Date: Aug. 23, 2020
Kickoff: 7 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Forecast: Clear, 76 degrees
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Jeff Hosking, Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Tim Ford
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic
NATIONAL TV: FS1
Talent: John Strong (play-by-play), Stu Holden (analyst)
English Radio: 1029 and 750 the Game
Talent: Jake Zivin (play-by-play), Ross Smith (analyst)
Spanish Radio: La GranD (KGGD 93.5 FM, 1150 AM)
Entering Sunday’s regular-season match against the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders FC were eliminated in the Round of 16 of the MLS is Back Tournament after a 4-1 loss to LAFC on July 27. In five regular-season matches during the 2020 campaign, Jordan Morris leads the team with five goals scored and ranks tied for first with Cristian Roldan with two assists. Raúl Ruidíaz ranks second on Seattle with two goals scored. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei has logged two shutouts and 17 saves in five league appearances this year.
ALL-TIME SERIES NOTES
Sunday’s contest marks the 108th all-time meeting between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC since the 1975 season. Since the Timbers entered MLS in 2011, Sunday’s match will be the 34th match across all competitions between the two clubs, with the Timbers trailing the Sounders 13-14-6. In 18 regular season matches against the Sounders, Diego Valeri has tallied five goals and eight assists, while Diego Chara has played 21 regular-season matches against Seattle, which is tied for the most by any player (Osvaldo Alonso) in the fixture in the clubs’ MLS eras. Sunday’s match will be the sixth regular season game of the 2020 MLS season for the Timbers, who currently hold a 3-1-1 record. The 10 points through five matches is tied for the best ever start to an MLS regular season for Portland (2017).
MLS IS BACK TOURNAMENT RECAP
By winning the MLS is Back Tournament, the Timbers claimed their second major championship (MLS Cup - 2015) in the last six seasons. After the win, Major League Soccer announced that Sebastián Blanco, Diego Chara, Jeremy Ebobisse and Larrys Mabiala were named to the MLS is Back Tournament Best XI, with the tournament champions having the most players of any club represented in the Best XI. Blanco was named the MLS is Back Player of the Tournament after tallying three goals and five assists in seven appearances in the competition. Additionally, Andy Polo won the MLS is Back Goal of the Tournament, while Steve Clark won the MLS is Back Save of the Tournament based off fan voting. Notably, the Timbers finished the tournament with an undefeated record (5-0-2).
SEBA BLANCO AMONG MLS’ BEST
After tallying the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win against the Philadelphia Union in the semifinals of the MLS is Back Tournament on Aug. 5, Sebastián Blanco has now tallied 32 goals and 37 assists in 117 appearances (111 starts) for the Timbers across all competitions. Blanco was named the MLS is Back Player of the Tournament after finishing the competition with three goals and five assists in seven appearances. Additionally, Blanco finished tied with Diego Valeri for the most game-winning goals (2) in the tournament. Since the start of the 2017 MLS campaign, Blanco ranks second among all players in the league in chances created from open play (198), sixth in assists (33) and dribbles at- tempted (342), seventh in dribbles completed (164), tied for 15th in games played (99) and tied for 22nd in goals scored (25) during regular-season play.
VALERI CLOSING IN ON 80 GOALS/80 ASSISTS CLUB
With his game-winning goal against the Houston Dynamo on July 18, Diego Valeri now sits at 79 goals and 82 assists in 216 appearances (206 starts) in league play since joining the Timbers in 2013. Valeri needs one more goal to reach 80-plus goals and 80-plus assists for his career in regular-season play. Landon Donovan (145 goals, 136 assists) and Jaime Moreno (133 goals, 102 assists) are the only players in MLS history to reach 80-plus goals and 80-plus assists in their career during the regular season. Since making his debut for Portland in 2013, Valeri leads all MLS players in assists (82), ranks fifth in goals scored (79) and tied for seventh in games played (216) during regular-season play.
Larrys Mabiala scored the opening goal in the MLS is Back Tournament final on Aug. 11, later earning Best XI honors for the competition. In 85 appearances (85 starts) across all competitions for the Timbers, Mabiala has tallied eight goals and two assists. Since the start of the 2018 MLS regular season, Mabiala ranks tied for second amongst all defenders in the league (MIN - Ike Opara) in headed goals (5).
ERYK WILLIAMSON MAKING NOISE
Eryk Williamson tallied the game-winning assist on Dario Zuparic’s goal in a 2-1 win over Orlando City SC in the MLS is Back Tournament Final on Aug. 11. Williamson made seven appearances (6 starts) in the competition, ranking third on the team in assists (2) and fouls suffered (11). Notably, Williamson finished tied for first amongst all players with LAFC’s Brian Rodriguez for game-winning assists (2) during the MLS is Back Tournament.