The Simple Invitational kicks off today, giving us our first glimpses of the Portland Timbers on the new Providence Park pitch in 2016. The Chicago Fire and Vancouver Whitecaps will start the day off at 2:30 p.m., of course, but it is the Timbers' match at 5:00 p.m. against NASL side Minnesota United that folks are gearing up for.
Examining the Timbers: "So far this year, the Timbers' defensive efforts have started off right where 2015 left off: strong and organized defending that has made things very difficult for the patchwork sides that they have faced so far. Continuing those performances against more established opposition will be key for the side, especially while keeping in mind that the defense -- 3rd best in the league in goals allowed during 2015 -- was the bedrock on which the Timbers eventual playoff run was built."
Portland Timbers vs. Minnesota United
Watch it on: Streaming on Timbers.com
Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. PT at Providence Park in Portland, OR
Portland Timbers: Finished 3rd in the MLS Western Conference in 2015, MLS Cup Champions
Minnesota United: Finished 3rd in the NASL in 2015
Chicago Fire vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Watch it on: Streaming on WhitecapsFC.com
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. PT at Providence Park in Portland, OR
Chicago Fire: Finished 10th in the MLS Eastern Conference in 2015
Vancouver Whitecaps: Finished 2nd in the MLS Western Conference in 2015