US Open Cup: MLSsoccer.com takes a closer look at the tactical showdown for the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake

MLSsoccer.com's analysts look at the passing, shooting and formational match-ups

In the words of Matt Doyle, MLSsoccer.com's Armchair Analyst, "Possession matters in soccer. And this year, the two best possession teams are the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake." In the video above, Doyle discusses how Portland's 4-3-3 formation and RSL's diamond midfield 4-4-2 match up in surprisingly similar ways for tonight's U.S. Open Cup semifinal (6:30pm PT, ROOT SPORTS, 750 The Game). Both teams win the ball quickly and work to turn that possession into shots on target.

Devin Pleuler, MLSsoccer.com's Central Winger analyst, broke it down even further with some very specific diagrams and numbers that he feels will translate into "a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse."

Want more analysis? Last night's Talk Timbers episode on 750 The Game brought in a coterie of people to discuss Wednesday night's match. Timbers assistant coach Amos Magee along with defender/midfielder Jack Jewsbury plus the tonight's ROOT SPORTS match announcer Christian Miles and analyst Brian Dunseth. Listen to the podcast version of their discussion here or download it on iTunes.