The Portland Timbers are into the literal home stretch today as the side host D.C. United in the first of two back to back home games to close out the season. Win out and the Timbers are a lock for a top three spot in the Western Conference, but any sort of stumble could see the side tumble down the rankings.
This weekend’s opposition are hardly the gems of the East; D.C. are long-since eliminated from playoff contention and are locked in to last place in their conference with only two games to go and an insurmountable seven point gap between them and their closest competition. Still, writing off D.C. would be a mistake as teams in Major League Soccer love to play the spoiler in the final weeks of the season and D.C. are on a run of relatively good form, going 4-3-1 in their last eight games.
Storylines: “The D.C. game plan is a bit vanilla. They prefer to play the long ball over the top and spread the pitch out trying to play to the wings. They have a horrible time of defending it like I said above, and they’re not much good at it in the attacking end either. Once they hoof it down pitch, they’ll pepper the box with crosses. The Timber back-line will have to do the yeoman's work of stopping those crosses.”
Contemplation Day: “The Timbers need to pass Sporting Kansas City to jump into second, so obviously the Timbers would like to see SKC drop points against Houston today. But the Dynamo are also just a point behind the Timbers now, which is why Houston’s win in the front half of this home-and-home was good, but not necessarily ideal. As a result, a little breathing room would be welcome.”
Stop by the Rose City Forecast to make your predictions about this evening’s match.
Watch it on: ROOT Sports
Where: Providence Park in Portland, OR
When: Sunday, October 15th at 4:30 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: 13-11-8, 3rd place in the Western Conference, lost 2-1 at San Jose Earthquakes
D.C. United: 9-18-5, 11th place in the Eastern Conference, lost 2-0 at Columbus Crew SC