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Match Preview: Caps vs Timbers

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Decision Day showdown

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Timbers (12-13-8) 44pts,  7th place Western Conference

vs

Vancouver Whitecaps (9-15-9) 36pts, 9th place Western Conference


At stake:  The Cascadia Cup

It all comes down to this:  a victory by 3 goals for the Caps gives them the Cascadia Cup.  Any other result sees the Cup make the trip to Portland for the first time since 2012. A Portland win clinches a playoff spot in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.  A draw or loss  means things get confusing as their fate will be determined by what Seattle and Sporting KC do in their respective matches.

Here's what we know for sure:
Portland will be without Diego Chara (defensive mid) and Liam Ridgewell (centreback) because of yellow card accumulation.  Nagbe played a full 90 on Wednesday against Saprissa, as well as Andriuskevicius and Powell. There were also an injury concern around Diego Valeri and was held out of midweek.  Maybe he was just being rested.

The Caps are returning home to close a disappointing season, hopefully with a Cascadia Cup win to go along with the top seed in the CONCACAF Champions League QF round.  With a training pitch dustup involving David Ousted openly questioning the fight level in Pedro Morales, this match, if nothing else, could be a big indicator to Robbo and the fanbase as to who wants to be here.

Their most recent result, a scoreless draw in San Jose, was uninspiring to say the least.  I'm not sure what will be required in order for them to score 3 goals but any added incentive should come with potentially having a helping hand in seeing Portland fall short.  I would expect to see their best 11, although I'm not quite sure what that looks like.

With Chara and Ridgewell missing, and a lot of guys on short rest, it's hard to know what sort of starting 11 Porter will put out there with everything on the line, and potentially another match mid-week.

Either way, the Cascadia Cup will be awarded Sunday afternoon.