The Portland Timbers keep powering forward, playing their next match in the U.S. Open Cup today at Real Salt Lake in hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals of the competition and their first home match against MLS competition in the Open Cup since joining the league.
Match Preview: "It will be important for the Timbers to keep a solid presence in the center of the pitch as RSL prefer to work the ball down the flanks then get it central to create most of their shots rather than driving from the outside and taking a wide-angle shot. To that end, Jewsbury, and his partnership with Fochive, will be particularly important in determining the outcome of this match for the Timbers as they will need to provide cover in the center of the pitch and pick up RSL's bevy of talented but misfiring attacking midfielders."
Preview Interview: "The season thus far has been especially frustrating to a fanbase that is used to a consistently good team that competes for trophies. We have gotten so accustomed to making the MLS Playoffs that I think many fans took it for granted. I have been saying for a while now that if RSL does not start to string together some wins by the end of July, we will be in serious trouble as far as playoff contention goes. The biggest issue thus far has been injuries. In fact, RSL has yet to start their preferred XI. Now that the forwards are back and healthy, the offense is looking much better. The defense is still depleted. RSL may finally get their best players on the field when they are already in a tough spot. It will be a dramatic second half of the season."
Watch it on: Streaming on Timbers.com or embedded below.
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. PT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT
Portland Timbers: Beat the Seattle Sounders 3-1 in the 4th round of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup
Real Salt Lake: Beat the Seattle Sounders 2 2-1 in the 4th round of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup