After an early off week, the Portland Timbers are back at it today and have headed south to continue their season opening road trip at FC Dallas.
Following on the back of two opening performances that could best be described as first concerning and then unbearable, the Timbers come into today’s match hoping to have turned around their slow start to the year. Will the side’s bye week have been enough time for the Timbers to collect themselves?
The return of Diego Chara to the lineup will certainly be a positive for the side, but the midfield dynamo is stepping in to a new pairing with Cristhian Paredes and being asked to play in a new, high pressing system with which the rest of the team has struggled.
Savarese’s Choice: To Press or Not To Press?
Meanwhile, the Timbers have questions to answer elsewhere on the pitch. After splitting the starting forward duties between Fanendo Adi and Samuel Armenteros in the first two weeks of the season, neither forward has truly made an impact in their minutes this year while the rest of the team struggled behind them. At the other end of the pitch, Liam Ridgewell and Larrys Mabiala are coming off a poor showing in the Timbers’ 4-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls, and there have been plenty of fans and pundits asking for their starting spots to be reexamined; perhaps in favor of impressive youngsters Julio Cascante and Bill Tuiloma.
With zero points and plummeting expectations, the Timbers need a change in results and until that happens the pressure is on.
Stop by the Rose City Forecast to make your predictions about today’s match.
Watch it on: Univision Deportes or streaming on Twitter
When: Saturday, March 24th at 12:30 p.m. PT
Where: Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX
Portland Timbers: 0-2-0, lost 4-0 to the New York Red Bulls
FC Dallas: 1-0-1, beat the Seattle Sounders 3-0