MLS matchup Report: Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo Handicapping

Matchup: Dynamo vs. Timbers insight

The Houston Dynamo christened their new $95 million venue with w 1-0 win over DC United on Saturday, and will now set their sights on establishing the franchise’s first winning streak in its new digs when they face a Portland Timbers side that return to action after a 10-day layoff.

Match-up: Portland Timbers v Houston Dynamo
Date: Tuesday, May 15
Time: Kick-off: 8:30 PM EST
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium
Spread: Houston -156, Portland +430, Draw +112
Over/Under: Over/Under 2.5 (Over +107, Under -149)

The break was a much-needed one too, as the Timbers continue to struggle, especially offensively, going 2-5-2 in their first nine matches while being outscored 14-10 and being held to a single goal or less in 8-of-9.

One of those, a scoreless draw with the Columbus Crew on May 5 at JELD-WEN Field, as the Timbers slid to dead last in the Western Conference with 8 points.

Timbers form of late

It was also the second consecutive game the Timbers have been shut out, after being held to a single goal by Kris Boyd in the 23rd minute of the 3-1 loss at the LA Galaxy back on April 14. The lone goal in the win against Sporting KC on April 21 was an own goal.

On the bright side, it was the second clean sheet for Portland in three games, after going the opening six games of the season without one.

Timbers head coach John Spencer has made countless efforts to shake things up, moving Jack Jewsbury to right back for the first time since joining the Timbers, along with shifting Darlington Nagbeback with his partner Boyd in attack, after making two starts in the midfield.

John Spencer

Is there a John Spencer Blues Explosion in Portland? Timbers fans have had little to cheer for of late (photo; mlssoccer.com)

The result has been anything but stellar, but Boyd did post a Portland season-high six attempts at goal against the Crew, except the end result was just as disappointing.

However, in their last match, Portland was more successful attacking-wise while creating more chances than they had been of late.

Dynamo form of late

Meanwhile, Houston (3-3-2) snapped a five-match win-less streak while dominating United throughout the entire match, out-shooting them 10-1 and controlling possession all the way through the second half.

Brad Davis scored the lone goal to finish off a picture-perfect day at brand new BBVA Compass Stadium, propelling the Dynamo into a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points from 7 games.

The most interesting thing is that they have won every match this year by that same scoreline; 1-0.

Nevertheless, it was the side’s first shutout in six matches, since a 1-0 win in San Jose. They had conceded eight goals over the previous five games.

The storyline

Good news for Portland’s offense, should they decided to take advantage of a Dynamo back four – normally the foundation of the club’s success – who have been shaky at best for weeks now.

The Dynamo own the all-time head-to-head match-ups 2-0, winning both meetings in 2011. A 2-1 triumph at Robertson Stadium and a 2-0 win at JELD-WEN Field.

This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season, and I am afraid Houston, providing they get their defense back in at least mediocre shape, will have no problem controlling Portland’s unsure and unorganized attack to move to 3-0 lifetime in this one.


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