The Portland Timbers seem to be a little better than your average expansion franchise, but they haven't been great so far when away from home. They're probably going to struggle to play with the Seattle Sounders on the ground at Qwest Field tonight, but there is one significant advantage that the Timbers have over the Sounders, which Sidereal over at Sounder At Heart explains in his preview of the Cascadia Derby:
Portland's style of play is one that has always troubled the Sounders. Their offense largely comes from set pieces. Thanks to the delivery of Jack Jewsbury - who's developing into a poor man's Brad Davis - and the big trio of Kenny Cooper, Footy Danso, and Eric Brunner, any corner or dead ball within 40 yards of Kasey Keller will be a dangerous scoring opportunity. Though Seattle has improved on set piece defense recently, it's a problem that's hampered the team for most of its existence. The Timbers will be going down early and often to create set piece opportunities, and with three big targets the Sounders will have to rely on both centerbacks and some help from the target forward coming back to cover.
It's tough to see Portland scoring in buckets from open play tonight, but they will present a significant threat to Seattle on set pieces. Cooper, Danso, and Brunner are all massive men and they're all fantastic in the air.