The Portland Timbers will take on the Seattle Sounders for the third time this season on Wednesday, and it will surely be a hard-fought match. I talked with Mark Kastner from Sounder at Heart about what to expect on Wednesday from Seattle.
Stumptown Footy: These two teams have split the season series 1-1 so far. What do you think Seattle did the first time to get the win that they didn’t do the second time around?
Sounder at Heart: I think it simply came down to playing on the road vs playing at home. The first match was the first one back following the MLS is Back tournament so the Sounders had a lot of time to prepare. For whatever reason both of these teams in the last couple of years have played really well on the road in their rival’s home ground. The Sounders have won three straight regular season matches in Portland, while also losing three straight home matches AGAINST Portland. You’d think that wouldn’t matter much, especially with no fans in the stadium right now. It’s just a little quirky thing happening right now in the rivalry that hopefully continues Wednesday night.
Stumptown Footy: Seattle’s offense has been a pretty dominant force since the restart. What makes them so potent offensively?
Sounder at Heart: We’re seeing Jordan Morris turn into a superstar this year. Seattle has always had top level Designated Players at the attacking end of the pitch. Whether it’s Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, or whether it is now Nicolas Lodeiro and Raul Ruidiaz, they’ve had stars before. Before, especially with Clint and Oba, the team often relied on their star players, and when things weren’t firing, it’d not go well. Now with the emergence of Morris in tandem with Lodeiro & Ruidiaz, the Sounders have an attack that can beat teams in multiple ways. They can possess the ball to break down the bunker. They can play balls over the top of a high press for Morris to run on to. This team can just beat you in several different ways.
Stumptown Footy: Seattle just signed Brad Smith back. Will he have an impact on this match?
Sounder at Heart: He probably won’t feature in this match. He’s still within his 10-day required quarantine period, which might be lucky for Portland. Smith adds another dynamic to this team that’s not currently on the roster.
You can look at Sounder at Heart’s article here.