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Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders Preview | MLS Soccer Free Pick

MLS Soccer Predictions – Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders

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Onto the week’s MLS preview and prediction for the week.

Matchup: Portland Timbers v Seattle Sounders
Date: Saturday, May 14, 2011
Time: Kick-off: 11:00 PM EST
Venue: Qwest Field in Seattle, WA.
TV: ESPN
MLS Fixture Betting Lines and Odds from Bodog
Money Line: Portland +330, Seattle -120, Draw +220
Spread: OFF
Over/Under: Over 2.5 (-105), Under 2.5 (-133)

Click Here for MLS MATCHUP Stats —>
BET ON Portland vs. Seattle HERE

An old rivalry extinguished in 2008, will be reignited as the Seattle Sounders hosts the expansion Portland Timbers at Qwest Field for the first time this Major League Soccer season in Saturday night’s Cascadia Cup Match.

The Cascadia Cup, a silver trophy representing the long-standing rivalry between the Timbers, Sounders, and the Vancouver Whitecaps, currently resides in northeast Portland, awaiting its Major League Soccer debut. Portland has claimed the trophy for the past two seasons in competition with the Whitecaps, but now that Vancouver and the Timbers have joined the MLS this season, the cup again will be contested by all three teams.

This will be the first of six regular season games featuring two sides that have a long history against each other, dating back to May 2, 1975, the Timbers’ inaugural game in the NASL. The clubs have faced one another in the NASL, Western Soccer League, A-League/USL First Division, and now MLS.

However, these teams are no strangers in MLS either, as Portland beat their Pacific Northwest cousin 2-0 in a preseason match back on March 4, in Tukwila, Washington.

Portland comes into this weekend’s match winners of four of its past five games including back-to-back league victories against Real Salt Lake and the Philadelphia Union. Futty Danso scored the lone goal for the Timbers in a 1-0 victory over the Union last Friday night. Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins continued to remain strong in net and has not allowed a goal in 203 minutes — the longest active streak in MLS.

Both of those victories came at Portland’s Jeld-Wen Field, where the Timbers are a perfect 4-0. However, they are winless away from home, and this weekend’s match represents a chance for Portland to secure its first Major League Soccer road victory.

As for Seattle, they are coming off a 1-1 draw on the road against the Columbus Crew last Saturday. Goalkeeper Kasey Keller made four saves in the second half.

The two sides are tied for fourth place in the Western Conference standings with 13 points each—except the Timbers have reached that mark in two fewer games–so both could use a victory.

Seattle has struggled mid-table and are handicapped without injured forward Steve Zakuani, as well as forward O’Brian White and midfielders Mauro Rosales and Brad Evans who missed the Sounders’ last match with a leg injury.

Boss Sigi Schmid will need to make some adjustments as they try to provide good defensive cover against a Portland team that that can play direct with some good speed up front, and a good mix of players.

They’re a big team, with Kenny Cooper, Danso, Eric Brunner, and midfielder Jack Jewsbury.

Seattle must limit the number of times Jewsbury lines up alone behind the ball.

The Timbers have conceded only nine goals this season, but at times, the backline has looked soft. That could play to the Sounders’ advantage. Though they have given up 14 goals (tied with the New York Red Bulls for second most in MLS), the Sounders have also scored 12 goals and will need to try to knock the ball around, getting forward in numbers, while not being afraid to counterattack.

Matt’s Free Prediction: It will be a night of songs, chants, and taunts that will start long before the opening kickoff and continue until the last fans leave the building. A win in this match will be worth more than three points. I expect both teams to battle hard to a 2-2 draw.

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Matt Martz is a sportswriter for the Bakersfield Californian, the Oregonian, Springfield Republican, Sacramento Bee, and the San Diego Union Tribune. I leave handicapping to the pros. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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