Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders: Preview and Prediction

Portland Timbers welcome Seattle Sounders in an MLS clash at Providence Park on Sunday.

Set to reignite their rivalry, the Portland Timbers and the Seattle Sounders clash at Providence Park for their first encounter of the 2024 MLS season with a playoff spot potentially on the line.

Both teams are tied on points so far this season, with Portland Timbers coming off a 2-0 loss to Charlotte FC, while the Sounders played out a goalless draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Portland Timbers’ season, which started promisingly, has turned into a string of frustrations, as they have endured an eight-match winless streak in MLS. Phil Neville’s side face the possibility of setting a new club record for the longest winless run in the regular season if they fail to secure maximum points on Sunday.

Despite struggles to capitalise on leads and a vulnerability defensively, Portland has showcased an entertaining style of football, leading the Western Conference in goals scored. However, their defensive frailty has seen them concede the second-most goals in MLS.

In contrast, Seattle Sounders have shown resilience in recent matches, extending their unbeaten run in MLS to two games. While they have been less solid defensively away from home, conceding most of their goals outside Lumen Field, a win this weekend could mark their first two-match winning streak on the road since last season.

Seattle’s last regular-season defeat when leading at half-time dates back to August 2022, highlighting their ability to maintain leads. However, they are winless in their last six MLS encounters against the Timbers and have not won at Providence Park since August 2021. The Hard Tackle delves into the potential elevens and tactics for this highly-anticipated clash.

Team News & Tactics

Portland Timbers

Eric Miller was sidelined due to illness and sat on the bench during the Timbers’ last game. But he is expected to be back in contention for Sunday’s match. However, Marvin Loria remains unavailable as he continues his recovery from knee surgery.

Evander missed the previous contest against Charlotte but is likely to be fit for Sunday’s clash. Additionally, Diego Chara is set to return from suspension, providing a boost to the team’s midfield.

The home side are expected to line up in a 4-2-3-1 system, with Maxime Crepeau in goal. He should be protected by the back four of Juan Mosquera, Kamal Miller, Zac McGraw, and Claudio Bravo.

Cristhian Paredes and David Ayala should form the midfield pivot, with Santiago Moreno, Eryk Williamson, and Evander pushing forward. Antony should start upfront for Portland.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Crepeau; Mosquera, Kamal Miller, McGraw, Bravo; Paredes, Ayala; Moreno, Williamson, Evander; Antony

Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders: Preview and Prediction.

Seattle Sounders

Nathan was sidelined with a quad injury, Pedro de la Vega continued to be unavailable due to a hamstring strain, and Braudilio Rodrigues was also absent due to a sore right hamstring during the Sounders’ clash against LA.

However, Alex Roldan is set to return from suspension, providing a boost to the team’s midfield. Despite a minor hip problem, Danny Musovski came on as a substitute, and Reed Baker-Whiting made his return to the field after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Stefan Frei returned as the goalkeeper last weekend, achieving his 108th career MLS clean sheet. Additionally, Georgi Minoungou earned his first career MLS cap last time around.

The visitors are likely to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Stefan Frei in goal behind the back four of Cristian Roldan, Jackson Ragen, Yeimar Gomez Andrade and Nouhou Tolo.

Joao Paulo and Josh Atencio should form the double pivot, freeing up Obed Vargas, Albert Rusnak, and Jordan Morris upfield. Raul Ruidiaz should start furthest upfield in the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Frei; Cristian Roldan, Andrade, Ragen, Tolo; Paulo, Atencio; Vargas, Rusnak, Morris; Ruidiaz

Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders: Preview and Prediction.

Ways to Watch

Key Stats

  • Seattle Sounders last lost a regular season game in MLS when they were leading at half-time in August,2022.
  • Seattle Sounders have not lost to Portland in their last six matches in MLS.
  • Victory on the night will see Seattle Sounders win two consecutive games on the road for the first time this season.
  • Only eight teams have conceded more goals than Seattle Sounders in MLS this season.

Player to Watch

Raul Ruidiaz

Embed from Getty Images

The Seattle Sounders star will be aiming to maintain his impressive form and will hope to once again make a difference on the field. With six goals in 11 MLS matches this season, the Peruvian striker is poised to be the primary attacking threat for the home team.

No other Seattle Sounders player comes close to Ruidiaz’s numbers this season, once again displaying the Peruvian’s importance to the team. Should they come away trumps on the night, Ruidiaz will have a big role to play.


Portland Timbers 2-1 Seattle Sounders

Portland Timbers consistently elevate their intensity levels whenever they face off against Seattle, and we anticipate witnessing a similar high-energy performance from them in this upcoming clash. With Seattle Sounders showcasing a knack for generating scoring opportunities but struggling to convert them into goals, Portland will likely look to capitalise on their opponent’s offensive shortcomings.

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