Merritt Paulson - Portland Timbers - sideline
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Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson throws some shade after MLS is Back Tournament draw

Let the smack talk begin.

Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson took to Twitter after the MLS is Back Tournament draw, throwing some shade at the Eastern Conference as compared to the Western Conference. Of course, some Seattle Sounders remarks were also tossed in.

The Timbers are drawn into Group F, where rivals LAFC and LA Galaxy, plus the Houston Dynamo, all await. The top two finishers in each group and the four best third-place teams will move on to the Knockout stage, which begins with the Round of 16.

Paulson chimed in on Group B, where Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle and Vancouver are paired with FC Dallas and the San Jose Earthquakes. As one might expect, Paulson spared no sorrow for Seattle’s supposed easier draw.

Emotions aside, the Timbers could emerge from Group F and make a run. They boast some game-changers in the final third – Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco and Yimmi Chara all jump out – and depth across the pitch. Should head coach Giovanni Savarese navigate the tight window and manage minutes properly, the 2015 MLS Cup champions could certainly be contenders. 

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