A win for either side would put them on top of the Cascadia standings for the year after the first match of the series played to a 0-0 between the Whitecaps and the Seattle Sounders. A win would also — at least temporarily — move either side above the San Jose Earthquakes and into 7th place in the West.
The Timbers are now nine games into their season-opening road trip and, after a rocky start, have finally pieced together a run of form thanks to some improved defensive showings from the back line all the way to the attack. Still, there are improvements to be made if the Timbers want to continue their movement up the ladder in the Western Conference.
First and foremost is the one thing that the Timbers have yet to manage this season: a clean sheet. While the complete collapses we saw from the Timbers at the start of the season seem to be a thing of the past, the Timbers have still seemed to be living on the edge at times and a shut out would prove that the defensive strength on which the side’s 2018 success was built has returned. Fortunately for the possibility of a clean sheet, the Timbers are facing a Vancouver side that, despite looking somewhat less dire than they did a month ago, have still been shut out in four of their ten matches so far this season.
On the other side of the ball, the Timbers have scored seven goals in their last three games and of the trio of Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco, and Jeremy Ebobisse, at least two seem to step up when needed each match to create or score a goal for the Timbers. Hopefully new designated player Brian Fernandez will soon add his name to that list of game-changing attacking players for the Timbers, but the winger/forward will not be available for selection until the Timbers’ next match due to the suspension he incurred before leaving Club Necaxa.
Storylines: “The Vancouver Whitecaps currently sit one spot above the bottom of the Western Conference, where they have been most of the season. Coach Marc Dos Santos hopes that the team can capitalize on the momentum of their match against the Rapids. They also return home to some turmoil: The supporters groups plan to walk out at the 35th minute in a protest against the front office, their third such walkout. The traveling Timbers Army also plan to walk out in solidarity.”
Stop by the Rose City Forecast to get in your predictions about today’s match.
Watch it on: KPDX (FOX)
Where: B.C. Place in Vancouver, Canada
When: Friday, April 10th at 7:00 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: 3-5-1, 9th place in the Western Conference, Won 2-1 at Real Salt Lake
Vancouver Whitecaps: 2-5-3, 11th place in the Western Conference, won 3-2 at Colorado Rapids