This can not be stated enough - the Portland Timbers are a bad road team. They know this. And all they need to do is get a nil-nil draw and they win the Cascadia Cup, which for them is the second most important Cup in the world. Nil-Nil means bunker. It means a 4231 that can sit their wings back. It means stop and go soccer. It means that if one goal is scored by the Sounders the entire strategy of Portland is done.
For the Sounders to retain and have a chance at winning the Cascadia Cup in 2012 they will need to break that bunker. Now, in many cases that's been tough for this team. But in those cases they have not faced a team that is this awful on the road. Portland gives up more than two goals a game while on the road and they will either have Joe Bendik or Donovan Ricketts in goal. One is a leaded player who can't deal with the shots Seattle takes and the other will be back from injury without practicing much this week. Timbers' defenders are also poor at lateral movement.
Watch for Seattle to increase lateral passing within the attacking 18. That should help open space for creative shooting. Also expect a bit more movement of Montero, Tiffert and Rosales into spaces that a CAM would use. All are capable of the passes that unlock sprinting wingers or the righteously fast Duke of Cascadia. Seattle could also use more pressure from its attacking players while Portland has the ball. With the crowd noise being a factor and the Timbers being prone to road errors even without sizable crowds, high pressure would help force turnovers at a higher than typical rate while preventing Portland from starting a decent breakaway through their wingers.
50,000 deep, and it sound like thunder, Blue Scholars quantity is too small but the statement is apropos tonight
The broadcast is on ESPN and 770 KTTH AM at 6PM Pacific.
Referee: Jair Marrufo - MLS Career: 141 games; FC/gm: 24.1; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 32; pens: 44
AR1 (bench): Eric Boria; AR2 (opposite): George Gansner; 4th: Fotis Bazakos
Team Statistics Matchups
- Lateral Movement in Attacking 18
- Defending Darting Runs
- High Pressure
- Set-Play Defense
How We're Watching
Beverage: No Equal, because there is No Equal
Scarf: Nos Audietis 2012
Kit: 2009 Rave Green
Where I'm Watching: Sec: 214 Rows A,B,C