Three Key Match-Ups: at Timbers
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
The Sounders will look to bring the Cascadia Cup back to Seattle tonight. Here are the match-ups to focus on.
Sounders FC @ Portland Timbers
October 11, 2013, 6 pm PT; JELD-WEN Field
TV/Radio: ESPN; 97.3 FM; La Gran D 99.3 FM (Spanish)
The Cascadia Cup is on the line for Sounders FC as the club heads to Portland with hundreds of Seattle supporters in tow. A win, and those fans will hoist the trophy for the top team in the Northwest for the second time in three seasons. Anything else, and the cup goes to Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Here are three matchups to watch as Seattle vies for Northwest supremacy.
Clint Dempsey vs. Pa Modou Kah
In their last meeting at CenturyLink Field, Sounders FC had little problem getting behind the Portland defense. When there was a threat of attack, the Timbers had difficulty slowing the tempo. When Seattle gets the ball to Dempsey, whether that comes in a starting role or off the bench, he will need to go at Kah to put Seattle in advantageous situations.
Osvaldo Alonso vs. Diego Chara
These are two of the best defensive midfielders in MLS and on Sunday, they are both sure to cover a lot of ground at JELD-WEN Field. Both consistently are among the top in the league in tackles and possession-winning while also toeing the line between aggressive and reckless, but always seem in control of themselves and the opposing attackers. They both provide the type of dynamic defensive play in the midfield that commands the attention of both the opposition and the fans – it truly can be a spectacle to watch.
Sigi Schmid vs. Caleb Porter
It’s the new kid on the Cascadia block against the old guard as Porter’s Timbers host Schmid’s Sounders. Nobody has won more games in MLS than Schmid and he has a résumé that includes two MLS Cup titles and two Supporters’ Shields, as well as four U.S. Open Cup titles. Porter, like Schmid, was highly successful at the college level before turning to the pro ranks and this year made a smooth transition in Portland. Sounders FC and the Timbers are within one point of each other in the Western Conference standings and on Sunday both teams will be without players because of injuries and international duty, testing the coaching mettle of both men.