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Seattle vs. Portland Preview | MLS Soccer Free Pick

MLS Soccer Predictions – Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers

From the day Portland entered the MLS, Timbers’ fans have anticipated this match—Seattle’s first trip to JELD-WEN Field.

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Matchup: Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers
Date: Sunday, July 10, 2011
Time: Kick-off: 4:00 PM EST
Venue: JELD-WEN Field in Portland, OR.
TV: ESPN
MLS Fixture Betting Lines and Odds from Bodog
Money Line: Seattle +145, Portland +165 Draw +220
Spread: Seattle Pick -120
Over/Under: 2 ½

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That vision now becomes a reality, as Portland host the Sounders in what many believe will be a match that will produce the most intense atmosphere in MLS history on Sunday.

On the pitch, Seattle would seem to have the clear advantage. The side is 4-0-3 in their past seven, but saw their winning streak come to an abrupt end after posting a scoreless draw at the LA Galaxy on July 4.

The draw moved held Seattle into third place in the Western Conference, having taken 32 points from 20 games on the season, and extended their unbeaten streak away from Qwest Field to five games (2-0-3). They have now not allowed a goal in 273 minutes on their travels.

It was a picture perfect outing for the Galaxy’s Brian Perk who made his MLS debut in goal and was quickly put to the test when Fredy Montero had an early opportunity to put the Sounders out in front on a penalty shot. Perk guessed correctly diving to his right to deflect the ball away from the net for his first career save, keeping the sides level.

Montero was held scoreless, after returning to the starting lineup, missing the previous match with a quadriceps strain.

Seattle, keeper Kasey Keeler also put on a solid performance between the sticks, making two saves, both in the second half, the biggest in the 68th minute when he denied a curling shot from Juan Pablo Angel, en route to his sixth shutout of the season.

While Portland has slumped through a 0-5-1 stretch that includes a 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City at JELD-WEN Field last weekend. They will be up to the task of snapping their four game home losing streak while renewing their Cascadia Cup rivalry in front of what is expected to be a raucous Timber’s crowd.

The recent loss locks Portland in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference, after having taken just 18 points from 15 games.

After falling behind by two goals heading into the 20th minute of play, the Timbers Darlington Nagbe scored his first professional goal in stunning fashion just before halftime.

Nagbe corralled a corner that had been slapped down by Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, and after some fancy footwork, sent a curing shot just inside the left upright. It was so spectacular it made the No. 1 play of the weekend on ESPN’s Sports Center. [ad-3678122]

The Timbers have now allowed 28 goals this campaign, one shy of the league-high held by D.C. United and Toronto FC. They have surrendered nine goals in the past three games.

Something they will need to change if they want to walk away with the win in this year’s rubber match.

After much hype leading up to the team’s first meeting of the season, the two sides walked away from Qwest Field back in May, splitting the points and leaving the question of this resurrected rivalry without resolve after a 1-1 draw.

After a scoreless first half, the Sounders appeared to have taken rights to the debate when Alvaro Fernandez tucked in a left-footed shot inside Troy Perkins’ near post. But Portland pulled level on a set piece as Mamadou Danso flicked in a header off Jack Jewsbury’s sweeping free kick.

The clubs have a long history against each other, dating back to the North American Soccer League. In more recent times, the teams met in back-to-back years in the U.S. Open Cup, with the MLS Sounders defeating the D-II Timbers in both 2009 and 2010.

Matt’s Free Prediction: Portland- The Timbers are in struggling, Seattle is rolling, but I expect the atmosphere to propel the home side to win.

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