It's still early in preseason, so the rivalry aspect of this match should mean little. Both sides are approaching it with simple things on their minds - integrating new players, fitness, planning their post-match meal with friends. Tonight's match will be on a bigger stage, with more eyes than the loss-draw to Vancouver-Whitecaps/Tucson (or whatever the proper designation for preseason game one is). Let's hope that the streaming issues are gone.
Sigi Schmid expects to play his Ideal XI for the first half. Brad Evans should start. The second half lineup will be more interesting. Jordan Morris is back! Cristian Roldan looks to be the 4th CM. Aaron Kovar and Darwin Jones played well in their first 2016 run. Damion Lowe did not, so well Roberto Chen get more time? Will Nathan Sturgis earn one of the few roster spots left?
The other team is going longer with their starters. Caleb Porter doesn't have to worry about the CCL until the Summer, but the Portland Timbers have a lot of turnover for a championship side. Significant players no longer in green & gold are Paparatto, Nanchoff, Urruti, Wallace, Villafana, Johnson and Fochive. Replacing them are Klute, Valentin, Grabavoy, McInerney and a couple draftees. It's basically all lateral moves, but should take them time to fit into the squad.
Keys to Game:
- Don't get hurt
- Midfield 3 in defense, how deep is Alonso?
- What defensive pressure do Dempsey-Martins-Valdez apply
- Will the stream work?
How to Watch
Match date/time: 6 PM Pacific on 6 February 2016
Venue: North Stadium, Kino Sports Complex, Tucson, Arizona
Online: FC Tucson YouTube (Zivin - Timbers, Rhodes - Tucson)
How I'm watching
Kit: Sounders 30th anniversary hoodie (yeah it's old)
Scarf: Enemy's Goal Is Down
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