Match Image: Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps - November 2, 2017

Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs – Western Conference Semifinals, Leg 2
CenturyLink Field – Seattle, Wash.
Nov. 2, 2017 – 10:30 pm ET
WATCH: FS1, FOX Deportes (USA) | TSN5, TVAS (CAN)

After a drab scoreless draw at BC Place on Sunday night, the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps are ready for Round II.

The Cascadia rivals opened their Western Conference Semifinal series in less-than-thrilling fashion on Sunday, registering just one total shot on goal in their Leg 1 draw in Vancouver. The match wasn’t exactly a barnburner, but it should setup an exciting second leg in Seattle on Thursday.

The defending MLS Cup champion Sounders will have plenty of incentive to get forward at CenturyLink Field. A draw won’t do them much good on Thursday. A scoreless tie would force extra time and potential penalties, but Vancouver would advance with a draw with any goals.

Those scenarios should set the tone or Thursday’s match. Expect the Sounders, who will be getting Clint Dempsey back after he served a red card suspension on Sunday in Vancouver, to control possession and set the tempo at home. Vancouver, who had the lowest possession average in MLS this year, will likely welcome Seattle forward. The ‘Caps will rely on their stout defense and look to hit the Sounders on the counter with Yordy Reyna, Fredy Montero and Cristian Techera and on set pieces through hulking center backs Kendall Waston and Tim Parker.

Injuries will also play a big role on Thursday. The Sounders are significantly banged-up; Jordan Morris and Brad Evans are out, while Victor Rodriguez, Ozzie Alonso and Gustav Svensson (both of whom returned as subs on Sunday after injury layoffs) are all questionable. Vancouver are dealing with a couple of knocks of their own. Matias Laba is out with a long-term injury, while Reyna and Techera might come off the bench for the second straight game due to slight knocks. 

Seattle Sounders

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M Cristian Roldan
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT – F Jordan Morris (right hamstring strain), D Brad Evans (lower back); QUESTIONABLE – M Ozzie Alonso (right quad strain), M Victor Rodriguez (right lateral quad strain), D Chad Marshall (right hip pain)

Projected Starting XI:
(4-2-3-1, right to left)

GK: Stefan Frei – Kelvin Leerdam, Roman Tores, Chad Marshall, Nouhou Tolo – Cristian Roldan, Jordy Delem – Nicolas Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey, Joevin Jones – Will Bruin

Notes: Seattle is unbeaten in 13 league home games (10W-3D) and haven’t allowed a goal at home since September 10th. All three draws along the 13-game run were 1-1 draws...Seattle conceded 0.71 goals per home game this year, the second fewest in the regular season, and had nine home clean sheets, tied with New England and Toronto for the most in MLS.

Vancouver Whitecaps

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M Nosa Igiebor, M Aly Ghazal
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT – D David Edgar (PCL, MCL tear), M Matias Laba (ACL tear)

Projected Starting XI:
(4-2-3-1, right to left)

GK: Stefan Marinovic – Jake Nerwinski, Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Marcel de Jong – Aly Ghazal, Tony Tchani – Cristian Techera, Yordy Reyna, Christian Bolaños – Fredy Montero

Notes: Vancouver has lost four of their last six league road games (2W), outscored 10-4 across those matches. The Whitecaps failed to score in three of the six games...Vancouver’s zero shots on target in the first leg was the first time all year that they’d failed to register a shot on target. Vancouver had at least one shot on target in 39 straight games since a 1-0 loss in Seattle on September 17, 2016. The Sounders last allowed zero shots on target in the second game of the Western Conference Championship against Colorado last season (35 games since).

All-Time Series

Sunday's first leg was the first postseason meeting between these two teams. Vancouver and Seattle split the regular-season series in 2017 1-1-1, with home wins for each team sandwiching a 1-1 draw in Vancouver on Aug. 23.

  • Overall (regular season): Seattle 8 wins (29 goals) … Vancouver 7 wins (26 goals) … Ties 5
  • At SEA (regular season): Seattle 4 wins (13 goals) … Vancouver 4 wins (14 goals) … Ties 1


Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Eduardo Mariscal (near side), Adam Garner (far side)
4th Official: Hilario Grajeda
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Drew Fischer