After yesterday’s wind storm, things are a little crazy atound these parts. But, MLS waits for no man and the Portland Timbers are on the East Coast, set to take on the Philadelphia Union late this afternoon.
Who is in?
Today could see the return of Vtyas to the Timbers’ lineup after missing several weeks due to calf soreness. Homegrown signing Marco Farfan and back-line band-aid Zarek Valentin have covered the spot in his absence, but if Vytad is fit again after his surprisingly long latoff he should reclaim the spot. Still, Vytas’s return is in doubt after only training two days last week and one this week before the team headed to Philidelphia on Thursday.
The rest of the side should remain unchanged from last weekend’s match against the New England Revolution.
Who is out?
Ben Zemanski is the new addition to the Timbers’ injury report, having suffered a hip injury two weeks ago that has kept him out of training as well as the matches against the Revolution and the Columbus Crew. Zemanski is expected to miss several more weeks befire he is back to match fitness.
Still out are center backs Liam Ridgewell and Gbenga Arokoyo. Ridgewell was previously expected to be back in the lineup for last week’s match against New England, but it appears that was optimistic as he has not traveled with the team to Philadelphia. Arokoyo remains out for the full season after rupturing his Achilles tendon in preseason.
What should the Timbers do?
Play patient, solidify their back line, and hit the Union mercilessly on the counter.
In this match up of teams playing similar styles and formations, it will be up to the Timbers to make advantagous match ups happen and that means going at a Union back line that has looked decidedly fragile despite only giving up six goals so far this season. If Diego Valeri and Fanendo Adi can run at Oguchi Onyewu, they will be putting the former USMNT star in a very uncomfortable spot which shiuld result in goals, cards, or both.
Watch it on: ROOT Sports
Where: TALEN Energy Stadium in Chester, PA
When: Saturday, April 8th at 4:00 p.m. PT