Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, May 22 – 16:30 ET (21:30 BST)
Match Odds: Portland 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Vancouver 13/5
Portland have really struggled to live up to their title of MLS Cup champions so far. They have lost three on the bounce and sit ninth in the West. Injuries haven’t helped but Caleb Porter knows his side need to be doing much better.
They fell 2-1 at home to New York City FC last weekend and have conceded a total of 22 goals in 12 games – the most in MLS.
The visit of Vancouver offers the chance to give the fans and players a real boost. However, that looks unlikely given the ‘Caps upturn in form lately.
Vancouver have now won three in a row and have moved up to third in the West heading into the weekend.
Their 4-3 win at Toronto last weekend was their first on the road since March and they will now look to follow it up with another away victory.
This will be the second meeting between the two sides this season. Vancouver beat Portland 2-1 just two weeks ago and sit atop the Cascadia Cup standings at this stage, having beaten Seattle 2-1 as well in the only other game in the series so far.
Portland have struggled with injuries all season and they are showing no signs of slowing up. Andy Thoma, Alvas Powell, Adam Kwarasey and Darren Mattocks are all definitely out, while Diego Chara and Fanendo Adi are both doubts.
Vancouver will be without fullback Fraser Aird as he will serve a one-game suspension here. Christian Dean, Deybi Flores and Masato Kudo are all ruled out through injury, while Octavio Rivero is a doubt.
Portland Timbers’ last five: D/W/L/L/L
Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: D/L/W/W/W
Key Stat: The Timbers have only lost one of nine all-time home meetings with Vancouver, shutting out their rivals in three of the last four clashes at Providence Park.
Key Player: Kekuta Manneh – The Whitecaps winger netted twice in last week’s impressive win at Toronto and will now look to kick on with another bright display in what is a massive game for both clubs. He has now scored two and assisted two in his last two outings and is looking sharp.
Portland Timbers 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps – Goals are surely guaranteed here as both have been scoring and conceding plenty of late. The Timbers are struggling, having lost three on the bounce, while Vancouver have won their last three and look to be on a hot streak. The away side don’t win many in Portland but look primed for success on Sunday.