Unbeaten Sounders ready to take on winless Whitecaps
Field Level Mediaon
It's been said you can throw out the records when it comes to rivalry games.
Seattle Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer would certainly be in favor of that.
The Sounders (3-0-0) have taken the maximum nine points from their first three MLS matches and will return from the two-week FIFA international break Saturday as they travel north of the border to face the Vancouver Whitecaps (0-3-0), one of only two teams without a point this season, in the first Cascadia Cup clash of 2019.
"This team, we've urged them to try to get off to a fast start," Schmetzer told The Seattle Times. "But three games is three games. Four games is four. Talk to me when we're 10 games in."
The Sounders have scored 10 goals through three games and are on pace to shatter the MLS record of 85 goals set by the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1998.
That put the international break at an inopportune time. Four Sounders starters -- Nicolas Lodeiro (Uruguay), Gustav Svensson (Sweden), Jordan Morris (U.S.) and Cristian Roldan (U.S.) -- played with their national sides.
"From a group standpoint, it's probably better that we could have played,'' Schmetzer told The Times. "But, that's FIFA. It's a world game.''
The Whitecaps have suffered three one-goal losses, at home against Minnesota United FC (3-2) and at Real Salt Lake (1-0) and Houston (3-2).
"The first challenges we're facing is that they are a team that is in the top two or three in MLS right now," first-year Whitecaps coach Marc Dos Santos said. "It is a big opportunity because of the moment. ... Playing this game home in front of our fans, the Cascadia Cup, what it means to the club to the organization -- we're very aware of that."
The teams have met 135 times in all competitions since 1974 in the old North American Soccer League, the most matches of any rivalry in the U.S. and Canada. The Sounders have a 65-49-21 edge.
"We know the history of this derby goes back many years and we want to make our fans proud," Whitecaps midfielder Felipe Martins told the team's website.