The 2019 Portland Timbers head to Ohio, where they will face
the 2017 Portland Timbers FC Cincinnati in the expansion side’s first home match since joining Major League Soccer this year. After several seasons of Cincy setting attendance records in USL, the Timbers should expect a raucous crowd and an energized home side in today’s match.
The historic occasion will also mark the first time that the Timbers face off against a pair of their former players: Fanendo Adi and Alvas Powell, Darren Mattocks, who the Timbers faced during his stint with D.C. United in 2018, and Eric Alexander, who has been bouncing around the league since being traded away from Portland back in 2012. During their time with the Timbers, Adi and Powell combined for 247 regular season appearances and rose to numbers 11 and 13 respectively on the side’s all-time appearances list.
There are plenty of other familiar faces to be found on the pitch for Cincinnati as well. We’ll see a pair of former Vancouver Whitecaps in Kendal Waston and Kekuta Manneh; a pair of former FC Dallas players in Victor Ulloa and Roland Lamah; and even former Atlanta United fullback Greg Garza could make an appearance after helping his former side take down the Timbers in the MLS Cup Final last year.
Despite — or maybe because of — all of those familiar names, the Timbers still have a strong chance at coming out of today’s match with a point or three in hand. Diego Valeri and Sebastian Blanco will be the best players on the field today, and if the rest of the Timbers can step up in the dreaded absence of Diego Chara due to his ear-flicking incident last week, then the Timbers could certainly find the cracks in Cincinnati’s system.
Storylines: “Look for FCC to attack through the middle of the pitch, when they’re not launching long balls down the field. In the first two matches, they’ve grown accustomed to playing in their own half due to not being able to hold on to the ball that long. Also, look for them to try and play a number of through balls trying to split the center backs.”
And check out the Rose City Forecast to make your predictions about today’s match.
Watch it on: FOX Sports 1
Where: Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, OH
When: Sunday, March 17th at 2:00 p.m. (PT)
Portland Timbers: 0-1-1, lost 4-1 at Los Angeles FC
FC Cincinnati: 0-1-1, drew 1-1 at Atlanta United