Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, August 28 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)
Match Odds: Portland 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Seattle 12/5
Portland are in a terrible run of form, losing four of their last five. They fell 3-1 in Seattle last weekend and need to bounce back immediately if they are to remain on course for a place in the postseason.
The Timbers don’t look like the same team that went on to win the 2015 MLS Cup but Caleb Porter still has time to turn things around this term. A win here would be enormous.
Seattle head to Providence Park in high spirits. They are now unbeaten in five after following up the win over Portland with a 1-1 draw in Houston on Wednesday, thanks to a last-gasp strike from Nicolas Lodeiro.
The Sounders looked dead and buried a month ago but things have turned around dramatically and they will now expect to make the top six in the West.
They won’t be able to call on Clint Dempsey this weekend, and that will be a real blow for interim head coach Brian Schmetzer.
This season’s Cascadia Cup series is set to go down to the wire. Vancouver and Portland are currently tied on six points, with Seattle on three, so the Sounders need to win this if they are to claim a third series win in six years.
Portland Timbers are still without Nat Borchers, while Zarek Valentin, Ben Zemanski and Darren Mattocks are all doubts. Fanendo Adi will be pushing for a start after having to come off the bench in last weekend’s loss in Seattle.
Seattle will be without last week’s hero, Clint Dempsey, as he is undergoing tests for an irregular heartbeat. Nicolas Lodeiro should be available, despite having an international match against Argentina to play on Thursday. Aaron Kovar and Roman Torres are still out.
Portland Timbers’ last five: L/L/W/L/L
Seattle Sounders’ last five: D/W/W/W/D
Key Stat: None of the last nine clashes between these sides has ended in a draw. Seattle have won six of the last nine, with Portland edging just three matches.
Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The powerful striker should have started last week’s game in Seattle. He proved that by scoring late on and will now be looking to hurt the Sounders in front of his own fans here. He has scored six goals against Seattle since 2014 and will be looking to provide the spark the Timbers need on Sunday.
Portland Timbers 2-1 Seattle Sounders – The Sounders are in great form coming into this one, but the loss of Clint Dempsey significantly hampers their chances. Portland know this is an enormous clash and they cannot afford to drop three more points against their Cascadia rivals. Home support should help the Timbers narrowly edge this one.