The Portland Timbers are facing off against the Seattle Sounders for the first time this season and the stakes are high for both sides. The Timbers are within reach of reclaiming a playoff spot, while Seattle are hoping to make something out of a so-far disheartening season.
With the return of Diego Valeri and Diego Chara to the lineup, the Timbers are getting ever closer to their first choice XI as they look to make another late-season surge, while Seattle are ruing the loss of their centerpiece Clint Dempsey to a red card earlier in the week.
Match Preview: “The Maestro's return gives the Timbers a player in the center of the park who can score goals or unlock a defense, while also giving the Timbers some positional flexibility with players like Darlington Nagbe, who was dragooned into playing in a No. 10 role in Valeri's absence. With Valeri back and once again taking over the center of the pitch, the Timbers should be able to move Nagbe out wide and give him more freedom to roam the pitch or interchange with his fellow attacking players.”
Preview Interview: “The main thing that can be taken away from that is not the scoreline, but that the Sounders were not satisfied scoring a couple and riding out an easy win. They wanted to dominate, as they knew they should, and they dominated. Prior to the game if you told me that the Sounders would earn a 4th minute penalty and play up for those 29 minutes I would have expected a something like 2-1, or maybe 2-2.”
And don’t forget to check out Lost Fervor’s prediction thread here.
Watch it on: FOX
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. PT at Providence Park in Portland, OR
I know fans have come to expect the national tv games to kick off ~20min after listed time but again this Sun v SEA will be right at noon— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) July 14, 2016
Portland Timbers: 6-6-8, 7th place in the Western Conference
Seattle Sounders: 6-10-2, 9th place in the Western Conference