The Portland Timbers' preseason continues tonight as the team takes on their arch-rivals, the Seattle Sounders, in their third match of 2016. There has never been a match between the Timbers and Sounders that has failed to capture the enmity between the two sides, so expect a bit of a spark in this one, no matter how far away the regular season might be.
The Timbers, with a short offseason and two 45 minutes shifts under their belt from the matches against FC Tucson and the Houston Dynamo, could look to start pushing their fitness, playing their starting XI 60 minutes.
To date the Timbers have kept their starting XI fairly stable, only changing out midfielders Ben Zemanski and Ned Grabavoy in the absence of Darlington Nagbe on international duty. Nagbe, who played 29 minutes on Tuesday and 29 minutes again last night, will be back with the Timbers soon, but should not be available for tonight's match.
It also remains a possibility that the Timbers could make more dramatic changes to their starting XI, giving the side a look at some of the options that will be available off the bench this year. Players like Jack McInerney or Taylor Peay could be inserted into the starting lineup and others, like Zarek Valentin, could be given a chance in a different position.
Either way the Timbers will be facing a Sounders side that, just like the Timbers, is missing only a piece or two from the XI that should take to the field in early March.
Watch it on: Streaming on Timbers.com
Kickoff: 6:00 p.m. PT at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, AZ
Portland Timbers: Finished 3rd in the Western Conference in 2015, 15-11-8
Seattle Sounders: Finished 4th in the Western Conference in 2015, 15-13-6