Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers | 2020 MLS Match Preview
2020 MLS Regular Season – Week 20
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers
CenturyLink Field – Seattle
October 22 – 10:30 PM ET
TV: FS1, FOX Deportes
STREAMING: MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada
The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers renew their intense rivalry when the Cascadia foes square off at CenturyLink Field Thursday night. As if added motivation was needed, first place in the Western Conference is on the line in this fourth matchup this season with both teams level at 31 points.
The Sounders (9W-4L-4D) are coming off a 0-0 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes and although its back-to-back games without a win, they have just one loss in their last five games. The Timbers (9W-5L-4D) conceded a late equalizer to settle for a 1-1 draw against LAFC at Providence Park. Also winless in their last two, Portland have lost just once in their last eight.
Both teams have taken three points on the road from their rival this season in the first two encounters while Yimmi Chara scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory at Providence Park on Sept. 23 in the last showdown.
In stark contrast to a 7-1 drubbing in the last meeting, Seattle and San Jose played to a goalless draw Sunday at Earthquakes Stadium. After the draw, San Jose coach Matias Almeyda called Nico Lodeiro "the best player in the league."
"They really had an intelligent game, the players had a magnificent delivery, where you couldn’t tell they played four days ago," Almeyda added. "I believe with this concentration, with this attitude, and this mobility, that this is a team we like to see and want to see."
After the game Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer confirmed an earlier report that Handwalla Bwana is being traded to Nashville SC.
"I think it was a strong opinion from [general manager] Garth [Lagerwey] and myself that we would have preferred to keep Bwana here," Schmetzer said. "He's got some talent. He was a Homegrown player, we certainly have a strong commitment to our Homegrown process. But if a player doesn't want to be here, then sometimes we just have to make decisions that are best for both club and player."
Jeremy Ebobisse struck early in the second half, but 16-year-old Christian Torres scored late for LAFC to keep the Timbers from claiming sole possession of first place. Ebobisse left the match, adding an apparent injury to the insult of two dropped points.
“We have to right now continue to make sure that we learn from this match, move to the next game, be able to be strong the next game," Giovanni Savarese said after the match. "We play in Seattle, which is the team that is on top of the table with us, depending how results were. I haven’t checked the results. But we need to be ready to make sure that we don’t get to Decision Day to try and make the playoff, that we get to Decision Day and try to clinch the top of the table and that’s what we’re looking for. That’s what we’re fighting for and that’s what we’re competing for.”
Series Matchup at Sounders
- Sounders: 7 wins, 20 goals
- Timbers: 3 wins, 12 goals
- 3 draws