After all the excitement three weeks ago, the Portland Timbers are finally set to play their second match of the season at Providence Park tonight when they will host the LA Galaxy in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16.
Having won a nail biting 2-1 match over the Seattle Sounders in Tacoma last week, the Timbers will certainly relish a chance to advance to the quarterfinals in front of their home fans. However, with a handful of players still gone on international duty, and a league match against the Houston Dynamo coming up on Saturday, how the Timbers will approach today’s match remains in question.
The Timbers’ front line seems likely to remain intact as Jeremy Ebobisse, Diego Valeri, and Sebastian Blanco continue to build rapport with red-hot new arrival Brian Fernandez. The back line, meanwhile, could see the return of players like Jorge Villafana and Bill Tuiloma to the XI if they are fit to play. Finally, the Timbers’ central midfield is the group that has been hit hardest by the international window, but even there we could see a change, giving Cristhian Paredes a run out after leaving him out of the XI against the Sounders.
Storylines: “Like the Galaxy, the Portland Timbers have a weekend match as well; they’ll be facing the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night, so that will play a factor in who gets the start in the U.S. Open Cup. One player who I’m sure will play, and they should really build the team around, is Sebastian Blanco. As you recall, he will not be available Saturday against the Dynamo due to yellow card accumulation.”
Watch it on: ESPN+ Streaming (No Blackouts)
Where: Providence Park in Portland, OR
When: Wednesday, June 19th at 8:00 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: 4-7-2, 12th place in the Western Conference, won 2-1 at Seattle Sounders in Round 4
LA Galaxy: 9-6-1, 2nd place in the Western Conference, won 3-0 vs. Orange County FC (NPSL) in Round 4