Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake: What to expect tonight

Two in a Row

Coming off of a huge win against the San Jose Earthquakes, the Portland Timbers will be seeking to continue their rise in the MLS Western Conference as they face Real Salt Lake on the road.

The Timbers, who are now tied for 8th place in the Western Conference with plenty of room for advancement, will be looking to play spoiler to a Real Salt Lake team who sits in second in the conference with 33 points.

While Portland will be looking to keep momentum going, Real Salt Lake will be seeking to win their first match in four games and reestablish themselves as one of the top teams in the MLS.

With contrasting plays of style, the Portland vs. Real Salt Lake game will surely be exciting to watch.

Here is what to expect in tonight’s match in Rio Tintum Stadium.

Kris Boyd has already proven himself in the international arena; he is doing the same at Portland. (photo oregonlive.com)

Real Salt Lake Controls Possession

One of the biggest aspects of Real Salt Lake’s style of play is possession. For the entire season, Salt Lake has been one of the best teams at controlling the ball, thus limiting chances for the team that opposes them.

Yet, while many may think that this is a boring style of play, they control the ball in order to create chances for themselves on goal.

Don’t be surprised if Real uses their finesse at ball handling and possession to press the Timbers in their half of the field and dictate the pace of the game.

Portland Presses

In order to compensate for the possession style of soccer by Salt Lake, look for Portland to up their already fast-paced game.

By putting the press on Salt Lake, Portland may be able to force them into errant passes and rushing their own style of play, ultimately costing Real a few errors; errors that Portland can convert into good offensive opportunities.

Coupled with their already fast-paced game, Portland should be able to exploit the pass-oriented attack of Real Salt Lake.

Kris Boyd Has Several Breakaways

Expect to see Kris Boyd heavily involved in tonight’s match. He should have numerous opportunities to break away from his defenders due to the different styles of play between Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers.

By creating opportunities off turnovers, the Timbers will look to Boyd and which ever other forward accompanies him to really open up the other side of the field.

If this continues to happen throughout the game, expect to see Real Salt Lake start to sit back, allowing for an even stronger and faster Timbers press.


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About Chris Anderson

NWSB Editor. Chris hails from Eugene, Oregon; home of the Fighting Ducks. If he is not viewing, writing about, or attending sporting events, Chris is running on the trails Eugene offers or out-and-about. Aspirations to exceed expectations. Connect w/ Chris today!
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  • NWSportsBeat

    Good luck Timbers!

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