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After winning their opening game of the season, Portland Timbers have gone six games without a win. In their last five matches, Portland Timbers have lost three and drawn two. Last week, they suffered this campaign’s fourth defeat against Vancouver Whitecaps.
Seattle Sounders FC’s performance, on the other hand, have been contrasting. After losing against FC Cincinnati in the first half of March, the side have dodged defeat in their last four games. In the last two away matches, Seattle Sounders FC have scored six goals and conceded just two.
Portland Timbers have won the last three encounters between these two sides. However, this is the perfect occasion for Seattle Sounders FC to end that small streak with a convincing victory. The momentum is with the visitors, as the hosts look extremely shaky.
There is a lot of history between these two sides as they have clashed 38 times in the MLS. Portland Timbers have the better record as they have secured all three points on 17 occasions, while Seattle Sounders FC have won 14 times. Only seven out of the 38 games have ended in a draw.
In the last five meetings, Portland Timbers have won three, all of which have come in the last three encounters. The hosts have won half of the 20 encounters between these two sides at the Providence Park. Seattle Sounders FC's record at the venue is not too shoddy, as they have won seven.
In recent times, Providence Park has been a happy hunting ground for Seattle Sounders FC. In the last six games at this venue, Portland Timbers have only managed to win twice, while Seattle Sounders FC have won four games, with a fifth on the cards in the next match.
Portland Timbers won the MLS in 2015 and finished as runners-up in 2018 and 2021. They have always been considered a challenging club to face. However, the side missed out on playoffs last season, and the current form foreshadows another poor finish this season.
The club is currently on a six-game winless streak in the MLS. Their only win this season came in the opener against Sporting Kansas City, who are sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference without a single win this season.
The last time Portland Timbers went six games without a win was at the start of the 2019 MLS season. That streak also marked their previous longest winless streak of seven games which they could match if they fail to clinch all three points against Seattle Sounders FC.
So far this season, Portland Timbers have played three games at Providence Park. They won the first against Sporting Kansas City before losing the second to St. Louis City SC. In the third home encounter, Portland Timbers settled for a 0-0 draw against fellow strugglers LA Galaxy.
Last season, despite missing out on the playoffs, Portland Timbers must have been proud of their record at home. The club lost only three out of 17 home games scoring 28 goals and conceding 19. Their away record was horrendous as they only won three out of 17 away games.
Five players the Portland Timbers would have liked to utilize in different areas of the pitch this season are all sidelined due to injuries. Midfielder Cristhian Paredes suffered a hamstring injury last month and is still out of action.
Winger Marvin Loria also suffered a hamstring injury a few weeks ago before midfielder Yimmi Chara suffered the same fate a few days later. The trio is accompanied by striker Felipe Mora and midfielder Sebastian Blanco on the sidelines. Both are out with knee injuries.
After a flying start this season, Seattle Sounders FC will be out on the hunt for silverware. The side came extremely close to defending their two MLS titles of 2016 and 2019 but were left one step shy on both occasions as they finished as runners-up.
However, last season was one to forget for Seattle Sounders FC after they finished 11th in the Western Conference after winning only 12 out of 34 games all season. In addition to that, they only won three away games last season - a tally they can match if they beat Portland Timbers.
The battle for the MLS crown is expected to be tough this season, with several teams hungry for it. In such a circumstance, the MLS Supporters’ Shield could be a good addition to the Seattle Sounders FC’s trophy cabinet this season. They have not won it since their first in 2014.
After keeping four clean sheets in seven games, Seattle Sounders FC have conceded just three goals so far. The only team that has conceded lesser goals is Nashville, who have let in two. The goals-per-match ratio of Seattle Sounders FC is 2.1, while their goals concession ratio is 0.4 per match.
Due to statistics like these, Seattle Sounders FC are sitting at the top of the table in the Western Conference. In goal, shot-stopper Stefan Frei has a brilliant save percentage of 85.7 percent, which is the second-best in the MLS this season, only behind Nashville’s Joe Willis.
Portland Timbers will have to keep an eye out for long balls to Jordan Morris during the game. Seattle Sounders FC’s accurate long balls per match average is 36.1, which is the best in the MLS this season, while Morris is the league’s top scorer with eight goals in seven games.
Winger Leo Chu has further boosted the team's attacking prowess with his four assists and a solitary goal so far. Three out of his four assists came in the side’s 4-1 win over Sporting Kansas City in March. He also scored and assisted in the 2-1 win over LA Galaxy.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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