Storylines so far
Evander, Paredes, Yimmi, oh my! In just their fourth game of the season the Timbers find themselves in the midst of an injury crisis, with Seven first-team players ruled unavailable for selection against Atlanta United with various issues (Tega Ikoba has since been upgraded to available):
Evander is officially listed as OUT for Saturday’s Timbers match.— Sam Svilar (@sammich923) March 16, 2023
The full availability list:
Mora (L knee)
Blanco (L knee)
Ayala (R knee)
Asprilla (R knee)
Ikoba (R knee)
Yimmi (R hamstring)
Paredes (R hamstring)
Evander (hip) #RCTID
Newly-acquired Eric Miller is also unavailable for the match after he and his wife Kassey welcomed their baby Margot into the world on Thursday, congrats to the Millers!
With all of those pesky injuries in mind I would once again expect the Timbers to line up with the same 3-5-2 formation that Giovanni Savarese is becoming increasingly fond of deploying. Diego Chara and Eryk Williamson are the only healthy central midfielders available for the Timbers, so it will be interesting to see who plays in the #10 role with Evander out.
Set-pieces were once again a topic of conversation in the loss to St. Louis for the Timbers, who scored from one through Zac McGraw in the third minute, before conceding the game-winner from one in the 75th minute.
Atlanta United have made an impressive start to their 2023 MLS season, picking up seven points from a possible nine, including an opening day 2-1 win against the San Jose Earthquakes and an absolute shredding (3-0) of Charlotte FC last weekend. Atlanta’s star midfielder Thiago Almada (2 goals, 2 assists) is the dangerman the Timbers have to try to contain, but keep an eye on 18-year-old Caleb Wiley, who had a hand in all three of Atlanta’s goals against Charlotte.
The Timbers made a signing! Read about Portland’s new #9 Franck Boli here.
Read Sam’s preview of the Timbers’ first trip to Atlanta since MLS Cup 2018.
How to watch
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium | Atlanta, GA
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT
Listen: 750 The Game (English), La GranD 1150AM/93.5 FM (Spanish)