The Portland Timbers will host Portmore United this evening in the team's second match of the 2014 Rose City Invitational. With both teams having lost their matches on Sunday, they will be looking to turn things around with Portland looking to round into form for the upcoming season and Portmore hoping to end their frustrating year on a positive note.
Let's take a look at the teams:
The Timbers will run out a side consisting entirely of the players not named to the starting eleven on Sunday. Given the current make-up of the roster, the Timbers will be somewhat limited in their line-up choices and will fill in the gaps on their bench with a selection of players from the Timbers Academy. Tonight's starters are intended to play the full 90' for the Timbers, but we could still see some of the academy players on the pitch.
With spots in the Timbers' game-day roster still up for grabs, every player on the pitch today will have something to prove. The positional battle between Futty Danso and Rauwshan McKenzie to be the third, or even second, centerback on the depth chart will be an important one to watch, while attacking players like Schillo Tshuma, Michael Nanchoff, and even the versatile Jorge Villafana will be looking to show that they can fit into the first team as well before the respective returns of Steve Zakuani and Rodney Wallace make the competition all the more fierce up top.
After a nightmare start on Sunday in which their keeper was red-carded in the match's first fifteen minutes, Portmore looked to have a rough go of it as the Whitecaps' starters dismantled them in the second half, finishing the game with a score of 5-1. Since then United have been given some succor, finding out that the team below them in the Jamaican Premier League standings, Rivoli United, lost on Monday and assured Portmore of a place in the top flight next year.
In their match against Vancouver, the Jamaican side showed off creativity, flair, and pace but were inconstant in their passing and defending, two factors that, coupled with playing a man down for most of the match, allowed Vancouver to take them apart as they started to tire.
Having produced Alvas Powell
and Donovan Ricketts from their ranks, as well as Whitecaps draftee Andre Lewis, Portmore has a history of bringing along MLS caliber players and they should provide a stiff challenge for the Timbers' second team. Their trickiness and speed on the break will need to be watched for by the Timbers defense and Diego Chara George Fochive will certainly have his hands full providing coverage for such an occurrence. If the second team can move the ball like the Timbers did on Sunday, however, they should be able to find the seams in the Portmore defense and take them apart.
This will be a good chance for the Timbers players who are on the outside looking in to show their stuff before the start of the preseason necessitates their loan elsewhere for any playing time.
Watch it on: Streaming on Timbers.com
Kick off: 7:45 pm at Providence Park in Portland, OR
Portland Timbers Preseason Record: 2-1-2
Portmore United 2013/14 Record: 6-7-9