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Weeks after smashing the Portland Timbers 6-2 away from home, the Seattle Sounders are now set to host their bitter rivals this Sunday at Lumen Field.
Seattle have been imperious in August, and heading into the weekend, they’ll be charging in as the current leaders of the Western Conference table.
Portland, on the other hand, are winless since that 6-2 loss and are expected to be the heavy underdogs.
In what will be another exciting edition of this Cascadian rivalry, expect Seattle to run away with this one.
|Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers Information|
|Teams||Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers|
|Location||Lumen Field (Seattle, Washington)|
|Time||Sunday, August 29th at 7:30pm PT/10:30pm ET|
|How to Watch||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
Scoring six goals in an away game is always an incredible feat, but what’s even more impressive is if you do it against your rivals.
That’s exactly what Seattle did earlier this month in their 6-2 demolition of Portland.
What’s perhaps more noteworthy — and disappointing for Timbers fans — is that Portland outshot Seattle 21 to 15 in the match.
And yet it was the Sounders, efficient as always, who turned a 2-2 match in the 52nd minute to an eventual 6-2 victory.
Looking at Portland, things haven’t improved much since then.
They’ve followed up the performance with a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City and a 3-1 loss to Austin FC.
As for Seattle, their dominance has continued with two more away wins: 1-0 over FC Dallas and 2-1 against the Columbus Crew.
At time of writing, they’re back in 1st in the Western Conference and looking like one of the most in-form teams in MLS.
Following some slight stumbles in July, Seattle are now back to their point-stealing ways with three consecutive victories and an undefeated streak that stretches back to their last five games in all competitions.
In dramatic form, they recently showcased their never-say-die attitude after securing two late goals last week in their 2-1 away win over the Columbus Crew.
After initially going down 1-0 in the 77th minute, Seattle powered through with goals in the 87th and 89th minute.
It was incredible to see, and under the leadership of manager Brian Schmetzer, Seattle are constantly a menace for most other teams that have failed to hold them back.
Portland have been struggling with stopping opposition from creating chances.
At time of writing before the start of the weekend, the Timbers currently have the second-worst xGA (expected goals) tally in MLS with a total of 37.4 — just narrowly ahead of LA Galaxy’s 37.9.
They’ve allowed a whopping total of 17 goals in just their last six matches as well.
And it’s not just the defense either.
When occasionally watching the Timbers, you get a sense that it’s more of a complete team breakdown as opposed to just the defense that’s having problems.
The midfield and attack sometimes seem to leave the backline out to dry, and with confidence sinking through most of the summer, that defense then falters.
Unfortunately for Portland, Seattle’s Raul Ruidiaz has had a brilliant season so far.
The Peruvian striker has 14 goals in 21 appearances, and in just his last three MLS games, he’s collected three goals for the Sounders.
Capable of scoring dramatic goals during high-profile games, the crafty 31-year-old should easily steal the spotlight this weekend with a standout performance.
Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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