The biggest game on the Decision Day schedule for MLS is a matchup that serves almost as a play-in game for the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs. Which team in the Western Conference will do what it needs to do in order to secure its spot in the postseason?
Portland is currently in sixth place in the Western Conference standings with 46 points, but the Timbers are just a point ahead of FC Dallas and two points ahead of the Earthquakes. With their regular-season finale at home, they need a win or draw to lock down a playoff spot. In their last six matches at home, they have gone 2-2-2, as they struggle for consistency in a house that is usually a fortress. Diego Valeri and Diego Chara will need to get the team going offensively. Steve Clark has done it all in goal, but the defense needs to play its best match of the season if the Timbers want to be in the field when the playoffs start later this month.
San Jose Earthquakes
The Earthquakes were as high as second place not too long ago, but they have lost five in a row and eight of their last 10 matches to fall all the way to eighth in the Western Conference. Still, a win will get them into the playoffs. If there was a match where the Earthquakes needed the production of Chris Wondolowski, it’s this one. Jackson Yueill will need to keep the San Jose offense rolling in the middle, but it’s the defense that will need to pitch a shutout.
Prediction: Portland 3-1 (+1400)
The Timbers will have the home crowd behind them, and they’re not going to disappoint again. San Jose looks to be out of steam, and it’s a match that will be close through most of the match before the Timbers turn it into a party in Portland.