Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Get ready for some more fireworks in Week 33.
Seattle Sounders. Portland Timbers. Round three. Fight.
Get ready for another Cascadia clash in Week 33. This time, the city of Portland will serve as the backdrop for the most intense rivalry in MLS.
For Seattle, Sunday night's clash with the Timbers will be the club's third opportunity to clinch a playoff berth in the Western Conference. The Sounders have failed miserably in their previous two attempts, being out scored 9-2 in the process.
Is the pressure getting to the Sounders?
After a crushing 4-1 loss at home, defender Djimi Traore thinks so. Jeremiah Oshan has his comments on MLS' official website:
I don't know, maybe it's the pressure of the end of the season, the playoffs, the first time the club is in position to win the shield. It's not easy to deal with it. But now we need to show some character and as experienced players we need to step up and drive the team.
Step up or be stepped on, Seattle.
The Timbers smell blood...and opportunity is knocking at their door.
Portland sits just two points behind Real Salt Lake for the top spot in the West. A pivotal three points would launch the moss-green club to the top of the conference with just two matches remaining.
Both clubs chase preeminent glory.
But only one will capture it after Week 33.
Three match notes to consider:
- This is the third and final match between the two clubs. The two played to a 1-1 draw in Week 3. The Sounders captured a 1-0 victory in Week 26.
- Both clubs are missing key contributors due to international duty. The Timbers are without Rodney Wallace, Ryan Johnson and Alvas Powell. Seattle is without Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans.
- Sounders defender Zach Scott is still serving a suspension due to a red card and yellow-card accumulation.
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