Despite a rough end to the 2019 season and an unconvincing preseason, the Timbers enter the 2020 with high expectations. With two new designated players on board, Diego Valeri and Cristhian Paredes re-signed, and home matches to actually be played in the first third of the season, things are looking up for the Timbers.
Of course, plenty of other teams have reason to be looking up as well. The Loons are returning most of their key players from the side that made their first playoff appearance since joining Major League Soccer and thoroughly outclassed the Timbers reserves during the preseason.
Today’s match will be a test of the Timbers’ commitment to their new attacking style as they face off against a Minnesota side comfortable absorbing pressure before attacking into the vacant spaces on the flanks where the Timbers have looked most vulnerable so far. If the Timbers can contain the Minnesota counter, however, we could see the Timbers break though as one of the league’s best attacking groups.
Match Day Reading
Watch it on: FOX Sports 1
Where: Providence Park in Portland, OR
When: Sunday, March 1st at 4:30 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: 14-13-7 in 2019, lost 2-1 at Real Salt Lake in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs
Minnesota United FC: 15-11-8 in 2019, lost 2-1 vs. LA Galaxy in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs