The Portland Timbers fought their way past FC Dallas in the knockout round and are now back home where they will face the most in-form team in the history of Major League Soccer: the Seattle Sounders.
Where the Timbers were unbeatable for much of the first half of the season, the Sounders have been not just unbeatable, but undrawable as well in the second half of the season. Boasting a 15-2-2 record since the start of July, the Sounders have successfully posted the best half-season record in MLS history — including a 1-0 win in Portland back in August.
Of course, the Timbers did manage a win of their own at CenturyLink Field earlier this year, beating the Sounders in a 3-2 shootout in the last match before the Washington side remembered that winning was a thing and started doing a whole lot of it.
Regardless, everything changes in the playoffs and everything changes in a rivalry match, so put aside the form of both sides heading into today’s match. Who is able to come out on top will come down to who can find a crack in the armor of the other. Expect a tightly contested match that could break out into end-to-end play late in the match, particularly if either side can grab a lead early on.
Storylines: “The Seattle Sounders are riding into town in a great run of form — 8-0-2 in their last ten — and don’t look to be stopping. Ruidiaz has put on a show since coming to MLS, scoring 10 goals and assists in just 13 appearances with the Sounders. He definitely was the catalyst to the Sounders resurgence in the second half of the season. When Ruidiaz has featured for the Sounders, they’ve won 85.7 percent of games and averaged 2.1 goals per 90.”
Watch it on: ESPN
Where: Providence Park in Portland, OR
When: Sunday, November 4th at 2:30 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: Beat FC Dallas 2-1 in the Knockout Round, Finished in 5th place in the Western Conference
Seattle Sounders: Bye, Finished in 2nd place in the Western Conference