TUKWILA, Washington — It’s going to be hot in Portland. The game was moved for safety reasons, but it will still be hot. Currently Weather.com forecasts 94 degrees when TV coverage starts at 7 PM, but rapidly falling down to “only” 79 at 10 PM. It is likely that the first half has a water break to aid in player safety. Still these high temperatures for Cascadia will effect the game beyond player safety.
“The life of the game might be a little slower tempo just because of the heat,” Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said after Saturday’s practice. “So I think we are in someways planning for (the heat) but you know, it is what it is, we can't do anything about it now.”
What players can do is hydrate now. [To be honest, if you are traveling you should hydrate now too]
“You just got to keep drinking water. Sleep is very important. You gotta stay out of the sun, as we all know the sun drains your energy,” Cristian Roldan told Sounder at Heart. “Obviously the turf doesn’t help. It makes it 10 degrees warmer. Hydration is key. I think electrolytes are a big part of that.”
The midfielder also said that growing up playing in the heat will give him familiarity, but he is used to Seattle weather now.
Cristian also thinks that the game will be even choppier than a typical Sounders-Timbers game. “I think we’re going to be scraping. We’re going to try to gather as much energy as we can on the field. Sometimes when you don’t have gather that energy you resort to fouling people to maybe stop the play a little bit earlier so you can catch your breath. That will probably be partially due to the heat. Hopefully it doesn’t effect the momentum of the game, but from the looks of it with heat it may be a choppy game.”
Coach Schmetzer also expects the heat to change his usual substitution pattern.
“We’ll certainly watch the subs a little closer for sure if guys are getting a little tired or can't deal with the heat, for sure.”