
|How to Watch||ESPN+|
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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