After a frenzied second-half comeback came up just short against LAFC, the Portland Timbers (1-0-1) return to Providence Park to face off against a brand new foe: St. Louis City SC (2-0-0).
Storylines so far
Despite it being their first season as a club St. Louis have actually put together two really impressive performances in their opening fixtures, beating Austin FC 3-2 on opening weekend followed by a 3-1 victory against Charlotte FC last week (thanks in-part to an own goal from our old pal Bill Tuiloma).
The Timbers on the other hand have somewhat stumbled out of the gate, taking down Sporting KC 1-0 on a snow-delayed opening night in what was a fairly boring match, before being run ragged by LAFC for the opening 60 minutes of their 3-2 loss. The final half-hour looked a lot better from Giovanni Savarese’s side after switching to the three-at-the-back formation that was deployed down the stretch of the 2022 season.
But set-piece and transition defending are still causing problems for the Timbers, who conceded two goals from corners, and another following a rare mistake from Diego Chara in midfield.
Having said that, there have been some promising developments for the Timbers:
- Evander registered his first MLS goal against LAFC, smashing home a right-footed strike just inside the box on an assist from Juan Mosquera.
- Mosquera, who also scored the game-winning goal against SKC, now has two goal-involvements in two games, and looks to be everything the Timbers were hoping for in a starting right back.
- Claudio Bravo returned to action after an injury kept him out of the home-opener, and looked very good in his second-half cameo against LAFC.
- Aljaz Ivacic has been cleared to return to action after an injury of his own, and figures to make his first appearance of the season against St. Louis.
Sam put a whole bunch of content together this week, recap the Timbers’ loss to LAFC with his Timbers postgame, and get up to speed on tonight’s contest with his match preview and ‘Tree Rings’ column.
How to watch
Location: Providence Park | Portland, OR
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT
Watch: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV (streaming only - free)
Listen: 750 The Game (English), La GranD 1150AM/93.5 FM (Spanish)
The XI is in— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) March 12, 2023
▪️ Bravo returns
▪️ Nathan leads the attack
▪️ Paredes' first start of '23 #RCTID pic.twitter.com/Z7EE79AcWA
St. Louis City SC
Your vs Portland #AllForCITY pic.twitter.com/dUo9FJ2oka— St Louis CITY SC (@stlCITYsc) March 12, 2023