Inconsistent Sounders could still reach franchise-best mark vs. Whitecaps
With a win in Vancouver on Saturday, Sounders FC would have the best record through 16 games in the club’s short history.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Sounders FC @ Whitecaps 8 p.m., NBC Sports
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TUKWILA – The past couple months have seen some of Sounders FC’s worst losses along with some of the team’s greatest runs of success.
Confusing? Well, such has been Seattle’s inconsistency.
Through it all — the multigoal losses and a run of six wins in eight games — the Sounders could earn the best 16-game record in team history with a win Saturday in an 8 p.m. road game against Pacific Northwest rival Vancouver.
Along with some measure of steadiness, Seattle could also take a big step toward regaining the Cascadia Cup by beating the Whitecaps. The Sounders are 3-0-3 head-to-head against Vancouver in MLS and haven’t lost in three previous trips north.
“It feels like almost a second home with the results that we’ve gotten,” said defender Zach Scott.
With five months until MLS Cup, Seattle has time to reach its full potential. Some consistency in the lineup would be helpful, but that will have to wait at least another week.
Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (quadriceps) and defender DeAndre Yedlin (separated shoulder) will be game-time decisions, according to coach Sigi Schmid, who has fielded 20 different starting lineups in 20 games this year, including the U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League.
On the uptick, though, is a growing partnership between forwa rds Obafemi Martins and Eddie Johnson.
Martins scored twice in Wednesday’s 2-0 home win against D.C. United, giving him a team-leading six goals, all in his past eight games.
Johnson says it has taken time to develop timing and chemistry together up front. The U.S. international has been particularly lethal in the Cascadia Cup with five goals in seven games against Vancouver and Portland.
“These are big games where you want to show well,” Johnson said.
“From Day 1, I knew the importance of these Cascadia games and these rivalry games, and I think I’ve done a good job.”
Cascadia Cup resolution
MLS and supporters groups for the Sounders, Timbers and Whitecaps announced Friday they had come to an agreement after a trademark dispute over the Cascadia Cup. The name, logo and likeness of the Cascadia Cup will be owned by the fans, while sponsorship of the competition must receive the approval of all parties (the supporters groups, teams and MLS).
The conflict became public in January, when it was revealed the league had applied for the trademark to the Cup. The supporters then formed the Cascadia Cup Council, which also pursued the rights.
• Reports from Portugal indicate the transfer of Sounders FC forward Fredy Montero to Sporting Lisbon could be completed over the weekend. General manager Adrian Hanauer said last week that details on the move were being finalized. Montero, Seattle’s all-time leading scorer, has been on loan with Colombia’s Millonarios since January.
• Vancouver is one of two MLS teams unbeaten at home (5-0-3).
• Whitecaps forward Camilo has scored in five straight games, the longest streak in the league.
The Sounders have 24 points through 15 games this season and a 7-5-3 record. A look at how the Sounders have done through their first 16 games each season:
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.