This is your open thread for a Sunday evening showdown between Orlando City and Western Conference opponents, the Portland Timbers. The Lions (1-2-2, 5 points) are coming off the second 1-0 stoppage-time home loss in the last three games, although City has fared better away from the Citrus Bowl (1-0-1) than in their own home (0-2-1).
The Timbers (1-1-3, 6 points) have struggled to find a winning goal in the season's first month, but a 3-1 win over FC Dallas last week at Providence Park has Portland fans thinking their team has turned the corner. Despite missing midfielders Diego Valeri and Will Johnson, the Timbers will be formidable at home, in front of a big crowd and with Timber Joey revving up his chainsaw at field level.
Orlando City has seen a rash of early season injuries derail any opportunity to field its best lineup and build some chemistry, yet the club has dominated possession and controlled play for the most part in its inaugural season. The problem has been slotting the final pass to free a scoring chance or missing opportunities with wayward shots or being robbed by opposing goalkeepers. Being away from home may help the team play relaxed.
With Pedro Ribeiro suffering a torn hamstring last Friday against D.C. United, look for Canadian rookie Cyle Larin to get his first MLS start at the top of Adrian Heaths 4-2-3-1 formation. Carlos Rivas may be fit enough to take his place on the left side to start the game. This might be the closest to the starting XI that Heath envisioned during pre-season training.
Here's your full list of preparation materials for tonight's match:
- Andrew Marcinko's match preview
- Chris Rifer from Stumptown Footy provides our Timbers Intelligence Report
- Austin David's three keys to victory for Orlando City
- Andrew Harrison put together a scouting report on Portland
- Scott Crumbly on why City's midfield must control Darlington Nagbe
- This week's PawedCast features Will Conwell from Stumptown Footy and our predictions
The Lions need three points with another tough road trip coming up next week in Columbus. Let's find out tonight if they can bring those precious points home from the Pacific Northwest.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1):
Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts
Defense: Brek Shea, Seb Hines, Aurelien Collin, Rafael Ramos
Defensive Midfielders: Amobi Okugo, Darwin Ceren
Attacking Midfielders: Cristian Higuita, Kaká (C), Kevin Molino
Forward: Cyle Larin
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr.,Sean St. Ledger, Tyler Turner, Harrison Heath, Carlos Rivas, Eric Avila, Bryan Rochez
Portland Timbers (4-4-2):
Goalkeeper: Adam Larsen Kwarasey
Defense: Jorge Villafana, Liam Ridgewell, Nat Borchers, Alvas Powell
Midfielders: Rodney Wallace, Diego Chara, George Fochive, Darlington Nagbe
Forwards: Maximiliano Urruti, Fanendo Adi
Bench: Andrew Weber, Jack Jewsbury, Jeanderson, Norberto Paparatto, Ishmael Yartey, Dairon Asprilla, Gaston Fernández
How to Watch:
Match time: 5 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Providence Park, Portland, OR
TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 AM (Spanish)
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