VANCOUVER, B.C. – Don’t call it a bubble burst.
Mathematicians and Sounders hopefuls will spout every cliché in stating there is still a chance the most successful MLS franchise over the past decade can advance to a record 14th consecutive postseason. But it’s just a percentage chance on paper.
What was tangible Saturday at BC Place was a listless 2-1 loss to the Whitecaps that saw the Sounders get outdueled by their Cascadia rival and pushed to 10th in the Western Conference standings.
Vancouver (11-14-7) was able to keep their season alive with the outcome, moving up to ninth place.
Sounders coach Brain Schmetzer started the same lineup that stacked home wins against Houston and Austin that past two outings. The team hasn’t strung together a three-game win streak this season and hasn’t won on the road since July.
Schmetzer subbed on striker Fredy Montero for midfielder Danny Leyva at halftime. Montero was greeted with a few boos from his former fans when his name was announced.
The Colombian played a good ball to Will Bruin, who was subbed on in the 72nd minute, for the club’s opening goal in the 89th minute. Bruin hustled to dig the ball out of the net for the restart and teammate Kelyn Rowe almost equalized in the 90th minute.
Vancouver keeper Thomas Hasal was able to smother the low dribbling left-footed attempt.
The Sounders were out of position and slow to react when the Whitecaps pushed for their opening goal in the 29th minute. Midfielder Pedro Vite had the left-footed finish from a Ryan Gauld assist.
For the second goal, Sounders defender Yeimar Gomez Andrade was pinned between two Whitecaps players for a throw-in play. He appeared to head the ball away but it went into space, Vancouver midfielder Julian Gressel charging to volley a right-footed shot into the net. Sounders keeper Stefan Frei reached for the save, tumbling into the post.
The Sounders (12-16-3) host FC Cincinnati on Sept. 27. Seattle typically doesn’t play during FIFA international windows but will do so this time because the match was rescheduled as a courtesy during their successful CONCACAF Champions League run.
International forwards Jordan Morris (U.S.), Raul Ruidiaz (Peru), Nouhou (Cameroon), Alex Roldan (El Salvador) and Xavier Arreaga (Ecuador) could be missing for the FCC match. Schmetzer said there are discussion for Roldan, Ruidiaz, and Rusnak to remain with Seattle because their nations didn’t qualify for the Qatar men’s World Cup and wouldn’t be playing tune-up games.
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