When MLS and their TV partners discuss the schedule for any year there are a few games that they must get on national TV. Some of those games are because of market size (LA v NYC), others are due to the expected standings at the end of the year (LA v Seattle), others are due to marketable assets (Toronto v Orlando) and then there is Portland Timbers versus Seattle Sounders. That's must see TV and it does not matter if Portland is expected to be good, nor that they are merely a logging village, nor that they have no one in the National Team picture or who played in top leagues.
Portland versus Seattle is on TV because the Sounders are one of the SuperClubs of MLS and because the passion that flows from the stands is as authentic as could be, no matter which stadium hosts the contest. It is games like this that are the result of our love of this game. The history, the passion and the nearly inevitable ending of another year when the Sounders are better than the Timbers.
Referee: Alan Kelly
MLS Career: 18 games; FC/gm: 26.4; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 7; pens: 5
AR1 (bench): Frank Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Daniel Radford
SUSPENDED: SEA: Chad Marshall
International Absences: SEA: Roldan (US U20), Mansaray (US U18)
Timbers OUT: Johnson, Valeri, Zemanski, Nanchoff, Wallace
Sounders OUT: None
Keys to Game:
- Stop Nagbe-ism - Darlington is a good soccer player, but that doesn't mean more than two Sounders need to defend him. He doesn't have a good shot and his passing can only be incisive if the passing lanes are open.
- Win the Air - Porterball is no more. Their most effective attacks come from the long ball. If Evans and Scott control the air Caleb's preferred path to goal is gone.
- Hail Hydra - Sounders average 1.9 goals per game against the Timbers (MLS play) with five active/healthy players scoring a goal against Portland and four more adding an assist. Portland's numbers in same are 1.3/2/1. The Hydra is strong.
- Be Sounders - Sigi and his men are better in very facet of the game. They are home. Sure, one starter and two bench players are out. That does not matter. Be Sounders, and you are naturally better than Portland.
How to Watch
Match date/time: Sunday 6:30 PM
Venue: CenturyLink Field
National TV: FoxSports 1 (Strong, Lalas, Stewart-Binks)
Radio: KIRO Radio 97.3 FM (Fletcher, Keller)
Online: Fox Soccer 2 GO
How I'm watching
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