The Seattle Sounders are hosting the Portland Timbers this Saturday (7:30 p.m. PT; Watch on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS) in their third and final meeting of the regular season. Here are three matchups to watch:
Nouhou vs. Santiago Moreno
Whether it be taking players on 1-v-1 or making massive defensive plays in crucial moments of a match, Nouhou’s versatility on the pitch continues to stand out game after game. He’ll likely be facing winger Santiago Moreno this weekend, a player who was most recently named to the MLS Team of the Matchday for Matchday 29 after tallying a goal and an assist in the Timbers’ 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake.
Albert Rusnák vs. Diego Chara
Despite only playing in 45 minutes last match against Austin FC, Albert Rusnák was a major reason the Rave Green came away with a victory after scoring the game winner in the 90th minute. Wednesday’s goal was the third of the MLS regular season for Rusnák, who has been an key component of Seattle’s midfield across various positions this year. He’ll likely go up against Timbers talisman Diego Chara in Saturday night’s match. Now in his 13th season with Portland, the 37-year-old has started and played the full 90 minutes in every league game this year but one. The Sounders will need Rusnák to drag Chara out of position and limit his defensive influence in order to secure three points this weekend.
Raúl Ruidíaz vs. Zac McGraw
Raúl Ruidíaz will have fresh legs coming into this weekend after being rested during the midweek match against Austin FC. The Peruvian forward is considered one of the Sounders’ most vital pieces in their offense, tallying four goals for the team so far this season. He’ll likely battle it out with center back Zac Mcgraw, who currently ranks No.1 in interceptions for the TImbers with 35.