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Scouting Report: Strike the matches

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and build a bonfire.

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Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

What You’ll Watch

The Seattle Sounders return home to host the Portland Timbers in the second leg of the Western Conference semifinals. Seattle trails Portland by one goal after a 2-1 loss this past Sunday in the first leg.

If Portland wins or the game ends in a draw, Seattle’s season is over. Also keep in mind the away goals tiebreaker. The Sounders would advance to the Western Conference Championship with a shutout win or a two-goal margin of victory in Thursday’s second leg.

Injury Report, Suspensions and International Duty

Portland

Out: Roy Miller (right thigh injury) and Jake Gleeson (bilateral tibal stress fracture surgery)

Questionable: David Guzman (thigh, head) and Samuel Armenteros (thigh)

Suspensions: N/A

International Duty: N/A

Seattle

Out: Jordan Morris (torn ACL), Felix Chenkam (herniated disc) and Chad Marshall (right meniscus tear)

Questionable: Brad Smith (right hamstring strain) and Cristian Roldan (right hip flexor strain)

Suspensions: N/A

International Duty: N/A

Match Officials

REFEREE: Jair Marrufo
AR1: Ian Anderson
AR2: Eduardo Mariscal
4th: Robert Sibiga
VAR: Chris Penso

What to Watch

Game state

More than any regular season match, the game state will impact this match. Seattle must score a goal to advance. If Timbers break out of their shell and score, then the Sounders have to get three goals to avoid extra time.

An early goal by either side likely opens the game up. A halftime scoreless draw is probably in Seattle’s favor, as they have only once given up more than one goal at home this season (though that was to Portland).

In total four of the Timbers away losses in 2018 would result in the Sounders advancing. Ten of Seattle’s home results this season would mean advancement.

One moment

These are two closely matched sides. Just look at the result from the first leg — that 2-1 road loss only happened because two key starters went down. Both teams had historic runs of form on the year. Their number 10s are two of the best in the league, while their 6s could each lay claim to being in the tops of league history. Both coaches have a history of success.

When things are this tight, a single odd bounce (or three, hey goal 2!) can change games. It is up to the Sounders to be ready and have their men in the places where those fortunate bounces become goals or saves.

You will hear us

When margins are tight the voice and support of fans can make a difference. The loud love we show can influence referees and inspire our men to greatness. It will be cold, with dry air, perfect for an echoing boom-boom-clap. These crisp nights are perfect for us.

Make this night memorable. Make it a night with tales you tell grandchildren. Make the night yours. You don’t need your voice on Friday, and the Sounders need you this evening.

How to Watch

Date/Time: Thursday, November 8 @ 7:30 PM

Location: CenturyLink Field — Seattle, WA

TV: FS1

Streaming: YouTube TV (Seattle & Spokane markets), Fox Sports GO, FuboTV

Radio: 950 KJR AM (English), El Rey 1360 AM (Spanish)