VANCOUVER, B.C. – Eventually, a Whitecaps lead was due to stick.
The Seattle Sounders had come back from four deficits against Pacific Northwest rival Vancouver and had earned at least a tie whenever it fell behind the past few years, but that magic dried up Saturday in a 2-0 MLS road loss.
The Whitecaps, led by a career performance by goalkeeper Brad Knighton, hadn’t beaten Seattle in six previous meetings and broke a 12-game winless streak in the Cascadia Cup, including games against Portland.
The Sounders (7-6-3) have lost their last two road games, each via shutout, and missed an opportunity to at least tie the best 16-game record in team history.
Down 1-0 in the second half, Seattle heaped on heavy pressure in pursuit of an equalizer – even hitting the post on a deflected cross in the 56th minute – but a goal never came against Knighton, who made a personal-best seven saves.
Vancouver (8-5-5) sealed the win with a goal by speedy forward Darren Mattocks, a second-half substitute, in the 79th minute. He nearly added another on a breakaway two minutes later in front of a buzzing crowd of 22,500 at BC Place
The soccer rivalry between the cities dates to 1974 in the old North American Soccer League, with Seattle holding a 63-47-21 lead in the series.
Seattle’s Sigi Schmid became the first MLS coach to reach 400 games Saturday. He has a career record of 179-124-97. … Neither midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (quad strain) and defender DeAndre Yedlin (separated shoulder) started for the Sounders, as both came in as game-time decisions. Alonso was inactive for the fourth straight game and Yedlin came off the bench in the second half.