The Portland Timbers take on Orlando City SC today in a match that could see them go three points clear of their closest rivals for a bye in the West. Standing in their way are the Lions, a side that have struggled since some early season success, but have shown signs of life recently despite being well below the red line in the East.
Storylines: “The Lions have enjoyed a semi-return to form, though they have only 1 win in their last six road matches, and that was against a hapless DCU squad. While not quite out of it yet, the Lions are looking at missing the playoffs unless they really turn it on down the home stretch. The exact opposite is happening to the Timbers, they’re pretty much set for the playoffs and a possible first round bye.”
Timbers Preview Interview: “Over the last two years following the Timbers' MLS Cup win in 2015, Diego Valeri has transformed himself from a master playmaker (23 goals and 35 assists in 86 games from 2013-2015) into a scoring machine (32 goals and 16 assists in 58 games from 2016 to 2017). That transformation has come as a result of significant changes in both Valeri's game and the game of the Timbers as a whole.”
Lions Preview Interview: “This could be a result of playing three defensive midfielders in a 4-4-2 for the bulk of the year but the team took steps during the transfer window to remedy that. The lack of offense put a strain on the defense and every error, unlucky bounce, and/or bad call was magnified – and this season has seen its share of all three of those.”
Stop by the Rose City Forecast to make your predictions about today’s match.
Watch it on: FOX Sports 1
Where: Providence Park in Portland, OR
When: Sunday, September 24th at 5:00 p.m. PT