With only ten games to go in the season for the Portland Timbers every game around the league has some bearing on the final standings. Let's look forward to the matches around the league today and how they will affect the Timbers' run in to the playoffs.
Wednesday, 8/20 at 6:00 PM PT on MLS Live
Root for: LA Galaxy
Why? The Rapids have lost four games in a row and dropped down to the 7th place spot in the Western Conference previously held down by the Timbers. Given the congested nature of the MLS table, a win or a tie for the Rapids would move them back above the Timbers as they fight for the 5th place spot. Plus, the Galaxy are going to finish above the Timbers (far from guaranteed, but pretty darn likely) and any team that we can confidently say that about needs to take as many points as possible from their opposition in order to clear the way for the Timbers.
Wednesday, 8/20 at 7:00 PM PT on ROOT Sports or JOEtv
Root for: Draw
Why? This is one of those games that no matter what the outcome is, nobody is going to come away happy. As mentioned in the piece above, the Timbers really should be looking for any team above them to take as many points as possible and keep the teams around them in the playoff hunt down. In this case, however, the Sounders are coming to town just four days after this match and if they could continue their current skid (three points from their last four games) the Timbers would certainly be better off.
On the other end of the pitch, the Earthquakes are poised to make a run up the table, having only played 21 games so far, so every dropped point for them is a little bit of assurance for the Timbers that there will not be another team jumping into the playoff race.
Disagree with the prognosis? Let us know in the comments. Plus, if you are going to be watching any of these games, feel free to discuss them here.