The Seattle Sounders did great to score once in the first leg in Portland and will now take this tie at home. The Cascadia rivals are clashing against one another in the semi-finals of the Western Conference, and Portland won the first leg at home by 1-2. This gives Seattle great hopes to qualify to the next round, as the smallest of wins can see them through. Portland will try to defend whatever advantage they took from the first leg but will probably have to look for a goal here.
Date/Time: 11-8-2018, 23:30 EDT
Spread: Portland Timbers +0.75
Total: 2.75 Goals
The Seattle Sounders should really be feeling grateful about the outcome of the first leg in Portland. They played with their usual 4-2-3-1 formation with Tolo and Leerdam as the full backs, Kim and Marshall at the center backs. Alonso, Svensson, Rodriguez, Roldan and Lodeiro manned the midfield with Ruidiaz up top. Ruidiaz actually took the lead for Seattle at the 10th minute, but Portland pulled even at the 17th minute. The Timbers overturned the lead in their favor at the 29th , and the Sounders were forced to use two substitutions before the first half was over because Roldan and Marshall were injured. The Sounders managed to avoid conceding more goals and now have a strong lead ahead of the second leg at home. They were pretty solid there all season (10-5-2) and won eight of their last nine matches there.
On the other hand, the Portland Timbers were not very bad in the first half, it was more like the Sounders lucking out. They scored in their only shot on target but the Timbers didn’t back down. They had already overturned the lead in their favor by the half-hour mark with goals by Ebobisse and Blanco. Portland were not very good in the second half, as the Sounders chose to shut the match down and settle for the 1-2. Portland struggled to get results on the road this season (4-8-5), scoring 24 goals in the process, while conceding 35. To make matters worse, the Timbers won just two of their last 10 away matches (2-6-2), keeping just a single clean sheet in that span. But they were consistent scorers as well, as they only failed to score twice.
The last time these two met in this venue was in the regular season, where Portland actually won by 3-2. But that was just their second win in 15 matches in this venue (2-8-5), and their first since 2013. The Sounders have been really good as hosts but have only kept one clean sheet in their last seven against Portland.
The Timbers will surely look to defend their lead first, but they will also open themselves in search of a goal. The Sounders will take control of the match and will be boosted by the home crowd. Judging by how the two teams have played this season, there is a good possibility that we will have goals from both sides. But I will go with the home team to cover the spread here, as they continue to dominate their Cascadia rivals.
MLS Playoffs Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers Prediction: Seattle Sounders -0.75 (-102)
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