The Seattle Sounders head to Providence Park on Saturday to take on the Portland Timbers (7:30 p.m. PT; MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app). Here are three matchups to watch:
Josh Atencio vs. Diego Chara
Homegrown Player Josh Atencio made his presence known last Saturday after scoring a banger from distance. While his first MLS career goal was the highlight of his contributions last weekend, he supported the team in defending, opening up space for his teammates to attack, and controlling the momentum of the game. Atencio will be going up against Timbers captain Diego Chara. The veteran central midfielder most recently became the first field player in league history to play all 30,000 minutes with one club. Chara is most notable for his defensive support in the midfield position; he currently leads the Timbers in tackles won with 11 and is second in interceptions with 12.
Jordan Morris vs. Zac McGraw
Jordan Morris continues to lead MLS in goals scored this season, making him a top contender to win the Golden Boot award at the end of the year. With eight goals already under his belt, Morris has already beaten his number of goals scored from last year (7). He will be facing center back Zac McGraw on Saturday. The Torrance, Calif. native currently leads his team in blocks (15) and clearances (43). His impact on the pitch was recognized in December when he received a contract extension through the 2025 season with a club option in 2026.
Yeimar vs. Dairon Asprilla
Yeimar’s ability to make defensive plays in crucial moments is a big reason why the team has been as successful as they’ve been this season. Whether it be clearing the ball in dangerous spaces, intercepting the ball from opposing players, or coming up big in 1v1 defending, the veteran center back is a main component in the Sounders backline. He will be going up against forward Dairon Asprilla this weekend in Portland. While Asprilla has yet to make the score sheet this season, he put up 10 goals in each of the two seasons prior to 2023.