Matchup: Crew vs Timbers Insight
If the Portland Timbers are to live up to expectations they need to figure things out in a hurry. A home draw against another team near the bottom of the table in the Columbus Crew could be just what the doctor ordered.
Matchup: Columbus Crew v Portland Timbers
Date: Saturday, May 5, 2012
Time: Kick-off: 10:30 PM EST
Venue: JELD-WEN Field, Portland, Oregon
Spread: Timbers EVEN; Crew +240; Draw +215
Coming off of a road loss in Montreal, the Timbers (2-5-1) could use a boost, The fans in Portland are capable of giving them just that.
They have one of the best home venues and the fan base in all of the MLS. If they want to get their season back on track, they need a good result here.
On the other side of the ball, you have a Columbus team that is almost half way to their loss total of last season already. Remember this team finished fourth in the East a year ago, but they are well on their way to a bottom table finish this season.
The Crew are 0-1-3 in their last four games. When you look at their road record they are 1-0-2 with the one win coming against a Toronto team that not only hasn’t won this season–they haven’t even drawn a game yet. Things aren’t exactly lining up for Columbus.
Players to Watch:
Columbus – Eddie Gaven 7 Games Started 11 Shots/6 On Target/2 Goals
A lifetime Crew member, this guy once had high hopes as a Yankee international, but those aspirations have been on the back burner for some time now. He has been a consistent threat for this team even in this down season.
Portland – Darlinton Nagbe 6 Games Started 13 Shots/8 On Target/3 Goals
After bursting onto the scene last season he has gotten off to an even better start this year. Already surpassing his goal total from last season with three.
Meeting for the only time this year, these teams squared off twice in Portland’s inaugural season in 2011, each earning a 1-0 home victory.
I originally thought this might be a defensive dogfight with two teams that are struggling so my first thought was a 1-0 win for Portland based solely on the home pitch factor.
But I am upping the ante based on the Crew’s paper thin roster, and giving the Timbers a 3-0 spot, with Nagbe, Eric Alexander and Kris Boyd all notching goals off set pieces.