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Thanks to Mark Kastner of @sounderatheart for answering our questions about Sunday’s match

Portland Timbers v Seattle Sounders FC Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

How do you feel about the Sounders performances in the MLS is Back Tournament? What worried you and what impressed you?

I think most Sounders fans entered the tournament with a bit of mixed expectations. No one was really sure with how to react to the weirdness of a tournament like this in the middle of the pandemic. With that said, Seattle’s performance was really, really underwhelming. Especially defensively.

The one standout was the continued rise of Jordan Morris. He showed during the tournament that he should be considered in the conversation as one of the best wingers in the league.

Do you think the Sounders will have a bit of a hangover from the first round lost or do you think the extra rest will benefit the team?

I’m not sure. I could probably make the argument for both. I’m going to choose to believe that the extra time will benefit them because the team wasn’t healthy in Orlando, and now they are....mostly. Having all your best players fit & training together is good.

Portland Timbers v Orlando City SC: Championship - MLS Is Back Tournament Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images

What is Seattle’s preferred style of play? How will they set up in possession?

The Sounders want to build out of the back and possess the ball with their midfielders. They set up in a classic 4-2-3-1 and use star #10 Nico Lodeiro as much as possible. They want to build up through the middle while using Morris and Raul Ruidiaz to break the lines.

What are the Sounders’ strengths and weaknesses offensively?

Strength: As you saw in the build up to the 2019 MLS Cup, they have one of the most lethal attacks in MLS. When all things are firing, they’re very dangerous.

Weakness: They lack a plan B when things aren’t going well.

Defensively? What could the Timbers potentially exploit?

The Sounders’ defense is the biggest question mark surrounding this team. The lack of cohesion with the centerbacks is a concern.

The Timbers have been sitting back and living and dying by the counter-attack how do you think Seattle will look to get Portland out of their rhythm?

I can’t claim to know the ins and outs of how Portland plays, but I can see the match on Sunday being pretty cagey. Seattle will not want to get beat first and foremost.

This is a match that is really known for its great displays and great support. Sadly we won’t have fans. Do you think that this will have an impact on the match and its intensity?

Of course it will. I think you’d be crazy to think it wouldn’t. I really have no idea what to expect!

Score prediction?

1-1 draw. Seattle scores second.

A special thanks to Mark Kastner (@mkstnr) of Sounder at Heart for answering my questions.