MLS Preview and Prediction: Houston Dynamo vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers

Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium – Saturday, May 16th – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST – Sunday, May 17th) 

Match Odds: Houston Dynamo 6/4 – Draw 9/4 – Portland Timbers 9/5

Match Preview

Houston Dynamo play host to the Portland Timbers on Saturday night as they look to build on an impressive 2-1 win away at Toronto last weekend.

The Dynamo have looked like a team that is struggling to adapt to the philosophies of a new manager as Owen Coyle has persisted with a 4-4-2 system.

However, the victory at BMO field was more than impressive as defensively, the Dynamo were superb, while offensively, Giles Barnes was wreaking havoc when they had the chance to counter.

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Their home form has been somewhat poor however, losing their last two and conceding ten in total at home, compared to just four away.

Houston Dynamo’s 2015 MLS record: P11 – W3 – D4 – L4

Portland have yet to set MLS alight this season and some may argue they are underperforming because on paper they have one of the strongest squads in the league.

Much of their form is down to the limited attacking options head coach Caleb Porter has available. Diego Valeri has only just returned after an ACL injury and Fanendo Adi hasn’t scored a goal in his last six matches.

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With the Timbers yet to register back-to-back wins, they will be hoping that Saturday night will see that trend change.

Portland Timbers’ 2015 MLS record: P10 – W3 – D4 – L3

The last time these two sides met was in April 2014 when it ended in a 1-1 draw with Will Bruin and Gaston Fernandez on the scoresheet.

Team News

Houston Dynamo’s Nathan Sturgis is out, while Brad Davis is a slight doubt and will fight to be fit enough to start. Giles Barnes and Will Bruin should continue their strike partnership as Owen Coyle continues to play the 4-4-2 system.

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Portland Timbers’ Will Johnson, Ben Zemanski and Michael Nanchoff are all out. Gaston Fernandez is also a doubt, while Diego Valeri is expected to start in midfield.

Key Points

Houston Dynamo’s last five: D/D/L/L/W

Portland Timbers’ last five: L/W/L/D/W

Key Stat: Portland Timbers are yet to win away at Houston Dynamo in three attempts.

Key Player: Diego Valeri – Arguably one of the best players in MLS is back and expect him to be a major threat that the Dynamo will find difficult to contain.

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Score Prediction

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Portland Timbers – The Timbers to win comfortably and record their first ever victory away to the Dynamo.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – Montreal Impact vs. Portland Timbers 

Venue: Stade Saputo – Saturday, May 9 – 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Montreal Impact 6/4 – Draw 23/10 – Portland Timbers 9/5

Match Preview

This weekend marks the return of Montreal Impact in MLS action as they host Portland Timbers on Saturday afternoon.

The Impact have played just four MLS games so far this season and as a result are at the foot of the Eastern Conference after drawing two and losing two.

They have however had a great run in the CONCACAF Champions League, which ended with a bitterly disappointing final loss, but has given them plenty of positives ahead of their return to domestic action.

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Montreal must start to pick up points now and have a chance against a Portland Timbers side who are sitting eighth in the Western Conference without a win in two.

The Timbers come into the game off the back of a 0-0 draw against Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps last week, which isn’t a bad result considering the Whitecaps’ start to the season, and they will know this won’t be an easy tie.

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Caleb Porter’s side may have the psychological advantage as they beat the Impact in last season’s fixture.

With a lot riding on a positive result for either side this could be a surprisingly entertaining clash in this weekend’s fixtures.

Team News

Montreal Impact have five injury concerns as Adrian Lopez, Justin Mapp, Maxime Crepeau, Cameron Porter and Donny Toia are all set to miss out. Frank Klopas will be hoping Nigel Reo-Coker can show his value to the side and anchor the midfield as the Impact look to start making up the four point gap Philadelphia Union currently have after playing six games more.

Portland Timbers are expected to have four players sidelined as Ben Zemanski, Dairon Asprilla, Will Johnson and Michael Nanchoff are all struggling with injuries. Alvas Powell is one caution away from a suspension. Fanendo Adi is the Timbers leading goalscorer but he hasn’t scored in his last five, thought Portland are boosted by the return of Diego Valeri, who came on last week.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s form: L/D/D/L

Portland Timbers form: W/L/W/L/D

Key Stat: Montreal Impact haven’t played an MLS game since April 12 and need to get back into the swing of things quickly.

Key Player: Fanendo Adi – This is a good chance for the Timbers forward to find his form in front of goal once again.

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Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 1-1 Portland Timbers – A tight affair expected with little to separate the sides. The Impact need to pick up points but may have to settle for a draw against a Timbers side searching for improvement themselves.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Sunday April 26th – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle 17/20 – Draw 12/5 – Portland 16/5

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders host the Portland Timbers on Sunday night in the first of their three Cascadia Cup matches in 2015.

Seattle will feel buoyed knowing that Clint Dempsey is ready and available after having to settle for time on the sidelines so far with a hamstring injury.

With the Sounders winning on the road last time out, it is important that they return to home comforts with a win, especially because this rivalry means a lot to the fans.

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Both sides are coming into the game off wins last weekend, and will both arrive looking to take all three points from this season’s second Cascadia Cup game, after the Timbers lost 2-1 to Vancouver earlier this season.

Seattle’s 2015 MLS record: P6 – W3 – D1 – L2

Portland come into this one as the underdogs and have endured a slow start to season after having to wait four games for their first win.

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They earned their first away win of the campaign at New York City FC last weekend, and so they will want to continue that form on the road at fierce rivals Seattle this week.

Portland’s 2015 MLS record: P7 – W2 – D3 – L2

Having lost the first of their Cascadia Cup games against the Vancouver Whitecaps, this is a huge game for the Timbers and one the fans will feel they cannot afford to lose.

Team News

For Seattle, Damian Lowe is the only injury concern for this clash as he is doubtful with an ankle injury. Clint Dempsey looks set to partner Obafemi Martins up front after overcoming his hamstring troubles.

Portland will be without Diego Valeri, Will Johnson and Ben Zemanski as all three all remain out. Rodney Wallace is a doubt for the game and doesn’t look like he will play any part.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five in MLS: L/D/W/L/W

Portland Timbers’ last five in MLS: D/L/W/L/W

Key Stat: Portland Timbers have never won away at Seattle in an MLS regular season game.

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Key Player: Obafemi Martins – The pace the front man possesses will cause problems for any defense, and his partnership with Clint Dempsey could prove the difference once again in this one.

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-1 Portland Timbers – Seattle to use their home advantage to effect with a narrow win against their rivals in what should be an entertaining game.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs Orlando City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Orlando City

Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, April 12th – 17:00 BST (22:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 5)

Match Odds: Portland 3/4 – Draw 13/5 – Orlando 18/5

Match Preview

Portland Timbers host Orlando City on Sunday night at Providence Park in an intriguing clash between two sides that will feel they deserve more points than they currently have as both have performed well up to this point.

The Timbers come into the game off the back of an impressive 3-1 win over FC Dallas last weekend, whereas Orlando were left heartbroken after an injury time winner saw them fall at home to DC United last time out.

Portland will be the favorites for this one after they recorded their first win at home last weekend and have only lost one of their opening five.

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They will have to keep Kaka quiet however, if they are to win all three points and the Brazilian playmaker will need to put in a similar display to that which he performed in Montreal in the Lions’ last road game.

Orlando haven’t had the best results so far this season, but they have had some very strong performances. They were unfortunate against DC last week and have showed that they are not afraid to attack sides.

The problem comes with their inability to finish chances, and with the creative abilities of Kaka there has to be a leading man to finish these chances on a regular basis.

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Adrian Heath has juggled with his striking options thus far, and we are likely to see rookie Cyle Larin start up front in Portland on Sunday night.

Team News

Portland will be without Will Johnson (leg break), Diego Valeri (ACL), Ben Zemanski (ACL) and Michael Nanchoff (hernia) as all miss out through injury. Jack Jewsbury could return in midfield having come off the bench against Dallas last week.

Orlando could be without six men as Tally Hall (ACL) and Pedro Ribeiro (hamstring) will both miss out, while Martin Paterson (groin), Christina Higuita (groin), Louis Neil (neck) and Tony Cascio (sore back) are all doubts. Cyle Larin is expected to start up front in place of Ribeiro with Kaka in behind.

Key Points

Portland Timbers’ form: D/D/D/L/W

Orlando City’s form: D/W/L/D/L

Key Stat: Portland are undefeated in their last seven MLS home games.

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Key Player: Fanendo Adi – Portland’s lethal striker has started the season with a bang, and will cause Orlando problems all game.

Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 3-1 Orlando City – The Lions have started well but cannot take their chances and that could cost them again on Sunday against a Timbers side that will want to record back-to-back victories. Portland look strong in attack and Orlando could struggle to contain their opponents in this one.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers

Venue: BC Place – Saturday, March 28 – 20:00 ET (00:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Vancouver 1/1 – Draw 12/5 – Portland 11/4

Match Preview

BC Place will play host to the Portland Timbers on Saturday night as they travel to Vancouver to play the Whitecaps in a key Western Conference clash in the what is the first match of the 2015 Cascadia Cup series.

These rivals from the Pacific Northwest always put on entertaining games and with both seemingly unaffected by the international break, this should be no different.

Vancouver come into the game off the back of two consecutive away wins and will want to replicate their away from when they return to BC Place for the first time since opening weekend on Saturday night.

Vancouver Whitecaps players celebrate after win at Orlando City (Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Vancouver Whitecaps players celebrate after win at Orlando City (Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Having won the last two away matches 1-0, the Whitecaps are used to low-scoring affairs and we’re expecting this one to be no different.

They will be hugely reliant on star striker, Octavio Rivero, as he has scored in each of their opening three games. Can he make it four in a row on Saturday?

Portland will feel disappointed with their form so far this season, as they are a side with great potential. Three draws in three is not great, but it’s not time to man the panic stations yet. They will see this fixture as winnable, despite being away from home.

After seeing a lead slip away twice in their clash with the LA Galaxy two weeks ago, and then a 0-0 draw with Sporting Kansas City last time out, Portland could do with a win here against a Vancouver side that will battle for the MLS Playoffs with the Timbers come the end of the campaign.

Portland TImbers vs Sporting KC

The Sporting Kansas City game was not the first 0-0 draw this season for the Timbers as they played out a goalless draw on the opening weekend against Real Salt Lake and finding the net has been a bit of a problem early on.

Portland will be a force this year and it’s time they started putting points on the board.

Team News

Vancouver will be without Mauro Rosales (ankle) and Andre Lewis (knee). Early season sensation Sam Adekugbe will also miss the game with a rib injury. Christian Dean, Russell Teibert and Darren Mattocks are all away on international duty.

Portland travel to Canada without Will Johnson (leg), Diego Valeri (knee), Ben Zemanski (knee) and Michael Nanchoff (hernia). Jack Jewsbury is a doubt with concussion, while Alvas Powell is on international duty with Jamaica.

Key Points

Vancouver Whitecaps’ form: L/W/W

Portland Timbers’ form: D/D/D

Key Stat: Portland scored three times in each of the three meetings with Vancouver in 2014, winning 3-0 at BC Place in a memorable game for Timbers fans.

Octavio Rivero celebrates his goal against Toronto FC (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jimmy Jeong)

Octavio Rivero celebrates his goal against Toronto FC (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jimmy Jeong)

Key Player: Octavio Rivero – The Uruguayan striker has been a huge hit this season, and has scored each of Vancouver’s three goals so far. He could well be the match winner once again.

Score Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 1-1 Portland Timbers – These fierce rivals are both looking strong this season but there will be little to separate them on Saturday night. The Timbers have drawn every game so far and that result looks to be the most likely outcome of this one as both will be desperate to avoid defeat.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland Timbers

Venue: Sporting Park – Saturday, March 21 – 20:30 ET (00:30 GMT – Sunday 22)

Match Odds: Sporting Kansas City 1/1  – Draw 12/5 – Portland Timbers 11/4

Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City welcome Portland Timbers to Sporting Park on Saturday evening with both sides still on the hunt for their first win of the 2015 MLS season.

Both sides need to get that first win to avoid any psychological issues setting in and to relieve any early pressure.

Sporting Kansas City have had a tough start to the season so could be forgiven for being at the foot of the Western Conference at this early stage, but there are still a couple of positives from their results.

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Drawing in the opener to New York Red Bulls with ten men was a good point. Losing away at FC Dallas, but still managing to get on the scoresheet, shows they are capable of breaking down stronger sides and had Dom Dwyer scored his penalty, they could have got more from the game.

Portland Timbers’ opening two fixtures have been no easier, so their two draws against Real Salt Lake and MLS Cup holders LA Galaxy are not to be frowned upon.

The Timbers were so close to upsetting Galaxy after scoring late on and were desperately unlucky to concede in the last seconds of the game.

Sporting KC will need to make their home advantage count and they cannot afford to lose to sides close to them in the table as they will be further distanced from the pack in what is a highly competitive Western Conference.

The quicker they can get points on the board, the less chasing they’ll have to do in an attempt to make up the difference. Head coach Peter Vermes will have players aware of the importance of winning this game despite it being just their third of the year.

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The Timbers will be hopeful of another fine performance in front of goal from Fanendo Adi and after his brace against Galaxy his confidence will be sky high.

Kansas City will be hopeful that last season’s goal machine, Dom Dwyer, can get off the mark this weekend as his goals will play a vital part to how their campaign unfolds.

Team News

Sporting Kansas City will still be without Chance Myers although Matt Besler is available after his suspension and should slot back into the heart of defence.

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Portland Timbers have three major injuries to worry about as Will Johnson, Diego Valeri and Ben Zemanski are all still out. Michael Nanchoff has a hip flexor strain and could also miss the trip.

Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s form: D/L

Portland Timbers’ form: D/D

Key Stat: Sporting Kansas City haven’t beaten Portland Timbers in their last three meetings at Sporting Park and will be looking to put an end to that run.

Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The Timbers forward will be hopeful of kicking on after netting his first two of the campaign last week and SKC will be fully aware of his threat in and around the box.

Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Portland Timbers – Sporting KC have a great chance for that first win of their season here and need to work their way up the table to the top five as quickly as possible. Portland will be disappointed not to have got three points last weekend and face a tough task in getting a result from Kansas City this Saturday.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy

Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, March 15 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT – Live on Sky Sports 1)

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 13/8 – Draw 12/5 – LA Galaxy 6/4

Match Preview

Portland Timbers host MLS Cup holders LA Galaxy at Providence Park this Sunday night in the final game of the second gameweek of the new season.

The Timbers began their MLS 2015 season with a 0-0 draw against Real Salt Lake last weekend, getting their first point on the board with their fourth straight MLS clean sheet a major plus for the team.

LA Galaxy picked up where they left off last campaign, winning 2-0 at home to Chicago Fire to open the 2015 season on Friday night and will be looking to make it two from two as they travel to Portland.

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The Timbers are unbeaten in their last five home games and will hope they can make home advantage count to avoid this run coming to an end against the reigning champions.

Galaxy haven’t won on the road in their last six attempts and this is a trend Bruce Arena will hope they can halt this weekend, but they haven’t beaten the Timbers away from home in their last three meetings, and face a real tough task against their Western Conference rivals.

Portland head coach Caleb Porter will be hoping his side can up their game and ensure nothing is made easy for the Galaxy this weekend as they will want to show that they’re capable of upsetting any challengers who make the trip to Providence Park.

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The Western Conference already has four teams on three points and the Timbers cannot afford to fall behind the early pace-setters if they are to push for a playoff spot this season.

LA Galaxy will want to ensure they maintain their winning start and they will also want to win more away games this season to send out a message to those looking to challenge them for their MLS Cup title.

Team News

Portland Timbers have three major injury concerns out for a large proportion of the season as Will Johnson (broken leg), Diego Valeri and Ben Zemanski (both torn ACL) are all set to miss the opening months of the new season. They could also be without Diego Chara (bruised calf).

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LA Galaxy look set to be blessed with a fully fit squad and as we know squad depth is majorly important for success. Jose Villarreal, who opened Galaxy’s account for 2015, will be under the spotlight after his impressive first performance of the season and will hope to retain his starting place on the left side of midfield. Jaime Penedo did not play in last week’s opener but he could step back in between the sticks as Brian Rowe had a couple of shaky moments in that 2-0 win.

Key Points

Portland Timber’s form: D

LA Galaxy’s form: W

Key Stat: Goalfest – These two sides have scored ten between them in their last three meetings and we could be in for a treat if we are to see a similar game to previous ties.

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Key Player: Gyasi Zardes – The pacy forward has added pressure to provide this season following the retirement of Landon Donovan and he will be looking to get off the mark on Sunday night.

Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 1-2 LA Galaxy – The Galaxy’s squad depth and lack of injuries compared to their opponents will surely be a factor this weekend and their firepower up top should see them make it two wins from two.