Sports Seattle Sounders clinch playoff spot with 2-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps
NFL chief medical officer: Playoff bubble environment not 'safest course of action' for avoiding COVID-19
The NFL isn't looking to enact a bubble environment for the postseason, as chief medical officer Allen Sills has several concerns about the idea.The NFL’s owners on Tuesday took part in a virtual meeting on health, safety and other on-field matters. Commissioner Roger Goodell and chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills reiterated their message of the need for compliance and a commitment to the strategy of the preventative measures of wearing masks, hand-washing and maintaining social distancing along with testing, tracing and isolation.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The road to the playoffs got a little rockier for the Vancouver Whitecaps Tuesday night.
Playing their second game in 72 hours, the 'Caps dropped a 2-0 decision to the Seattle Sounders.
With the result, Seattle became the first team to clinch a playoff spot in Major League Soccer's congested Western Conference.
It also made Vancouver's playoff dreams a bit more hazy.
But with two games left in the regular season, the club isn't giving up, said midfielder Russell Teibert.
“We’ve had to deal with adversity all season long and I don’t think you’ve seen the mentality shift in our squad," he said after Tuesday's loss. "You’ve seen a team that’s always prepared to go out and fight. And we’ll look to keep fighting for the remainder of the season.”
Vancouver Whitecaps want to 'punch back' against Los Angeles FC: coach
VANCOUVER, Wash. — Coach Marc Dos Santos showed his Vancouver Whitecaps squad a video of boxer Muhammad Ali this week. Heading into another tough game against Los Angeles FC on Wednesday, he wanted to remind his team that even the "world's greatest" got beat up sometimes. “In life, you need to be strong," Dos Santos said on a video call Tuesday. "We got punched a lot in L.A. but we’re going to try to punch back here in our game tomorrow." WhenHeading into another tough game against Los Angeles FC on Wednesday, he wanted to remind his team that even the "world's greatest" got beat up sometimes.
Despite the final result, Vancouver (8-13-0) was strong through the first half Tuesday, playing a high press that largely kept Seattle out of the penalty area.
The Sounders finished the first half with six shots, but only one was on target.
"We were able to frustrate them, not giving them space, bringing the game to where I wanted it to go," Whitecaps coach Marc Dos Santos said of his team's defensive effort across the first 45 minutes.
The Sounders (10-4-5) amped up their offence in the second half, putting away two goals in six minutes.
Raul Ruidiaz opened the scoring the 54th minute, hammering in a cross from Nouhou Tolo. The goal was called offside but went to video review, where referee Fotis Bazakos overturned the decision and confirmed the Sounders' 1-0 lead.
Surging Vancouver Whitecaps not taking slumping L.A. Galaxy lightly: Bush
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps aren't taking anything for granted as they prepare to face a team in the midst of a slump this weekend. The Whitecaps head to California on Sunday to face the L.A. Galaxy, who dropped their sixth decision in a row with a loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday. L.A. may be going through a rough spell, but the Galaxy still possess big talents, including midfielder Sebastian Lletget, who has six goals this year, striker Cristian Pavon, who has added another six. “To take this game lightly would be a huge mistake for us and we’re in no position to be doing that," Vancouver 'keeper Evan Bush said on a video call Friday.
Dos Santos was "frustrated" with the call, saying after the game that the angles he had seen did not show a clear and obvious reason for overturning the call on the field.
Defender Derek Cornelius said the strike had an impact on the 'Caps.
“That one really hurts us," he said.
Video: Forge FC advances at CONCACAF League (cbc.ca)
Ruidiaz helped out in the 60th minute, too, getting around Vancouver defender Ranko Veselinovic and putting the ball at the feet of Nicolas Lodeiro.
Lodeiro cut back and popped a shot in past a diving 'Caps 'keeper Evan Bush for his sixth goal of the year.
“Their weapons made it hard on us," Dos Santos said. “We knew it would be hard for us tonight based on all the circumstances.”
The coach said playing such a condensed schedule forced his lineup decisions.
Some of his players didn't recover on time to suit up against Seattle and concerned about injuries, Dos Santos had just four players from Saturday's starting 11 on the field at kick off Tuesday.
Bruin's late goal gives Sounders 1-1 draw with rival Timbers
SEATTLE — Will Bruin scored off a corner kick in the third minute of second-half stoppage time, and the Seattle Sounders salvaged a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers on Thursday night. After dominating most of the second half, Seattle finally found an equalizer in the dying moments of the match as Bruin was left unmarked at the back post and tapped in his first goal of the season. “For him to score, for the team to snatch a point at the end there, it's something you can actually build momentum off of, both individually for Will and for the squad,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said.
“It’s not what I wanted, it’s what I had to do," he said. “I don’t think we were playing on the same ground (as Seattle) in terms of recovery. I’m very frustrated that this game had to be played in a schedule like that.”
Offensive threats Lucas Cavallini, Fredy Montero and Cristian Dajome were all on the bench to start Tuesday's game. The trio all came in early in the second half, a move that Dos Santos said was aimed at sparking some offence.
"It just sucks that you have to prepare a game in a different way due to recovery and due to time," he said.
Historically, the Sounders have fared well against the 'Caps. Vancouver last won a matchup between the two sides in April 2017, with Seattle taking seven wins and two draws across the stretch.
The Sounders are also the reigning MLS Cup champions, and have a solid chance at contending for the title again this season.
“Overall, it was always going to be a tough game coming up against a very good team in Seattle, a team that’s played together for a few years now," Cornelius said. "So we can’t hang our heads too long. We have another important game on the weekend that we all need to focus for and be ready for.”
The Whitecaps still held a playoff position Tuesday night, sitting the seventh spot in the West. The top eight teams will make the post-season.
Vancouver is in for a fight to the end, however. The club was within three points of six other teams Tuesday night, including three above them in the table and three below.
The Whitecaps' next chance to collect points will come Sunday when they face the Portland Timbers.
NOTES: Seattle goalie Stefan Frei did not have to make a save to collect his sixth clean sheet of the season. … Ruidiaz made his first start since Oct. 3. The Peruvian had been sidelined after contracting COVID-19 while on duty with his national team. … The Sounders have been the stingiest team in the MLS Western Conference this season, giving up just 18 goals so far this year. The Whitecaps have conceded 43.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2020.
The Canadian Press
Supporters' Shield up for grabs on MLS Decision Day .
For the first time since 2016, the Colorado Rapids are in the MLS playoffs. And they made it to the post-season even after missing five games because of a coronavirus outbreak. In a strange year, Major League Soccer heads into Decision Day on Sunday with some surprises. Like the Rapids. “Everyone just feels relieved. It’s been a tough year, but to finally get over that hump and be in the playoffs is huge," Colorado midfielder Kellyn Acosta said. “I know everyone’s excited. But I think for us, we know it’s just one box that we just checked off of our list.” Decision Day is the last day of the Major League Soccer regular season.