Timbers try to salvage season in clash with Seattle

The Portland Timbers haven't had too much to take away from this season.

The club hasn't been a factor in the playoff race this season and sits only two points off the bottom in the Western Conference.

But despite a mostly forgettable campaign, Timbers striker Bright Dike has called Sunday's match at Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle Sounders FC a "huge game".

Portland is winless in its last five matches and has yet to claim a win away from home in 15 away contests this season.

However, a win at CenturyLink Field against Seattle on Sunday would clinch the Cascadia Cup for the Timbers and give the players and fans something to take into the offseason.

"It's a chance for us to take that Cascadia Cup and get something out of the season," Dike said of Sunday's game. "And any time you have a chance to beat the Seattle Sounders and take a cup away from them and give it to our fans it's a great opportunity. And it would be a great positive for our team."

"We haven't had the best season, but it would be something positive to take toward the next season. And that's what we're looking for, is to keep building on each performance."

For Seattle, the match is more than just another Cascadia clash, it also has playoff implications for the Sounders.

Seattle sits in fourth place entering the weekend, but is only one point back of Los Angeles and three behind Real Salt Lake with a game in hand on each side.

Those teams will play Saturday, so Seattle will have the chance to move closer to securing a top three place and avoid having to play a one-game wild card playoff.

The Sounders are winless in their last three home games, but the team will need to be plenty focused down the stretch because after facing Cascadia rivals Portland, the club will face three potential playoff teams in Real Salt Lake, FC Dallas and Los Angeles.

That string of matches to end the season is something that coach Sigi Schmid feels is important, because it will give his side a chance to get a good rhythm going before the postseason.

"It certainly helps us and keeps us in a rhythm of playing important games, so we can't relax and have an easy game," Schmid said of his team's final four games. "Every game is going to be a game that's going to require concentration and attention from the team, which is good because it keeps you sharp going into the playoffs. Playing those teams is good, it's a good measuring stick for them and for us, and there's still a lot at stake in terms of seeding and where you end up."