The Portland Timbers take to the pitch tonight, just three days after their impotent loss to the Seattle Sounders, looking like a team with their backs up against the wall. Their opponents, last year’s treble winners, Toronto FC, are in similar straits. Both teams come into this match in need of three points as they jockey for playoff position.
Entering into the final stretch of the season, the Timbers have fallen below the red line with only ten matches left to play and a field of strong sides above them in the Western Conference standings. Despite that -- and a streak of four straight losses -- the Timbers have at least one game in hand on everyone else in the West, an even split of home and away matches, and a defensive corps that, when healthy, is among the best in the league.
Of course, the Timbers are on an unprecedented losing streak. They have been outscored 10-2 on aggregate during those games. They gave up their first two home losses of the 2018 season in vital matches against their two biggest rivals. New re-additions Lucas Melano and Jorgbe Villafana have yet to play. Promising youngsters Foster Langsdorf and Jeremy Ebobisse have yet to be given a chance with the first team since the departure of Fanendo Adi.
It is an even year.
The pressure is mounting and the only way to release it is results.
Storylines: “Giovinco leads the team in goals with 10, and midfielder Jonathan Osorio (listed as questionable) is second with nine. Altidore is having a somewhat quiet season, with only three tallies to his name. Though he’s there for a lot of off the ball — anything to pull defenders away from Giovinco.”
Swing by the Rose City Forecast to make your prediction for the match.
Watch it on: ROOT Sports
Where: Providence Park
When: Wednesday, August 29th at 7:30 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: 10-7-7, 7th place in the Western Conference, lost 1-0 to Seattle Sounders
Toronto FC: 7-12-9, 9th place in the Eastern Conference, won 3-1 against Montreal Impact