Rivalry Battle in the West
The most significant and historic rivalry in MLS is about to have some extra intensity. The Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC are tied at 33 points, one point out of a playoff spot. The winner of the game could push into a playoff spot while dropping their rival down the table.
Neither team comes into this crucial meeting in good form, both going without a win in their last three games and dropping essential points.
Timbers Keep Dropping Points
The Portland Timbers’ season has been marked by dropping points. With the playoffs on the doorstep, the team continues to do so, putting them in a challenging position.
In 27 games, the Timbers have drawn 12 times, the most in MLS. The goal differential has seemingly balanced out, which has played a big part in the team’s draws. They average 1.6 goals scored for and against, with their attack ranking near the league’s top and the defense near the bottom.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda (nine goals) and Sebastian Blanco (six goals, seven assists) have been the primary sources of offensive production. However, their defense has been unreliable, a big reason for turning wins into draws.
Recently, after a 10-game unbeaten streak that featured four victories, the defense collapsed. In the last two games, the Timbers have allowed seven goals to two teams outside of the playoffs. Most notably, in their previous game, they lost 4-1 to Sporting Kansas City, the team at the bottom of the Western Conference table.
Sounders FC Plagued by Inconsistency
After being the first MLS team to win the CONCACAF Champions League in over 20 years, the Seattle Sounders FC can’t find a foothold in league play. With only three draws, second-fewest in the MLS, they have struggled to find any consistency in their play.
Despite a positive goal difference of one, the Sounders have lost 13 games compared to their 10 wins. Some of the inconsistency has coincided with the team’s starting striker, Raul Ruidiaz, missing time with injury. In his absence the attack struggled, but the defense picked up the slack, allowing the seventh-fewest goals.
In their last three games they have lost two, drawing in one. One loss came in stoppage time and the other was a game the Sounders seemingly dominated but allowed a goal two minutes after they got their very own equalizer.
Against the Los Angeles Galaxy in their last game, they drew 3-3 after falling behind 2-0 early. The Sounders scored three goals in 20 minutes but, in stoppage time, gave up a penalty to let two crucial points slip away.
Timbers vs Sounders FC Head-to-Head
For any great rivalry to have real value, the teams need to be evenly matched, and the Timbers and Sounders have done that. In their last 42 meetings, each team has won 17 times, drawing eight.
However, their last two games have been won by the Timbers by an aggregate of 5-0, including a 3-0 win in a game just over a month ago. The Sounders’ last win was three meetings ago, in a 6-2 blowout — the most recent game played in Portland.
Timbers vs Sounders FC Game Information
- Game: Portland Timbers (7-12-8) vs Seattle Sounders FC (10-3-13)
- Location: Providence Park, Portland, Ore.
- Day/Time: Friday, Aug. 26, 10 p.m. ET
- Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders FC Live Stream: fubo.tv
Timbers vs Sounders FC Betting Lines
|Portland||-½ +125||+125||3 +110o||
|Seattle||+½ -155||+190||3 -140u||
Timbers vs Sounders FC Prediction
The Timbers and Sounders find themselves neck and neck in a race for playoff spot in the West. However, both come into this game struggling. The Timbers haven’t won in their last five games and haven’t kept a clean sheet in seven. The Sounders have not fared any better, going winless in their previous five away games.
This is a rivalry game that both teams circle on the schedule yearly, and the added playoff implications only add more value. The Sounders have lost the last two games, so expect them to try to return the favor.
Score Prediction: Seattle Sounders FC 3, Portland Timbers 2