The Portland Timbers are on the road at Real Salt Lake today and are looking for more road points to shore up their place in the standings with the payoffs rapidly approaching. Real Salt Lake are no pushovers, however, and have been on a tear since knocking off the Timbers to the tune of 4-1 all the way back in July. A playoff berth is still quite unlikely for Mike Petke’s side, but with several Western Conference sides still within reach, nobody should be sleeping on RSL.
Coming into this match, the Timbers are once again dealing with a large group of players who are either questionable or out, including recent standouts Vytas Andriuškevičius, Jeff Attinella, and Darren Mattocks. Do not expect the Timbers to push their player to be back for this one — an away match against a feisty team at altitude — but rather to take a conservative approach to any remaining injuries issues, particularly for players like Liam Ridgewell and Fanendo Adi who have missed extended periods of time but could be vital to a deep playoff run.
Storylines: “All the Timbers need to do is take care of business. Running the table would be nice, with a 15-point take - but I’m not going to hold my breath on that. I’m just trying to be a bit realistic with my expectations of the club. This club still has some issues, but the back line seems to be gelling and working more as a unit than as individuals.”
Path to the Playoffs: “Major League Soccer has entered into the home stretch of the 2017 season and in the Western Conference, the Portland Timbers are at the head of the pack. Approaching the end of a season that was filled with doubt and turmoil, the boys in green have every chance of returning to the playoffs for the first time since bringing home the MLS Cup in 2015.”
Swing by this week’s Rose City Forecast to make your predictions for today’s match.
Watch it on: KPDX
When: Saturday, September 16th at 6:30 p.m. PT
Where: Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT
Portland Timbers: 12-9-8, 2nd place in the Western Conference, 1-0 win at New York City FC
Real Salt Lake: 10-14-5, 8th place in the Western Conference, 3-2 loss at Vancouver Whitecaps