Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers
Venue: CenturyLink Field – Sunday, August 30 – 16:30 ET (22:00 BST)
Match Odds: Seattle 13/10 – Draw 12/5 – Portland 2/1
Seattle Sounders take on the Portland Timbers in the latest Cascadia Cup clash on Sunday night as part of Heineken Rivalry Week in MLS, with more than just bragging rights at stake in this Western Conference showdown.
The Sounders come into the game in horrendous form, having lost six of their last seven. They fell 2-0 at Real Salt Lake last weekend, failing to score for the fifth time in their past seven games and they come into the weekend outside of the playoff places – something very few could have predicted after 25 weeks of the regular season.
Seattle still have time to get back to their best but with games running out, and a playoff place far from guaranteed, the pressure is really on Sigi Schmid and his team to deliver.
Seattle’s 2015 MLS record: P26 – W11 – D2 – L13
A fierce rivalry game against the Timbers will get the fans excited and a loss at home here would go down as a major disaster.
Portland come into the game in much better shape having gone unbeaten through their last four in MLS. They rallied from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to the Houston Dynamo last Friday, with Lucas Melano scoring his first goal for his new side in that game.
Portland’s 2015 MLS record: P26 – W11 – D7 – L8
They travel to CenturyLink Field five points further ahead of the Sounders in fourth place in the West and know a win here will give their playoff chances a huge boost with just seven to go after Sunday’s clash.
These two rivals will be meeting for the fourth time this season on Sunday. The two previous league games have seen each side win. Seattle took the first meeting 1-0 before Portland then won the reverse fixture 4-1 in June.
They also met in the US Open Cup in a crazy game that Portland won 3-1 after extra-time as the Sounders ended the game with seven players.
Seattle have several injury concerns ahead of this one. Andreas Correa, Andy Craven, Damion Lowe and Chad Barrett are all out, while Osvaldo Alonso, Leonardo Gonzalez and Clint Dempsey remain doubtful but could feature. Obafemi Martins is fit and will start in attack.
Portland will be without Diego Chara as the midfielder serves a one-game suspension following a red card last time out. Ben Zemanski is the Timbers’ only injury worry as he remains out with a torn ACL. Fanendo Adi and Lucas Melano will be battling for the starting striker role.
Seattle Sounders’ last five in MLS: L/L/L/W/L
Portland Timbers’ last five in MLS: L/D/W/W/D
Key Stat: Portland Timbers have never won away at Seattle in an MLS regular season game.
Key Player: Obafemi Martins – The Nigerian forward is back to full fitness and is always a threat at CenturyLink Field. He has scored twice in Seattle’s last home game and will need to lead the attack on Sunday night to give the Sounders a chance of victory.
Seattle Sounders 2-2 Portland Timbers – Games between these two are often highly enjoyable affairs and this one should be no different. It’s tough to pick a winner going into the game and a score draw could be the most likely outcome and both will be so worried about losing such a big game.