The Portland Timbers are headed out west today to take on Real Salt Lake, the Kings of Utah and a hopeful challenger for one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference. With a better playoff berth or a fall from grace still possible this season, a point or three from this game would serve the Timbers well as they try to make the postseason for just the second time in the team's MLS history.
Match Preview: "Melano's competition for the start up top has to be fellow Argentine Maximiliano Urruti. While Urruti has struggled to make an impact in limited minutes this year, chalking up three goals and two assists in just under 1000 minutes, he has the advantage in fitness: the factor that Caleb Porter has repeatedly pegged as the reason for Melano's exclusion from the starting XI. Fitness will be a major factor for the Timbers in this match as they head to the famously difficult altitude in Sandy, Utah and Porter will almost certainly be keeping a keen eye on Menalo's ability to play a longer stretch in adverse conditions."
Watch it on: ROOT Sports
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. PT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT
Portland Timbers: 10-8-6, 5th place in the Western Conference
Real Salt Lake: 7-9-8, 8th place in the Western Conference