The Seattle Sounders will face the Portland Timbers in a historic matchup in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as they play their first ever match at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Wash.
The Sounders head into this year’s Open Cup having won it four times, but not since 2014. The Timbers have never won the Open Cup.
OUT: GK – Aljaz Ivacic (left tibial stress fracture 2/15, out 6-8 weeks)
REF: Alex Chilowicz
AR1: Baboucarr Jallow
AR2: Cameron Siler
4TH: Chipalo Street
Usually this section is reserved for 2 to 4 keys to the game. Instead, we did a round of questions with Will Conwell from Stumptown Footy.
SAH: This will be the fourth time since 2014 that the Sounders have hosted the Timbers in the Open Cup. Their previous two meetings happened in 2009 and 2010 in Portland. Needless to say, that’s a lot. Is there a bit of fatigue in Portland having to face your nearest rival so often in this tournament?
STF: In a word: yes.
In three words: good lord, yes.
Look, it will be an entertaining game. The animus between the two teams will not somehow be diluted. The eye-roll-inducing fatigue that fans feel each time these teams are forced together will go away as soon as the first ball is kicked.
Still, the magic of the cup competitions comes from the buildup to the match. The amateur team making a run and taking on professional opposition; the ambitious USL side looking to prove themselves against the big boys of MLS; and even the two rivals meeting in a do-or-die match with cup glory on the line are all great moments that we should look forward to from the Open Cup. But we don’t get that.
SAH: The Open Cup has not been historically kind to the Timbers. Is there an overarching reason for that, or is it just down to happenstance?
We get another random, mid-week, summer match with no investment and somehow even lower stakes than a regular league match. Until the match starts, of course.
STF: Well, playing away at Seattle (or or even San Jose) is not exactly the easiest start to any Open Cup run.
That said, it is not like the Timbers have historically undervalued the Open Cup. As one should expect from an organization run by Gavin Wilkinson, the Timbers always try to extract maximum value from the Cup giving as many minutes to reserves and young players as they think they can while still putting up a competitive side for the opposition that they are expecting. Sometimes that means just running out the first choice XI and sometimes that means basically fielding a starting lineup that would look more at home at a T2 match.
SAH: How strong of a lineup do you expect the Timbers to roll out? Predictions?
Sometimes that has worked out for them. Sometimes it decidedly has not.
The Timbers have amassed a 9-8 record in the Open Cup since joining MLS back in 2011, which is… fine. Not good. Not bad. Just fine.
STF: …read more
Source:: Daily times