Let it rain, let it pour, let the Portland Timbers score.
Today marks the final match of the 2015 MLS regular season -- Decision Day as the league has named it -- and for most of the Western Conference, today's matches will determine their playoff fate. For the Portland Timbers, in fourth coming into today's slate of matches, a win today could move the team all the way up to 2nd place and into position for a first-round bye, while a loss could see the Timbers fall all the way to 7th and miss out on the postseason completely.
With everything on the line and their fate in their own hands, the Timbers have the chance to finish off an up and down season on the upswing as they take on the Colorado Rapids this afternoon at Providence Park. The Western Conference's last place team, the Rapids will nonetheless provide a stiff challenge for the Timbers, coming into this match on a high from their midweek defeat of another playoff hopeful, Sporting Kansas City, and with a strong defensive game plan that teams have found difficult all season.
What is a Colorado Rapid?: "In the 2015 season, like the 2014 season, the Rapids have been hit hard by injuries, but throughout the season and regardless of who they have on the pitch, Colorado have remained a steadfastly defense first team. Regularly putting ten men behind the ball and looking to pick up a quick goal on a counter attack, the Rapids have spent much of the year frustrating their opponents with their hard nosed defense, even as their inability to string together any consistency in the attack -- even worse than the Timbers -- has kept them firmly at the bottom of the West."
Match Preview: "It will be up to the Timbers to break down a probably packed in Rapids team; one with a defense that has only allowed 39 goals on the season, 6th best in the league. The Timbers will need to do this, however, without The Maestro, Diego Valeri. Suspended for yellow card accumulation following his booking against the Galaxy for time wasting, Valeri will leave a sizable hole in the Timbers' midfield in his absence, particularly with Will Johnson and Jack Jewsbury both still questionable for this match, having only recently returned to training following their respective layoffs from training due to injury."
Watch it on: ROOT Sports
Kickoff: 4:00 p.m. PT at Providence Park in Portland, OR
Portland Timbers: 14-11-8, 4th place in the Western Conference, LWLWW
Colorado Rapids: 9-14-10, 10th place in the Western Conference, LLLLW