With the quick turn around and my Honey Do List pretty long I am going to make this short and sweet. For every position I am going to list all the things they need to do in order for Portland to get out of Rio Tinto Stadium with a result.
He needs to continue to make the saves he has been making and commanding the defense in front of him. He has been attacking crosses and other balls in the air really well lately and his distribution, while not great, has improved and that needs to be the case.
The biggest question going into this game is who starts now that Hanyer Mosquera is back from suspension. Whoever starts in the CB position better be ready for a free flowing attack and the counter attack as Real Salt Lake likes to vary the attack. Luckily Fabian Espindola is out for this game and Portland will not have to contend with his speed. The CBs and the Outside backs need to in constant communication with each other or else marks will be lost and goals will be given up.
Without the Timbers' two most dynamic play makers Portland is not going to be as fun to watch as they have been in the last two home games. Expect to see a lot of 10 men behind the ball and Captain Jack Jewsbury and Diego Chara trying to stifle RSL's CM tandem. If Portland is going to win it will most likely come on a set-piece or on the Counter and Chara will need to be the one to create on the counter. If Portland can be physical and not let RSL's playmakers have time and space Portland has a shot at getting a result.
Surprisingly Kris Boyd is the one who came out and said Portland will most likely play a little more defensive. Everyone has said Boydie has said he hates to play as a target forward in a 4-5-1 but his statement sure screams that is what Portland will play. If Portland plays in more of a defensive shell the Forwards need to be able to hold up the ball and find the midfielders as they come up from their defensive positions. It will most likely fall to Danny Mwanga to be the holding forward with Boyd winning the aerial battles.
Well since last time I predicted a 2-1 loss and the Timbers won 2-1 I am going to try it reverse psychology again. Portland loses 1-0.