The Portland Timbers host the Seattle Sounders today for the third time in 2014, the teams' final meeting of the season and one that could move either team into the position on the table that they covet: a playoff berth for the Timbers or back into first place for the Sounders.
With both teams at something approaching full strength for the first time this year, today's match match may not have the scoreline of March's 4-4 draw, but it promises to have even more firepower brought to bear.
Match Preview: "For their part the Sounders will be looking to mix it up against the Timbers. Osvaldo Alonso and his midfield partner Gonzalo Pineda will play the Timbers hard and look to shut down players like Valeri and Gaston Fernandez before they can start the attack.
Neither player is as prolific with their fouling as the Timbers' Chara, who again leads the league in fouls committed, but neither is as judicious with their fouls either, with the pair earning a yellow for every 5.23 fouls committed, while Chara has only received a yellow for every 10.33 fouls committed."
Preview Interview: "Even teams that win the Shield go through slumps. Seattle is in a poor stretch, but 16 of the 18 other teams have slumps as significant on the season. What specifically is causing this issue? Chad Marshall missed a couple games after getting in a minor car accident. A day later he sneezed, his back spasmed and the defense turned into a woeful thing."
Watch it on: ESPN2
Kickoff: 2:00 PM PT at Providence Park
Portland Timbers: 7-7-10, 6th place in the Western Conference
Seattle Sounders: 13-7-3, 1st place in the Western Conference (three-way tie)