The Timbers have trended up since their 4-0 humiliation at the hands of the New York Red Bulls in week two, but are still winless despite facing several sides still struggling to get going in 2018. Orlando City are another such side, going 1-1-1 at home so far this season (1-2-1 overall), and the Timbers will need road wins — not just road draws — if they want to compete for the top of the West again this season.
Still, the Timbers are improving, and the emergence of Sebastian Blanco as a fearsome attacking playmaker, Diego Valeri’s first goal of the season, and Bill Tuiloma’s solid shifts in the Timbers back line are all good signs of what is to come.
Scouting Report: “The Christmas tree formation that the Timbers have used to good effect the last two weeks, then, makes quite a bit of sense again in Orlando. Although the Timbers probably don’t need to sit as deep as they did against Dallas, if Gio Savarese’s side is compact, this OCSC team is one that can get bogged down, which will tempt the Lions to take some real risks in the attack.”
Preview Interview: “With the roster moves Orlando made this off-season, the goal is to make the playoffs for the first time in club history. After three years of putting teams together that might finish sixth, the Front Office got wise and underwent a massive overhaul from the starting lineup to the bench that resembles something closer to the top teams in the Conference and not the mid-table teams. It was definitely a “win-now or else” kind of winter.”
And be sure to swing by this week’s Rose City Forecast to make your predictions about today’s match.
Watch it on: ESPN
Where: Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, FL
When: Sunday, April 8th at 1:00 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: 0-2-2, 11th place in the Western Conference, tied 2-2 at Chicago Fire
Orlando City SC: 1-2-1, 9th place in the Eastern Conference, won 4-2 against New York Red Bulls