A 2-1 loss to the then Zlatan-less LA Galaxy followed by a 4-0 blowout at the hands of a New York Red Bulls academy side had Timbers fans in a dark place as new head coach Giovanni Saravese struggled to put his stamp on the side. Last week, however, the Timbers earned their first point of the season in a shorthanded 1-1 draw against FC Dallas. The match against Dallas saw Saravese make important changes to the side, benching captain Liam Ridgewell after an abysmal performance in New York and stepping back from his attempt at converting the Timbers to a high pressing side, and seeing results from it.
Today the Timbers face off against the Chicago side that have had their own struggles to start the season, taking zero points from their two matches so far and giving up six goals despite scoring four of their own. The Fire seem to be just a step away from finding their footing in 2018 and regaining the form that saw them compete for a top spot in the Eastern Conference before falling off pace last summer.
So, with both sides looking to work their way in to form, both the Timbers and the Fire will have a chance to banish some of the doubts that surround them.
Scouting Report: “But here’s the problem: Virtually every successful 4-3-3 has at least one player (usually a winger), who is a field-stretcher; somebody who can be enough of a threat to get in behind backlines to keep backlines from pressing high and compressing the field for the central-midfield triangle.”
Make sure to stop by the Rose City Forecast to make your predictions for today’s match.
Watch it on: KPTV
When: Saturday, March 31st at 3:00 p.m. PT
Where: Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL
Portland Timbers: 0-2-1, 11th place in the Western Conference, drew 1-1 at FC Dallas
Chicago Fire: 0-2-0, 11th place in the Eastern Conference, lost 2-1 at Minnesota United