The Portland Timbers are in the playoffs, but with the Western Conference as tightly packed as ever, this afternoon’s Decision Day match against the Vancouver Whitecaps could still be the difference between the Timbers securing a home playoff spot or going on the road mid-week.
Looking up the table, the Timbers are within striking distance of the Seattle Sounders, FC Dallas, and even second place Los Angeles FC. Should any of those teams stumble, a win from the Timbers could vault them up the table — although for an LAFC loss to matter the goal differential change would have to be staggering.
Playoff positioning is not the only thing on the line for the Timbers today. After an often uninspiring second half of the season, the Timbers have rounded into form with their comprehensive destruction of Real Salt Lake over the course of their last two matches. Carrying that form forward into the playoffs is vital to a strong MLS Cup run, as the Timbers learned in 2015 and the Sounders demonstrated again the following year.
Storylines: “A few things have changed since the Whitecaps came into Providence Park back on August 11: The biggest one is that head coach Carl Robinson was sacked and has been replaced in the interim with the academy director, Craig Dalrymple, who has been on the job since the September 25. The team hasn’t improved much since Dalrymple took over the coaching job; I think that says something more about the team, instead of the manager.”
Stop by the Rose City Forecast to make your predictions about today’s match.
Watch it on: ROOT Sports
Where: BC Place in Vancouver, BC
When: Sunday, August 28th at 1:30 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: 15-9-9, 5th place in the Western Conference, won 3-0 vs. Real Salt Lake
Vancouver Whitecaps: 12-13-8, 8th place in the Western Conference, drew 2-2 at LAFC