ExLink - 05/13/18 - PORvSEA

Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 11

Providence Park — Portland
May 13 - 4 pm ET

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For the first time this year and the 100th time overall, Cascadia rivals clash as the Portland Timbers host Seattle Sounders FC at Providence Park Sunday afternoon.

Since their first meeting in 1975 in the old North American Soccer League, Seattle have a 50-35-14 edge. In Major League Soccer play, Sounders FC have won nine matches, the Timbers have won five, and six have been draws. The Timbers won both meetings in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Seattle are unbeaten in their last three games against Portland (1W-2D). Additionally, the Sounders have scored in 14 straight games against the Timbers (including playoffs), per Opta.

Portland Timbers

Giovanni Savarese made one change from the side that defeated NYCFC, 3-0, on April 22, bringing Andy Polo back in for Andres Flores in his preferred 4-3-2-1 formation.

Diego Valeri ensured Portland (3-3-2) captured a third consecutive win with a dramatic free kick two minutes from full time for the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes. It was his fourth goal of the season as the Timbers won away from home for the first time this season.

That set the stage for the 100th matchup with Seattle and Savarese’s first taste of the rivalry.

“First of all, I’m just lucky to be part of it because I know what it represents,” Savarese said. “For me to have the fortune to be here at this moment, in this game, I feel a lucky person to be able to be here because I understand the importance of the match, I understand the importance for the fans, I understand the importance for our season and that’s why I’m excited to watch our fans, our players be at home in a very difficult match.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Roy Miller (left Achilles tendon), F - Jeremy Ebobisse (right thigh); QUESTIONABLE: M - David Guzman (right knee), D - Vytas (right thigh), D - Bill Tuiloma (right knee)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-2-1, right to left)
GK: Jeff Attinella — Alvas Powell, Larrys Mabiala, Liam Ridgewell, Zarek Valentin — Cristhian Paredes, Diego Chara, Andy Polo — Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco — Fanendo Adi

  • Notes: Portland are one of two teams yet to concede a goal in the first 15 minutes of any game this year. Seattle are one of five teams to score in that period. … The Timbers have won three straight games, shutting out their last two opponents. They started the season 0W-3L-2D, conceding 2.4 goals per game.

Seattle Sounders FC

It was a small measure of revenge, but more importantly Seattle (2-4-2) broke out of a mini scoring slump at the right time to defeat Toronto FC, 2-1, Wednesday night at BMO Field.

Brian Schmetzer overhauled half his starting XI from the side that drew Columbus Crew SC 0-0 Saturday at home and switched to a 5-4-1 formation against the Reds.

Will Bruin opened the scoring, hitting TFC on a counter in the 25th minute, and then helped set up Handwalla Bwana for his first-ever MLS goal, the eventual game-winner, in the 54th minute.

“It’s massive because Toronto has been a good rival, it’s a great club and we have a good rivalry here,” Schmetzer said. “I enjoy my chess matches with Greg [Vanney], I think he’s done a great job with this club. But now it’s on to the next rival. That’s going to be a big one for us a little closer to home.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: F - Jordan Morris (torn ACL), M - Harry Shipp (right ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE: D - Roman Torres (right hamstring strain), D - Waylon Francis (right hamstring strain), M - Victor Rodriguez (right knee sprain), M - Nicolas Lodeiro (foot)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Stefan Frei — Kelvin Leerdam, Kim Kee-Hee, Chad Marshall, Nouhou Tolo — Osvaldo Alonso, Gustav Svensson— Alex Roldan, Clint Dempsey, Cristian Roldan — Will Bruin

  • Notes: Bwana took four shots on Wednesday and scored his first MLS goal. The rest of the Sounders combined for five total shots. … Seattle’s 2-1 win over Toronto on Wednesday snapped a seven-game regular season road winless streak (4L-3D). The Sounders scored two on the defending champs after scoring three goals over their winless stretch.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Portland Timbers 5 wins, 30 goals … Seattle Sounders FC 9 wins 35 goals … 6 ties
  • At Portland: Timbers 5 wins, 25 goals … Sounders FC 2 wins, 19 goals … 3 ties
  • Last meeting at Portland: Portland Timbers 2, Seattle Sounders FC 2 (June 25, 2017)


Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Jason White, Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Daniel Radford
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez