MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders

Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders

Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, June 28 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 1)

Match Odds: Portland 17/20 – Draw 13/5 – Seattle 3/1

Match Preview

Portland Timbers host Seattle Sounders in the fifth Cascadia Cup game of the season on Sunday night with the Western Conference rivals meeting for the third time this year.

Their most recent meeting saw Seattle end their US Open Cup clash with seven players on the field as Portland won 3-1 after extra-time and so keeping discipline will be the priority for both managers.

Portland come into the game off the back of a devastating 5-0 loss at LA Galaxy on Wednesday night. That result ended a four-game winning streak and they will look to beat Seattle for the first time in five MLS games when they meet on Sunday.

Photo: Max Aquino

Photo: Max Aquino

The Timbers have lost just one of their seven home games in MLS this season and will be confident of winning their first Cascadia Cup game of the season.

Caleb Porter’s side have lost to Vancouver away, lost to Seattle away and drawn at home to the Whitecaps so far and need to win on Sunday to have any chance of winning a first Cascadia Cup title since 2012.

The Sounders currently lead the Cascadia Cup standings as well as the Western Conference but have been poor by their high standards in recent weeks.

Three losses in their last four has seen Seattle fall away from top spot in the Supporters’ Shield standings and so Sigi Schmid will be desperate not to lose in Portland on Sunday.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

The two meetings in Portland last season saw 14 goals as the two played out a 4-4 draw before Seattle won 4-2 in August.

Team News

Portland Timbers boss Caleb Porter will be without Liam Ridgewell as the Englishman was sent off in the loss at LA Galaxy on Wednesday night, while Ben Zemanski remains out and Dairon Asprilla is a doubt.

Seattle will still be without Clint Dempsey as he serves the third of his three match ban for tearing up a referee’s notebook in the US Open Cup loss to Portland two weeks ago. Chad Barrett, Obafemi Martins, Osvaldo Alonso and Andres Correa all remain out, while Gonzalo Pineda and Brad Evans are doubts.

Key Points

Portland Timbers’ last five: W/W/W/W/L

Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/L/W/L/L

Key Stat: Portland have won their last three home games in MLS without conceding a goal, while Seattle have failed to score in their last two.

Key Player: Maximiliano Urruti – The Argentine forward has three goals this season and scored in two of the Timbers’ last three home games. Expect him to be dangerous.

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Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 2-1 Seattle Sounders – Portland look in good shape, despite that heavy loss in LA, and their home form should see them beat their fierce rivals in this one. Seattle are struggling without Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins and will struggle to pick up points here.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Seattle Sounders

Competition: Major League Soccer – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders

Venue: BC Place – Saturday, May 16th – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: Vancouver 11/8 – Draw 12/5 – Seattle 19/10

Match Preview

Vancouver Whitecaps host Seattle Sounders in a huge Cascadia Cup game in MLS on Saturday night in the first of the three meetings between the Western Conference rivals this season.

Vancouver have already played two of their six Cascadia Cup games against the Portland Timbers, winning at home before drawing away and look to be in good shape at the top of the Western after 11 games.

Seattle have only played one Cascadia game so far as they beat Portland 1-0 at home and they will hope to move into pole position in the chase for the Cascadia Cup with a win over the Whitecaps this weekend.

That won’t be easy as Vancouver have not conceded a goal in their last two, beating Philadelphia Union last weekend 3-0 to calm any fears of a lapse after a slight dip. They started the season with four wins from their opening five but then only picked up one win in five before last weekend’s victory.

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They have been inconsistent but look in good shape heading into this clash. The Whitecaps have won the Cascadia Cup series the past two seasons and will expect to do so again this year as a result.

Seattle Sounders come into the game off the back of a 3-2 defeat in Columbus last weekend and they have not won in Vancouver for four years, so this is by no means a straightforward task for either side.

Seattle had won three in a row before last week’s loss and will look to recapture that form here. If Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins are at their best, it will be almost impossible to stop them. The attacking duo are probably the most lethal in MLS and have 13 of the team’s 15 goals this season.

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The Whitecaps have their own attacking duo to unleash in the form of Pedro Morales and Octavio Rivero. The South American attackers have scored eight of Vancouver’s 14 goals this term.

Last season saw the Whitecaps go unbeaten against the Sounders, winning two games 1-0 and drawing the other 2-2. There are usually goals between these two and this has all the makings to be the game of the weekend.

Team News

Vancouver boss Carl Robinson has five injury worries heading into the game as Andre Lewis and Marco Bustos are both out, while Diego Rodriguez, Steven Beitashour and Mauro Rosales are all doubtful. Sam Adekugbe and Pa Modou Kah are one booking away from suspension and need to be careful. Darren Mattocks came off the bench to score his third of the season last week and will be pushing for a start here.

Seattle Sounders have no injury worries or suspensions to deal with and are at full strength. Sigi Schmid is likely to make changes after last week’s loss and Lamar Neagle could come in for Andy Rose. Dempsey and Martins will partner each other in attack.

Key Points

Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: L/W/L/D/W

Seattle Sounders’ last five: L/W/W/W/L

Key Stat: The Whitecaps have not lost to Seattle in their last five meetings, winning four of those games.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – The Sounders’ hopes rest on Dempsey’s shoulders. The attacker has been phenomenal this year and has an MLS-leading seven goals so far with four more assists. Expect him to cause trouble for the Vancouver defence.

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Score Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2 Seattle Sounders – Expect this one to have goals. Both sides boast some of the best attacking players in MLS but both team will not want to lose this. A draw is a likely outcome and the 2-2 draw from BC Place last season could well be repeated.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Venue: Providence Park – Saturday, May 2nd – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST – Sunday, May 3rd)

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 23/20 – Draw 23/10 – Vancouver Whitecaps 12/5

Match Preview

Portland Timbers welcome Vancouver Whitecaps to Providence Park for the third match in the 2015 MLS Cascadia Cup series between the teams from the pacific northwest.

The Timbers are seventh in the Western Conference coming into this clash after they narrowly lost their last game away at the Seattle Sounders in what was also a Cascadia Cup match and they’ve only won two of their first eight games (D3, L3).

Caleb Porter and his side would’ve hoped for a better start to the season but they will know it’s still very early days and they’ve already overcome a number of tricky fixtures against the likes of LA Galaxy and Seattle.

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Vancouver Whitecaps are flying high and currently sit top of both the Western Conference and the Supporters’ Shield standings with 16 points from their opening nine games and have made their second best ever start to an MLS season – the Whitecaps had 17 points from their first nine games in 2012.

Since a run of four straight wins, Carl Robinson‘s side have dipped slightly with just one win in their last four (D1, L2) and they suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to FC Dallas last time out, although Vancouver are the joint-second highest scorers in MLS this season with 11 goals – only Columbus Crew have netted more times (12).

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These two sides met just one month ago when the Whitecaps beat the Timbers 2-1 in dramatic fashion at BC Place. Nicolas Mezquida had given Vancouver the lead before Fanendo Adi equalised in the 82nd minute for Portland, but Robert Earnshaw scored a last-gasp winner to sink the Timbers.

The last meeting that took place at Providence Park saw Portland run out as 3-0 winners back in September 2014 and the Timbers will be desperate for a repeat result.

Team News

Portland Timbers have numerous absentees in midfield with Will Johnson, Ben Zemanski, Michael Nanchoff, Rodney Wallace and Diego Valeri all set to miss out through injury.

Vancouver Whitecaps are without the injured Andre Lewis and Marco Bustos, while Diego Rodriguez is a slight doubt after he missed the last game with a muscle strain.

Key Points

Portland Timbers’ last five: L/W/L/W/L

Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: W/D/L/W/L

Key Stat: Vancouver Whitecaps have only beaten the Portland Timbers twice in 12 attempts in MLS (D4, L6).

Key Player: Octavio Rivero – The Uruguayan is the joint top goalscorer in MLS so far this season having already found the net five times. He has been almost unplayable at times and the Timbers will need to find a way to stop him if they are to stand a chance of victory.

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Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 2-2 Vancouver Whitecaps – This is a clash that has all the makings of a classic and it should provide us with goals and entertainment but will probably end all square.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Sunday April 26th – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle 17/20 – Draw 12/5 – Portland 16/5

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders host the Portland Timbers on Sunday night in the first of their three Cascadia Cup matches in 2015.

Seattle will feel buoyed knowing that Clint Dempsey is ready and available after having to settle for time on the sidelines so far with a hamstring injury.

With the Sounders winning on the road last time out, it is important that they return to home comforts with a win, especially because this rivalry means a lot to the fans.

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Both sides are coming into the game off wins last weekend, and will both arrive looking to take all three points from this season’s second Cascadia Cup game, after the Timbers lost 2-1 to Vancouver earlier this season.

Seattle’s 2015 MLS record: P6 – W3 – D1 – L2

Portland come into this one as the underdogs and have endured a slow start to season after having to wait four games for their first win.

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They earned their first away win of the campaign at New York City FC last weekend, and so they will want to continue that form on the road at fierce rivals Seattle this week.

Portland’s 2015 MLS record: P7 – W2 – D3 – L2

Having lost the first of their Cascadia Cup games against the Vancouver Whitecaps, this is a huge game for the Timbers and one the fans will feel they cannot afford to lose.

Team News

For Seattle, Damian Lowe is the only injury concern for this clash as he is doubtful with an ankle injury. Clint Dempsey looks set to partner Obafemi Martins up front after overcoming his hamstring troubles.

Portland will be without Diego Valeri, Will Johnson and Ben Zemanski as all three all remain out. Rodney Wallace is a doubt for the game and doesn’t look like he will play any part.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five in MLS: L/D/W/L/W

Portland Timbers’ last five in MLS: D/L/W/L/W

Key Stat: Portland Timbers have never won away at Seattle in an MLS regular season game.

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Key Player: Obafemi Martins – The pace the front man possesses will cause problems for any defense, and his partnership with Clint Dempsey could prove the difference once again in this one.

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-1 Portland Timbers – Seattle to use their home advantage to effect with a narrow win against their rivals in what should be an entertaining game.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers

Venue: BC Place – Saturday, March 28 – 20:00 ET (00:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Vancouver 1/1 – Draw 12/5 – Portland 11/4

Match Preview

BC Place will play host to the Portland Timbers on Saturday night as they travel to Vancouver to play the Whitecaps in a key Western Conference clash in the what is the first match of the 2015 Cascadia Cup series.

These rivals from the Pacific Northwest always put on entertaining games and with both seemingly unaffected by the international break, this should be no different.

Vancouver come into the game off the back of two consecutive away wins and will want to replicate their away from when they return to BC Place for the first time since opening weekend on Saturday night.

Vancouver Whitecaps players celebrate after win at Orlando City (Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Vancouver Whitecaps players celebrate after win at Orlando City (Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Having won the last two away matches 1-0, the Whitecaps are used to low-scoring affairs and we’re expecting this one to be no different.

They will be hugely reliant on star striker, Octavio Rivero, as he has scored in each of their opening three games. Can he make it four in a row on Saturday?

Portland will feel disappointed with their form so far this season, as they are a side with great potential. Three draws in three is not great, but it’s not time to man the panic stations yet. They will see this fixture as winnable, despite being away from home.

After seeing a lead slip away twice in their clash with the LA Galaxy two weeks ago, and then a 0-0 draw with Sporting Kansas City last time out, Portland could do with a win here against a Vancouver side that will battle for the MLS Playoffs with the Timbers come the end of the campaign.

Portland TImbers vs Sporting KC

The Sporting Kansas City game was not the first 0-0 draw this season for the Timbers as they played out a goalless draw on the opening weekend against Real Salt Lake and finding the net has been a bit of a problem early on.

Portland will be a force this year and it’s time they started putting points on the board.

Team News

Vancouver will be without Mauro Rosales (ankle) and Andre Lewis (knee). Early season sensation Sam Adekugbe will also miss the game with a rib injury. Christian Dean, Russell Teibert and Darren Mattocks are all away on international duty.

Portland travel to Canada without Will Johnson (leg), Diego Valeri (knee), Ben Zemanski (knee) and Michael Nanchoff (hernia). Jack Jewsbury is a doubt with concussion, while Alvas Powell is on international duty with Jamaica.

Key Points

Vancouver Whitecaps’ form: L/W/W

Portland Timbers’ form: D/D/D

Key Stat: Portland scored three times in each of the three meetings with Vancouver in 2014, winning 3-0 at BC Place in a memorable game for Timbers fans.

Octavio Rivero celebrates his goal against Toronto FC (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jimmy Jeong)

Octavio Rivero celebrates his goal against Toronto FC (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jimmy Jeong)

Key Player: Octavio Rivero – The Uruguayan striker has been a huge hit this season, and has scored each of Vancouver’s three goals so far. He could well be the match winner once again.

Score Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 1-1 Portland Timbers – These fierce rivals are both looking strong this season but there will be little to separate them on Saturday night. The Timbers have drawn every game so far and that result looks to be the most likely outcome of this one as both will be desperate to avoid defeat.

Preview: Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Vancouver travel to CenturyLink Field on Friday night as they look to move back into a playoff position in the Western Conference, while home side Seattle will be looking to put pressure on L.A Galaxy in the hunt for the Supporters Shield.

This latest Cascadia cup tie is a must win for both teams, and the winner will claim the series for the season so this should be a great spectacle. If Seattle win they will secure the Cascadia Cup for the first time since 2011.

Vancouver come into the game without a win in nine away games and Seattle haven’t lost in their last five at home, so it would seem a tough task for the Whitecaps.

Seattle will have to win this one if they are to have any chance of winning the Supporters Shield as they will end the season by playing L.A Galaxy twice in the next couple of weeks.

Vancouver are huge underdogs here, and know that a loss will further damage their hopes making the playoffs come the end of the month.

Key Player: Obafemi Martins has scored 17 goals this year and we expect him to be the difference-maker on Friday night.

Key stat: Seattle has only won one of the last six previous meetings with Vancouver.

Prediction: Seattle Sounders 3 – 1 Vancouver Whitecaps

Takeaways from a thrilling seven-goal thriller in Cascadia Cup match

An action filled, pulsating Cascadia Cup game ended in a 4-3 victory for Vancouver Whitecaps against Portland Timbers. What were the key talking points?

1. A great advert for Major League Soccer.

If ever proof was needed when it comes to trying to tell people that MLS is entertaining then this was it. A great spectacle for fans and the players alike produced a highly enjoyable game from the first minute to the last.

2. Portland Timbers were on fire early on.

It was 1-0 within 3 minutes after a fine left-footed effort from Maximiliano Urruti, then moments after, Will Johnson saw his deflected effort brilliantly saved by Whitecaps ‘keeper, David Ousted.

Even after the score had been tied at 1-1, Portland were still in the ascendancy and they so nearly led 2-1 after an Urruti header struck the crossbar.

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3. It was a seesaw encounter.

After a blistering start by the Timbers, you would have been forgiven for thinking that they would have gone on to win comfortably, but the Whitecaps weathered the early storm and a spirited fight back saw them turn the game on its head inside the first 45 minutes.

Vancouver were leading 4-1 with just 13 minutes remaining when a nice headed goal by Gaston Fernandez appeared to be a consolation as it reduced the arrears to two goals.

Then 4 minutes from time, a simply sublime goal saw Will Johnson volley home which reduced the deficit to just one goal for the Timbers and created a frantic finale.

Given all that had gone before, had Vancouver ended up throwing this away, they would have been gutted.

A large portion of credit must still be given to Portland for a great start and for battling right until the end, though they will be devastated not to have got something out of the game.

4. Pedro Morales had a game to remember.

The Vancouver midfielder was involved in every goal as he bagged himself two goals from the penalty spot as well as assisting the other two goals.

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Portland Timbers will travel to Real Salt Lake on Saturday June 7 in what promises to be a very tough game despite Salt Lake suffering their first defeat of the campaign at the weekend. They’ll have to play very well to get anything from this game.

Vancouver will look to stretch their unbeaten run to seven games when they take on Philadelphia Union on Saturday. The Union are currently 8th in the Eastern Conference.

Highlights via MLS on YouTube:

Seattle and Vancouver share spoils in exciting Cascadia Cup showdown

The Seattle Sounders grabbed a late penalty to ensure that the points were shared in the Cascadia Cup meeting against the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place as an exciting game ended 2-2.

Inside the first 3 minutes, Gershon Koffie was already testing the Seattle goal but the effort was smartly dealt with at the near post by goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

Koffie was at the heart of the action soon after, when he struck a long range effort against the crossbar following a storming run towards the Sounders goal.

But against the run of play in the 35th minute, the home fans were left stunned when a cross from Kenny Cooper found Chad Barrett, who was making his first start for the club, and he nodded in a beautiful header for his second of the season.

However the Sounders lead was short lived when Erik Hurtado intercepted the ball inside his own half, passing the ball to Bowen who then found Chilean Moralez with a wonderful first-time ball back into Hurtado who dazzled Osvaldo Alonso, not once but twice.

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Hurtado then blasted past Frei and into the Sounders net from a tight angle, drawing the home side level at the 38th minute mark.

The 60th minute saw Manneh break free again, but he was denied once more  by the rushing Frei.

But five minutes later the Whitecaps took the lead, as Frei’s clearance from near the touchline fell to Koffie who chested the ball down, allowing a bounce before taking it on and volleying into an empty Seattle net from over 30 yards, sending BC Place into raptures.

Inside the last ten minutes the Sounders got the chance to equalize after Jay Demerit was unfortunately penalised for bashing into the back of Cam Weaver in the air.

With regular Sounders penalty taker Clint Dempsey away with the USMNT, it was up to Mexican Gonzalo Pineda to take it under serious pressure.

Pineda stepped up and coolly put the ball into the net, making it look easy with his chipped finish, bringing Seattle level going into the last ten minutes.

The goal seemed to inspire the Sounders as Obafemi Martins came charging towards the  Vancouver goal before striking the post, in an effort which would of surely won the game for the Sounders.

Six minutes added time were added on at the end of an exciting game and Vancouver went close to snatching the game in the  92nd minute, but Koffie’s effort was straight at Frei.

Both sides now move on with the Whitecaps carrying on their battle for the Cascadia Cup next week against Portland Timbers, whilst a top of the table clash between Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake takes place next Saturday.

Highlights via MLS on YouTube: