Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer expects his side to start performing when they host Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS after a “timely” international break.

The Sounders defeated Charlotte FC 1-0 in their last outing before the international break.

That left them two points behind the Western Conference playoff spots, with two games in hand over the seventh-placed Houston Dynamo.

Schmetzer called on the Sounders to improve after recharging their batteries over the break.

“All of us had the chance to get away and mentally reset,” he said.

“It worked out the way it did, but this was a timely break. We have still got a hill to climb because we haven’t made the playoffs yet.”

The Caps are a point behind the postseason positions in the West following a 2-1 win over third-placed Real Salt Lake.

That was their third win in their last four MLS games and has dragged them off the foot of the table, but coach Vanni Sartini felt his side did not deserve their most recent victory.

“We tried to play from one side to the other, I’m very happy but let’s be completely honest we didn’t deserve to win,” Sartini said.

“Salt Lake will leave with a bitter taste because they did a good game, but it is a testament of how much we are continuing to fight and work at the moment.

“When we have to suffer, we suffer and we always keep in with a shout of a result.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Seattle Sounders – Jordan Morris

Jordan Morris is tied with Raul Ruidiaz for the most Sounders goals this MLS campaign, both having managed three league strikes.

Vancouver Whitecaps – Andres Cubas

Marquee signing Andres Cubas could make his debut on Tuesday after transferring from Ligue 2 side Nimes in France.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– The Sounders haven’t lost any of their last 14 matches against Vancouver (W9 D5, incl. playoffs) dating back to a 2-1 loss in April 2017. The 14-game streak is Vancouver’s longest without a win against any MLS team while it equals Seattle’s longest without defeat against a single opponent.

– After recording just two wins in their first eight league games this season (D1 L5), Seattle has won three of its last four matches (L1). The Sounders have managed just one clean sheet this season, however, and have allowed a goal in 18 of their last 19 regular season games dating back to early October 2021.

– The Whitecaps have won four of their last six games (D1 L1) after recording one win in their first eight games this season (D1 L6). That run includes a 1-0 win at Sporting Kansas City in Vancouver’s last away match, as the Whitecaps haven’t won consecutive road matches in a single season since August 2018.

– Raul Ruidiaz has scored six goals in seven career MLS games against Vancouver. Since Ruidiaz debuted in MLS in July 2018, no player has scored more goals against the Whitecaps (Damir Kreilach – 6).

– The Whitecaps won their last match, 2-1, against Real Salt Lake on a 93rd-minute penalty by Ryan Gauld. It was the third 90th-minute winner for the Whitecaps this season after they had just two 90th-minute winning goals in the previous six seasons combined.