The Portland Timbers have ground through their first eight matches of the 2018 season, stumbling at first on the road before collecting themselves and righting the ship with three wins in a row. However, in this afternoon’s match against their most bitter rivals, the Seattle Sounders, this season is only the backdrop to a match that has been played out 99 times before.
In a rivalry match, form does not matter.
For the Timbers, today is a chance to move up above the red line and show that they are not the same ill-connected group that started the season on a five match winless streak. For the Sounders, today is a chance to show that their slowest start to a season yet is just another hiccup before they roar back up the standing as they have done for the last several years.
But really for both teams today is about about the derby and about the tifo and about the fans that will pack Providence Park. And more than anything it is about pride.
Scouting Report: “Even if the Timbers come out looking to dictate the game on Sunday — as I think they will — Gio Savarese’s side needs to be careful not to overcommit. The defensive midfield balance between Diego Chara and Cristhian Paredes will be important, as will taking only calculated risks with the fullbacks. For that reason, even if Vytas is healthy and fit, Sunday may not be the day to move on from Zarek Valentin at left back.”
Storylines: “This is really a good chance to take advantage of the fact that the Sounders played last weekend, then on Wednesday, and now they fly back from the East Coast to Seattle before bussing to Portland. I’m going to guess there are going to be some tired legs in their 18. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they rotate, but I also won’t be totally surprised if they come at the Timbers with their (as close to) first-choice 11 as they can.”
And stop by the Rose City Forecast to make your predictions about today’s match.
Watch it on: ESPN
Where: Providence Park in Portland, OR
When: Sunday, May 12th at 1:00 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: 3-3-2, 8th place in the Western Conference, won 1-0 at San Jose Earthquakes
Seattle Sounders: 2-4-2, 12th place in the Western Conference, won 2-1 at Toronto FC