Ruidiaz and Lodeiro Goals Clinch 12th Straight Postseason Berth for Sounders FC in 2-0 Win over Vancouver
PORTLAND, ORE. - A poised opening to the second half of play paved the way for a 2-0 victory for Seattle Sounders FC (10-4-5, 35 points), as the Rave Green downed Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8-13-0, 24 points) on Tuesday night. Returning from international duty and a bout with COVID-19, striker RaÃºl RuidÃaz notched his team-leading 10th goal in the 54th minute of play via a left-sided cross from Nouhou. Six minutes later, the Peruvian poacher provided service to captain NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro, who tucked home a surgical finish at Vancouver's far post. Seattle rode those pair of goals to a comfortable victory, vaulting the club back atop the Western Conference, two points clear of second-place Sporting Kansas City. Most notably, the victory secures an MLS-record 12th straight postseason berth in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Due to COVID-related travel restrictions between the United States and Canada, tonight's "home" match for Vancouver was played at Providence Park in Portland. Seattle's win was the club's 70th all-time victory against Vancouver, a rivalry that is distinguished for having the longest tenure of any fixture in the history of the U.S. and Canada.
Next up for Seattle, another road trip looms, this time to the Rocky Mountains. The Rave Green prepare to take on the Colorado Rapids on Sunday, November 1 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park (6:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Prime Video, 1090 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM). That upcoming contest marks the second of three consecutive road fixtures for Brian Schmetzer's team, with Seattle heading to Southern California for a showdown with the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, November 4.
Tonight's win secured a postseason berth for Seattle Sounders FC for the 12th time in 12 MLS seasons.
Having qualified for the postseason every season since entering the league in 2009, Seattle's streak of 12 consecutive postseason appearances is two better than the previous league record of 10 set by the LA Galaxy from 1996-2005. The club is also in front of the New York Red Bulls' current run since 2010 (on track for 11 straight postseason berths).
Sounders FC also ranks second among the active postseason streak leaders in all five major U.S. sports leagues, behind only the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins (14 straight postseason appearances).
While the definition of "expansion team" in professional sports is somewhat murky across the history of different leagues, Sounders FC's success since joining MLS in 2009 is near unprecedented. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Seattle's streak is the second-longest all-time by an expansion team to start a franchise in the five major U.S. leagues (including teams that joined via merger), behind only the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL, who made the Stanley Cup Playoffs 13 consecutive seasons from 1979-1991 after joining via merger from the WHL.
Tuesday's match marked the third meeting of the season between Seattle and Vancouver, and the 143rd contest across all competitions between the clubs dating back to 1974, with Seattle leading the series 70-50-23. The two teams have met more than any other sides in the history of both the United States and Canada.
Seattle completes a 3-0-0 sweep of the Whitecaps in 2020. Prior to tonight's game, Seattle previously met Vancouver in the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, with Sounders FC winning 3-0 on July 19. The two sides met again on October 3 at CenturyLink Field, another 3-0 victory for the Rave Green.
Sounders FC has a nine-game undefeated streak alive in the series, since the last Whitecaps FC win on April 14, 2017, a 2-1 victory at BC Place. Seattle has won seven of the nine league games in between, with two draws. Sounders FC also advanced in the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2017 with a goalless draw and a 2-0 win at home.
Since the rivalry advanced to MLS in 2011, Sounders FC is 14-7-6 in regular-season action against the Whitecaps, including a 6-3-5 record on the road.
Tuesday's affair was unique, as COVID-19 international travel restrictions prevented the contest from being played in Canada. As a result, Vancouver was designated as the "home" side in Portland's Providence Park.
International players Xavier Arreaga (Ecuador), RaÃºl RuidÃaz (Peru) and Gustav Svensson (Sweden) all made their return to the starting lineup following stints with their respective national teams and subsequent quarantine periods. Having previously tested positive for COVID-19 while on international duty with Peru, RuidÃaz completed his quarantine, was fully evaluated by medical professionals and determined to be safely eligible to play tonight by Major League Soccer. In the eyes of the league, he is what General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey recently referred to as "a recovered person."
Other than the return of the three internationals, Brian Schmetzer's starting lineup remained the same as the starting unit that drew 1-1 with Portland on October 22 in Seattle.
With his goal in the 54th minute of play, RuidÃaz bagged his team-leading 10th goal of 2020. In the race for the MLS Golden Boot, the Peruvian striker is now in sole possession of third place, one goal behind Columbus' Gyasi Zardes and two tallies behind LAFC's Diego Rossi.
Nouhou earned his second assist of 2020 on RuidÃaz's goal, while NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro picked up a secondary assist on the play. For Seattle's captain, the helper is his ninth of the season (tied for second in MLS).
Lodeiro claimed his sixth goal of the season in the 60th minute, tucking away a beautiful far-post finish, courtesy of a RuidÃaz pass. The assist was RuidÃaz's fourth of the season.
With tonight's result, Seattle moves back atop the Western Conference on 35 points, two points clear of second-place Sporting Kansas City.
In ordinary times, Tuesday's match would count toward the Cascadia Cup standings, the annual trophy that is awarded to the best-performing club of the regular season in the rivalry between Sounders FC, Portland and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Cascadia Cup formally started in 2004 by the biggest supporters groups for each of the three clubs: Emerald City Supporters (Seattle), Timbers Army (Portland) and the Vancouver Southsiders (Whitecaps). The competition began when all three teams were members of the USL First Division and involves all three clubs, save for 2009 and 2010, when it was between the Timbers and Whitecaps due to Seattle moving to MLS. In 2011, all three sides were in the MLS for the first time and the competition has existed in top division since then. Earlier this year, the Cascadia Cup Council decided that 2020 matches not played in front of supporters won't count towards Cascadia Cup standings.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 - Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Venue: Providence Park
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistants: Jeff Hosking, Jeremy Hanson
Fourth Official: Michael Radchuk
VAR: Jon Freemon
Attendance: Closed Door
Weather: 48 degrees and clear
SEA - RaÃºl RuidÃaz (Nouhou) 54'
SEA - NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro (RaÃºl RuidÃaz, Yeimar) 60'
VAN - Lucas Cavallini (caution) 62'
VAN - Cristian Dajome (caution) 84'
VAN - Derek Cornelius (caution) 90'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam (Alex Roldan 83'), Yeimar GÃ³mez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga, Nouhou; João Paulo (Joevin Jones 73'), Gustav Svensson, Cristian Roldan, NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro, Jordan Morris (RomÃ¡n Torres 83'); RaÃºl RuidÃaz
Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Shane O'Neill, Miguel Ibarra, Jordy Delem, Shandon Hopeau
Total shots: 11 (Lodeiro/RuidÃaz, 3)
Shots on goal: 4 (Lodeiro/RuidÃaz, 2)
Fouls: 6 (Svensson, 3)
Offside: 3 (RuidÃaz, 2)
Corner-kicks: 3 (Lodeiro, 3)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Evan Bush; Andy Rose (Fredy Montero 56'), Ranko Veselinovic, Derek Cornelius; Janio Bikel, Michael Baldisimo, Russell Teibert (Leonard Owusu 71'), Cristian Gutierrez; Tosaint Ricketts (Ali Adnan 71'), Theo Bair (Lucas Cavallini 56'), Ryan Raposo (Cristian Dajome 56')
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Erik Godoy, Jake Nerwinski, Patrick Metcalfe
Total shots: 4 (Four players, 1)
Shots on goal: 0
Fouls: 12 (Cornelius, 3)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Gutierrez, 3)
Saves: 2 (Bush, 2)
Images from this story
Seattle Sounders FC celebrate a goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps
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