The Arizona phase of the Seattle Sounders preseason continues with a friendly against the Portland Timbers. This is Seattle’s first match since winning MLS Cup. The Timbers already lost to Red Bulls and NK Istra 1961 in their earlier preseason friendlies.
This is not part of the Desert Diamond Cup. That event is later in the month, and neither the Timbers nor the Sounders will participate in 2017. Portland will return to Providence Park to host their own tournament. Seattle will return to Starfire late next week and eventually head to Charleston for the Carolina Challenge Cup starting February 18.
Timbers 2016 Record: 12-14-8 -5, 7th in the West
Returning top scorer from 2016: Fanendo Adi, 16
Returning assist leader from 2016: Diego Valeri, 7
Notable Timbers Roster Changes
Ned Grabavoy, Jack Jewsbury, Nat Borchers, Lucas Melano
David Guzman (Saprissa), Roy Miller (Saprissa), Jeremy Ebobisse (Battery via Draft), Sebastian Blanco (San Lorenzo)
What to Watch For:
Seattle will be without five potential starters due to national team duty and injury. That means valuable time with the first team is expected for Tyler Miller and Will Bruin. There are more interesting decisions at centerback, where Tony Alfaro and Gale Agbossoumonde are options, and right back, where draftee Brian Nana-Sinkam and Homegrown Player Henry Wingo start their potential conversions.
The second half will feature more players on the roster bubble. With only 23 players under contract, and seven of those absent, the second XI will be full of trialists and draftees trying to earn their future. Pay particular attention to Agbossoumonde, Steve Zakuani and the gob of depth center mids.
Lastly, this is the first chance to see Clint Dempsey in action since he talked shit to Portland, and today marks his first potential playing time since August. This match is another box for Clint to check on his comeback attempt.
How to Watch
Match date/time: 5:30 PM, Tuesday Feb. 4th
Venue: Kino Sports Complex
Online Streaming: SoundersFC.com and their YouTube channel (Johnson, Zivin of PDX)