UPDATE: This article is about the 2009 match. For information about the 2010 US Open Cup between Portland and Seattle: Match Day 06/30/2010: Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders
Wednesday, July 1st at 7pm the Portland Timbers take on the MLS Seattle Sounders in a third round US Open Cup match at PGE Park.
I’ve seen quite a few USL vs MLS matches over the years – in general there is not much difference in player quality between the better USL teams like this year’s Portland team, and an MLS side.
The best good-sized forwards with a knack for scoring don’t stay in the USL for long (see Gordon, Alan), but in all other positions the main differences are size and fitness, not skill (again, I’m talking only about the best USL teams); the MLS players are generally bigger and fitter (they train year round). The 2009 Timbers have good size, okay speed, considerable midfield skill, and play exceptional team defense so they should match up as well as any USL team against the MLS side. How the Timbers defend Seattle’s best playmakers (suggestion: smother them), and fitness will be the key. Gavin can counteract deficiency in fitness by using his substitutions wisely. Pore and McManus will be available for this game, Keita, Hayes, Suzuki, Farber, Cronin, and others are in excellent form. The Timbers won’t be going for a moral victory. This is going to be hell of a lot of fun. See you there!
Buy your tickets posthaste, as it appears this match may sell out!
At the opening match this season the Timbers Army took up full 6 sections, so I’d say we can safely double that for Wednesday’s game – it’s going to be quite the party!
I bought my 7 tickets the day the tickets went on sale, so I’m breathing a sigh of relief right now.