PORTLAND TIMBERS v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC, Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR), Oakland, CA

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Rave Green. Prepare to strap yourselves in for a Sunday fixture at high noon against the auld enemy, the Portscum Treecutters, at Morrison Street, Portland, Oregon. The Treecutters poach our potential recruits (see Familiar Faces), and had the nerve to win an MLS Cup before we could. This is, of course, unacceptable. We have to link up the Sounders Family, not just ECS away support at Morrison Street, but at viewing parties spanning the entirety of the American expanse. Link it up. Seek out your brothers and sisters in Rave Green. Give someone a lift to a viewing party. For today, we engage not just another rabble side of the MLS, but the auld enemy. The Treecutters. Raise your glasses in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!! UP THE SOUNDERS!!! DESTROY THE TREECUTTERS!!!

The Good News
Sounders devastated top of the league, FC Dallas last week by a score of  5:0. Our defense has outplayed Portland’s this season allowing nine fewer goals. Overall, Sounders FC are dominating this series at 7-4-3. Though Dempsey is ineligible for selection, Morris is eminently eligible for selection and has been on a goalscoring tear. Let’s hope it continues. Seattle Manager, Sigi Schmid has a vastly better record against Portland (7-4-3), than Treecutter’s Manager, Caleb Porter has against Seattle (2-2-5).

The Bad News
Dempsey’s phantom foul against the Dallas sees him suspended for the Pacific Northwest Derby. This is a massive loss, for as Wondolowski and Keane are Seattle’s kryptonite, Dempsey is Portland’s having scored six goals against the Treecutters in league play. Portland are unbeaten in their last eight matches. Portland’s goal output this season exceeds ours by a count of 10 goals. We have only two wins in our last six matches. Of the 11 Seattle players to score a goal against Portland, only three are still with the club: Alonso, Dempsey, and Evans. Of the three, Dempsey is suspended and Evans is nursing a calf injury.

The Rest
With a win today, we may be able to leapfrog Orlando City and DC United, provided they drop the points from their matches. This would move us from 17th in the table to 15th. Treecutters manager Caleb Porter has managed to piece together a squad by out recruiting us in our own back yard (at least two players in his current squad played for UDub), by raiding the cupboards of United States youth teams (as he used to coach USA U-17s), and by collecting the odd castoffs of foreign national teams. In short, the Treecutters have a dangerous combination of experience, youth, and lethal finishing.

Familiar Faces
Portland goalkeeper, Jake Gleeson was offered a trial with the Sounders in 2010 but the New Zealand man declined in favor of a guaranteed contract offered by the former USL incarnation of the Portland Timbers as they were preparing to make their MLS debut. Portland defender, Taylor Peay played seven times for the Sounders U-23s from 2011- 2012. Peay also played at UW for the Huskies for his entire collegiate career. Portland midfielder, Andy Thoma spent his entire NCAA career at UW Huskies making over 80 appearances in the team. Also played 25 times for Washington Crossfire in the PDL.

Selections for Last Match
Sounders FC: Frei, Fisher, Evans, Marshall, Jones, Alonso, Roldan, Friberg, Morris, Dempsey, Ivanschitz.

Bench: Miller (gk), Remick, Farfan, Kovar, Alfaro, Gomez, Anderson.

Portland: Gleeson, Powell, Borchers, Ridgewell, Valentin, Nagbe, Zemanski, Jewsbury, Melano, McInerney, Adi.

Bench: Hamilton (gk), Taylor, Grabavoy, Peay, Barmby, Brett, Okugo.

Injury List
Seattle-
OUT: Torres (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Evans (calf).

Portland-
OUT: Kwarasey (torn ligament in finger), Mattocks (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Valeri (ankle), expected to start.

Discipline
Seattle: Dempsey (sent off).
Alonso out with next booking.

Portland: none.
Powell out with next booking.

Fun Fact
No love lost: Part 2 – This time it’s personal. Though the sides have only met in 14 league matches, Portland have been booked 26 times, and Seattle 28. Each side has seen two men sent off in league play. I predict a wooly match. Buckle up.

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