clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Storylines: Colorado Rapids vs Portland Timbers

On the road again..

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Story So Far

Five straight!

The Timbers continue to impress as they set a club record for winning streaks by dispatching one of the best teams in the Western Conference, LAFC. While one record was made, a streak was lost. Going into the match, the Timbers were at 279 minutes without conceding a goal and Jeff Attinella had a streak of 331 minutes (dating back to last season) without picking the ball out of the net come to an end after a Carlos Vela wonder strike.

The heroics this time fell to Samuel Armenteros who had a wonder strike of his own, so good in fact it won Goal of the Week honors for Week 12. But, the match wasn’t without a problem. Just minutes in, the Timbers lost center-back Liam Ridgewell to a quad injury; enter Julio Cascante who did not look out of place.

All in all, the three points rocketed the Timbers up the table to third place. Now they head back out on the road, this time to Commerce City where they’ll take on a pretty poor Colorado Rapids squad.

Rock Bottom

The Colorado Rapids sit at the bottom of the Western Conference on 8 points and managing just two wins out of ten tries and averaging 0.80 points per match. Last year, the Timbers and Rapids won at home against each other, though lifetime the Timbers are 8-7-3 against the men from the Mile High City. The Rapids have only bested the Timbers twice in the last nine league games, which dates back to 2015.

Last weekend, the Rapids gave up four goals in a loss to NYCFC which was their fifth consecutive. The Rapids were shut out at the attacking end for a third time over the five-game losing streak in which they have scored only two goals. Their leading scorer Dominique Badji has found the back of the net five times this season, the closest Rapid to him has a grand total of two.

They, like the Timbers, have a new coach in Anthony Hudson, the former coach for the New Zealand Men’s National Team. I’m pretty sure things haven’t gone as planned for the new hire. It could be attributed a new coach and a brand new system, but, as you can imagine, the fan base is already growing a bit restless.

Saturday Night Center-Back

With Liam Ridgewell on the shelf for the time being, who steps up and starts for the Timbers next to Larrys Mabiala? Will it be Julio Cascante or Bill Tuiloma? A case could be made for either player, really. Cascante put on a clinic during his time on the pitch in Portland after Liam Ridgewell went down early. He had nine clearances, a few key recoveries, and basically was a monster at the back.

For Bill Tuiloma, he’s trying to get back into the eleven after picking up a knock. So, keep an eye on whoever Gio decides to give the minutes to. We could have a bit of a competition for the starting spot, depending on how long Ridgewell remains out.

Sweep The Leg

This isn’t a very good Colorado Rapids team. The Rapids will come out in a 3-5-2, which you’d think with five midfielders they’d clog up the middle of the field and they may still do that, but for the most part they like to play it out wide. Tim Howard is very much on the downswing of his career, terrible distribution - one ball against NYCFC led directly to goal as he tried to clear it.

Seriously, where in the hell was he kicking that?

They’re not very good in the air which means they’re pretty lackluster when it comes to defending set pieces. This Colorado team seems to be ripe for the taking, but the Timbers cannot get over confident. The Rapids may be last in the West but in this league any team can come and bite you in the rear, especially playing at home. The Rapids record at Dicks Sporting Goods Park is just a median 2-2-1; not great - but not terrible like their road record (0-4-1).

A couple Timbers have made a case for more minutes in Cascante and Samuel Armenteros. Will we see a start for Armenteros? Or will Gio keep it like it’s been with Adi at the top of the 4-3-2-1? We have two very capable strikers now, and with Adi not scoring goals at the moment it’s good to have another option you can turn to that can pick up slack.

As far as injuries go, we already know about Ridgewell; he joins Roy Miller (out for the season), Jake Gleeson (back injury), Vytas (questionable) and Kendall McIntosh (questionable). So, I’m not sure who will be backing up Jeff Attinella.

This is a good time to keep momentum going by taking all three points in Commerce City, Colorado. I mean, who doesn’t want to set a new record with six consecutive wins?


Who starts at center-back?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Julio Cascante
    (160 votes)
  • 7%
    Bill Tuiloma
    (13 votes)
173 votes total Vote Now