Tonight will be two games for the price of one. Timbers U-23 hosting the Sounders U-23 followed up by T2 hosting the Whitecaps 2. T2 is still winless against any Cascadia opposition and they sit 2nd from the bottom. Only Real Monarchs have bested them for Worst in the West.
T2 (6-9-2, 20 pts) lost again last Friday in their second trip to Vancouver. After going up 1-0 in the first half and generally being the slightly better team on the field, Vancouver came out from half time a completely different beast. They put two goals past the T2 defense but could've easily had more.
With Alvas Powell returning from the Gold Cup prematurely we could see the return of Peay and Thoma or Jeanderson to the T2 backline. If that happens it will be a significant boost to the T2 defense. Also returning to the T2 lineup should be Gleeson in goal. Rundell Winchester's Trinidad and Tobago reached the Quarterfinals of the Gold Cup so he will still be absent from the team. The good news is Fatawu Safiu has picked up in form which helps support the team leader in goals Kharlton Belmar. In addition to that, Blake Bodily saw another start with the T2 team in Vancouver and put in another great shift.
Tonight, T2 should have the home field advantage and a boost to squad availability. Will those two things finally help T2 secure a result of any sort against Cascadia competition?
The Whitecaps 2 (6-8-5, 23 pts) had another match in between this T2 series. They hosted the Colorado Switchbacks on July 15th and ended up with a 2-2 draw. And prior to that they defeated T2 2-1 and S2 before that. So the team is in good form. Now, their road record definitely leaves a lot to be desired, going 1-7-1 so far this season. However, as S2 have only found 2 road wins (both against T2 at Merlo Field) we can't take anything away from their bad road form.
This will be the third meeting between these two teams. Leaving one home match against Whitecaps 2 and one road match against S2 left for T2. And Whitecaps 2 could also see squad availability boosted since the first team also came to town and played the Timbers at Providence Park last night. So T2 will need to be at top form to get something out of tonight's match. After hosting Whitecaps 2, T2 continue the streak of Cascadia matches by traveling up to Starfire for the final regular season match against S2. That will be a 7:30pm kickoff on Friday July 24th. And yours truly will be at Starfire for the first time ever bringing you that match live.
In addition to the next regular season match, it will be a Timbers Army versus Toon Army matchup. T2 will be hosting Premier League side Newcastle United at Providence Park on Tuesday July 21st at 7:30pm.
Watch it: Streamed live on Timbers2.com and embedded in our T2 match thread
Kickoff: Sunday, July 19th 7:00pm pacific, at Merlo Field in Portland, OR
Portland Timbers 2: 6-9-2, 20pts, 11th place in the USL Western Conference
Vancouver Whitecaps 2: 6-8-5, 23pts, 7th place in the USL Western Conference