Matchup: Whitecaps FC vs Timbers Insight
The Portland Timbers may have turned a corner in their miserable season, and after downing the Chicago Fire their last time out, and will look to stay on the rails when they host bitter rival the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night.
When:Saturday, 10:00 PM EST
Where: JELD-WEN Field, Portland, Oregon
Line: Timbers -115, Whitecaps +300, Draw +230
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Portland took both meetings last season with its fellow expansion team by a one-goal margin.
The visiting Whitecaps’ side are enjoying a good run of late, but have scuffled in their last two with just one loss and one draw including a midweek loss to Toronto in the Canadian Championship, meaning TFC will represent Canada in the next CONCACAF Champions League.
If you take a broader look at things however, Vancouver had won three matches prior to this recent stretch, giving them a record of 3-1-1 since April 21st.
They currently sit at 4th on the Western table, and eighth overall in goal differential just behind Chicago.
The Whitecaps do have a chance to improve upon that number though as they travel to Portland to try and pile onto an underachieving Timbers’ club.
Underachieving for the season, but they have finally picked things up.
They are 2-2-1 in their last five matches, which includes a 2-1-0 mark at JELD-WEN Field, and have taken just 12 points from 11 total games and is eighth (second from bottom) in the West.
On the bright side, defender Eric Brunner became the first Timbers player to score in five games when he notched his first goal of the season in the team’s win over the Fire.
While Portland has picked things up as of late, they still have a lot of work to do if they expect to find a spot in the playoffs, and will need its offense to start with its strikers, not its backline.
Players to Watch:
Vancouver – Sebastien Le Toux 11 Games Started 14 Shots/7 On Target/3 Goals
After a very solid 2011 campaign with the Philadelphia Union in which he scored 11 times. He has gotten off to a bit of a slow start with his new side. He’s too good of an attacker to be quiet for this long though, so you expect him to have an impact in this one.
Portland – Troy Perkins 11 Games Started 12 Goals Conceded
Perkins has been a starting member in all 11 games that have taken place so far. While the club in total has allowed 14 goals, he was subbed off in a match where the Timbers went on to allow two goals. So while its goals that seem to elude Portland, he has to be even better because of that.
While Portland walked away with two wins in 2011 against its Cascadia Cup rivals, and it was a rare feat to boot, as just the six out of 18 season series has went the Timbers’ way.
However, winning this one is simple. Portland has to find someone that can step up and score some goals, and am not sure they can do that.
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