Seattle Sounders-Portland Timbers: A rivalry is renewed

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June 28, 2015: Timbers' forward Darlington Nagbe (6) during Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers game in Providence Park in Portland,Oregon. (Photo by Rostislav Fursa/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)

PORTLAND, OREGON (May 13, 2018) — Rivalries are always head-turning matches. Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers have always been competitive, but in the last couple years, it’s escalated.

Why?

Both clubs traded bragging rights in 2015 and 2016.

Seattle Sounders-Portland Timbers: A rivalry is renewed

In 2015, the Portland Timbers claimed their first-ever MLS Cup championship over the Columbus Crew SC. Fast forward only one year later and Seattle lifted the trophy over Toronto FC.

Bragging rights have been exchanged and territory has been fought over. Chainsaws were revved when the Portland Timbers won their matches, while a burst of rave green circled stadiums when Seattle claimed victory.

This is a rivalry that is arguably one of the best in American soccer.

Today, the two sides will face off for the 100th time.

Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC
2018 MLS Regular Season
Providence Park
May 13, 2018 – 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET
Stream: ESPN+

What to Watch For

Stefan Frei

The Seattle Sounders goalkeeper has a big test against his rival.

Stefan Frei, who is having is a rough start to the season, is facing Portland attackers like Fanendo Adi, Diego Valeri, and Diego Chara.

Valeri is building off his successful 2017 campaign, scoring four goals and providing three assists in eight matches. Chara remains scoreless, but is on the hunt, while Adi has scored two goals and tallied two assists.

Frei’s defense has been shaky and the questionable calls of a three-man defense by Head Coach Brian Schmetzer has boggled many minds.

However, today, with the attack Portland has, a four-man defense is necessary.

The Injury Report

Seattle Sounders FC

The potential four-man defense will be without Román Torres.

The Panamanian defender has been listed as out with a right hamstring strain.

Also listed as out is Nicolás Lodeiro with a toe fracture. He joins Jordan Morris and Víctor Rodríguez on the injury list as out. Morris is still recovering from an ACL injury suffered in February. Meanwhile, Rodríguez recently underwent surgery on his right knee.

Only one player — Harry Shipp — is listed as questionable. Shipp is recovering from a right ankle sprain.

Portland Timbers FC

Seattle isn’t the only club with a big defensive loss.

Portland defender, and Costa Rican international, Roy Miller suffered a left Achilles tendon injury. Joining him on the “out” list is forward Jeremy Ebobisse, who is recovering from a right thigh injury.

Portland has three players listed as questionable.

Midfielder David Guzman is rehabbing a right knee injury, along with defender Bill Tuiloma. Meanwhile, defender Vytas is recovering from a right thigh injury.

Previous Meeting

Last year, the two sides met three times.

Seattle claimed a May 27, 2017 victory over Portland, with a goal from Cristian Roldan. During their last two matches, both sides fought to draws.

On June 25, 2017, Portland and Seattle drew 2-2. Adi and Dairon Asprilla scored for the home side while Joevin Jones, former Sounder, scored, as did Clint Dempsey.

On their final meeting of the season, on Aug. 27, 2017, another draw took place. This time the final score was 1-1.

Roldan scored once against Portland while Valeri added to his resume against Seattle.

Prediction: Portland 2, Seattle 2

It’s not going to be pretty, but it’s going to be entertaining.

While some fans of other popular American sports might argue that a draw is boring — there’s no winner after all — this match will be anything but.

The reason?

The fans.

Seattle and Portland have some of the most energetic fans in Major League Soccer. The tifos will be out in full force and the visitors will have a decent section.

It’s not going to help too much up the ladder in the Western Conference, but one point is better than nothing.

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