One for the Road
The Portland Timbers will be taking on Toronto FC North of the border today at 4:30 pm PST. This will be the only 2012 meeting between Portland and Toronto and pits the two lowest ranked teams in the MLS.
Kickoff: August 15, 2012 4:30pm PST
Toronto, Canada – ROOT Sports
Por 5-12-5 (0-8-2 A)
Tor 5-13-4 (3-6-2 H)
As mentioned above, the Timbers and Toronto occupy both of the last place positions in their respective divisions. What started out as promising years filled with much hope has amounted to disappointment for both squads.
And yet, both still continue to play week-in and week-out in order to show their supporters that they can still play the game of soccer at an elite level.
Despite their records, these teams are still very dangerous and should provide for a fun game to watch later this afternoon.
Toronto has had a very difficult season. They have just 19 points in the MLS Eastern Conference and have had a hard time producing goals consistently while surrendering too many.
Toronto has scored just 25 goals throughout the season while giving up 40. Though they surely have a better record at home than away, a poor season has detracted from their usual home field advantage.
They have scored just 11 goals at home this year, numbers one would expect to be higher when comparing home goals scored and road goals scored.
However, a recent turnaround may be signaling the fact that the Reds are finally beginning to gel together. Prior to dropping two straight games, Toronto rattled off three straight wins to make them one of the more dangerous teams at the time.
They played admirably in their CONCACAF game and will be looking to maintain their MLS and soccer momentum when the play host to the Timbers.
Toronto will be relatively depleted on Wednesday as a good stable of their players have been called up for international games.
The Portland Timbers have had more than a tough time on the road this season. They have failed to win a game on the road and will have their first opportunity to do so against Toronto FC tonight.
The Timbers will be featuring a new goalkeeper in Donovan Rickets and will be hoping their offense can crack past a weak Toronto defense en route to their first road win of the season.
Portland is coming off of a nice draw against FC Dallas and will look to improve upon their recent games.
The Timbers will be missing Frank Songo’o due to suspension after receiving too many yellows and Lovel Palmer due to international duties.
Matchup to Watch: Donovan Rickets vs. Toronto Attack
When their is a new goalkeeper in net, it is always interesting to watch just how well he will work with the team.
That is why Rickets will be the player to watch in today’s match when he command his defense in midfield against Toronto.
Sure, Toronto may not be the best offense in the MLS, but they still have recently put together a five goal performance that should create momentum for their offensive attack.
Rickets must establish command early and show that he can be a good transition keeper for the Timbers as they embark upon their next journey in club history.