In Pictures: Timbers, SKC play out goalless draw in first leg of Western Conference Championship

Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City are as they were coming into Sunday’s Western Conference Championship series. They battled to a 0-0 draw in the first-leg at Providence Park, meaning there’s all to play for in what should be a thrilling second-leg on Thursday.

Portland had the best chances on the night, hitting the post and seeing a goal ruled out for offside following a VAR decision. They were also denied by Tim Melia time and time again, with the SKC goalkeeper making six saves on the night.

Sporting KC had a couple of chances of their own, mostly breaking on the counter wherever possible. Johnny Russell had a good sight of goal just after half-time. While Daniel Salloi had a great chance to win it in stoppage time, only for Liam Ridgewell to put his body on the line to block.

Check out exclusive photos from Sunday’s first leg below, courtesy of MLSGB photographer, Denise McCooey.

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Gallery: Exclusive images as Houston stun Portland to advance to Western Conference Final

The Houston Dynamo stunned the Portland Timbers with a 2-1 comeback win at Providence Park on Sunday night. The 2015 MLS Cup champions were eliminated on their own turf, with the Dynamo advancing to the Western Conference Final, where they’ll face the Seattle Sounders.

This time last year, Houston were the worst side in the Western Conference. Now, they are just two legs away from the 2017 MLS Cup Final. Their turnaround has been remarkable and they fully deserved their win at Portland on Sunday.

Dairon Asprilla gave the hosts the lead on 39 minutes, blasting the ball high and beyond Joe Willis. Asprilla’s task was made significantly easier by an unfortunate slip from Dynamo defender Dylan Remick.

However, Remick would soon atone for his error. Just four minutes later he volleyed the Dynamo level. That goal left the Houston in control, due to their away goal. Portland needed one more but couldn’t find it.

Then, in the 77th minute Mauro Manotas struck from distance and beat Jeff Attinella to put the game beyond Portland’s reach. The Dynamo advanced against the odds, leaving Portland players and fans stunned at the fact their season ended in such fashion.

Houston will face the Seattle Sounders over two legs in the Western Conference final, with the winner advancing to MLS Cup to take on either Toronto FC or Columbus Crew SC.

Check out exclusive pictures from Sunday night’s game, courtesy of MLSGB Photographer Denise McCooey.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy

Major League Soccer: Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy

Providence Park – Sunday, August 6 – 14:00 ET (19:00 BST)

Match Odds: Portland 1/2 – Draw 16/5 – LA Galaxy 9/2

Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy: Preview

Portland Timbers take on LA Galaxy on Sunday afternoon at Providence Park. The Western Conference sides are both on an inconsistent run of form. The game has been moved forward two hours due to the forecasted extreme heat.

The Timbers come into this one having drawn away at Houston. They have only lost one in their last six, but have picked up just seven points from 18 on offer.

Portland are sitting comfortably in the top six and still have a realistic chance of pushing to top the West. They are reliant on the form of Diego Valeri, who produced the goods once again last time out.

LA Galaxy have not had a good season by any stretch of the imagination. They are seven points outside of the top six but there is still time to close that gap.

They come into this game without a win in their last six. Galaxy are looking to avoid losing three away games on the bounce for the first time in four years.

LA have conceded 15 goals in those last six games. If results go against them this weekend they could find themselves bottom of the Western Conference.
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Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy: Team News

Gbenga Arokoyo, Liam Ridgewell, Marco Farfan and Chance Myers are all out for Portland, while Amobi Okugo and Dairon Asprilla are both doubts.

LA Galaxy have four absentees through injury: Dave Romney, Baggio Husidic, Sebastian Lletget, and Robbie Rogers. They will also be without Jelle Van Damme and Bradley Diallo who are suspended.

Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy: Key Points

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

LA Galaxy’s last five: L/L/L/L/D

Key Stat: Winless run – LA Galaxy are now winless in their last six outings.

Key Player: Diego Valeri – Portland’s provider. He has netted an impressive 11 goals and picked up six assists so far in 2017. He has directly contributed to 17 of Portland’s 39 regular season goals.

Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy: Prediction

Portland Timbers 2-1 LA Galaxy – Given the current form of LA Galaxy ahead of this game a defeat at the hands of Portland looks likely. However, the heat and conditions are going to play a big part in this one. The pace of the game could well be slower than usual and both sets of players will be wary of conditions.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs New York City FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. New York City FC

Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, May 15 – 19:30 ET (00:30 GMT)

Match Odds: Portland 8/11 – Draw 14/5 – New York City 7/2

Match Preview

Portland Timbers welcome New York City FC to Providence Park this weekend in the second outing of a double game week for the home side.

Portland come into this tie off the back of their 2-1 away loss against Dallas, their second defeat on the bounce.

The Timbers sit 9th in the Western Conference, far from where they are expected to be and looking a shadow of the side who won the MLS Cup just five months ago.

Caleb Porter’s side have only lost one of their home games this season, winning three and drawing the other, so they will feel their best chance of pushing their way up the West will be near perfect form at Providence Park.

LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers

New York City FC are in a strong run of form coming into this tie, they are unbeaten in three, winning their last two.

Their 2-0 away win against Dallas last time out was New York City’s second win on the road this season from four. They have taken six points from a possible 12 on their travels.

Patrick Vieira’s side sit 4th in the Eastern Conference, trailing top spot by two points, if they can continue their solid run of form they could well be challenging to top the East come the end of the regular season.

New York City met Portland Timbers once in their inaugural season which ended in a 1-0 defeat. This is their first visit to Providence Park and they’ll be feeling confident of coming away with a favourable result.

NYCFC celebrate David Villa goal vs Toronto FC on March 13, 2016.

NYCFC celebrate David Villa goal vs Toronto FC on March 13, 2016.

Team News

Portland Timbers have three injury concerns heading into this tie. Andy Thoma, Alvas Powell and Adam Kwarasey are all expected to miss out.

New York City FC could be without up to five players this weekend. RJ Allen is out, while Frank Lampard, Connor Brandt and Jack Harrison are all doubts. Federico Bravo is suspended and Mikey Lopez is one caution away from suspension.

Key Points

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

New York City’s last five: L/L/D/W/W

Key Stat: Portland Timbers have already lost five games this season compared to 11 in total for the whole of the 2015 regular season.

Key Player: David Villa – The NYCFC forward has netted seven goals in ten appearances so far this season and will be feeling confident heading into this one having scored three in his last two outings.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact David Villa

Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 2-2 New York City – Portland have had some promising performances at home this season but are lacking a little confidence heading into this tie. New York City are in a good run of form but have been hit and miss on the road so far in 2016. A draw looks a likely result here which both sides would settle for giveN their form respectively ahead of the game.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids

Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, October 25 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 4/9 – Draw 100/30 – Colorado Rapids 6/1

Match Preview

Portland Timbers take on Colorado Rapids at Providence Park on Sunday evening as the home side look to secure a playoff spot on MLS Decision Day.

The Timbers are currently fourth in the Western Conference with 50 points, two ahead of fifth and sixth placed Seattle and SKC who both have 48, so a draw would do the job for Caleb Porter’s men.

Although, a victory for Portland would not only guarantee a top six finish but they could also sneak in through the back door to clinch an automatic semi-final spot should LA Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps both fail to win.

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Portland should come into this game full of confidence after an incredible performance last weekend saw them thrash LA Galaxy 5-2 away from home, sealing their third win in four games.

Portland Timbers’ MLS record: P33 – W14 – D8 – L11

Colorado Rapids cannot qualify for the playoffs and haven’t been able to for a while now – they will also certainly finish bottom of the Western Conference, irrelevant of their result here.

However, they did put an end to a run of four straight defeats with a remarkable 2-0 victory away at Sporting Kansas City in midweek to record their first win in seven games.

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Pablo Mastroeni’s side can play with freedom on Sunday in the knowledge that this is no more than a formality for them and there is no pressure other than to end on a high.

Colorado Rapids’ MLS record: P33 – W9 – D10 – L14

The Timbers won the last meeting between these two sides 2-1 back in May. They also beat the Rapids 2-1 the last time they met at Providence Park in July 2014. Colorado have beaten Portland just once in their last seven meetings (D2, L4).

Team News

Diego Valeri will miss the game for Portland Timbers through suspension after picking up too many yellow cards. Ben Zemanski (knee) remains a long-term absentee, while Will Johnson (leg) is a major doubt.

Colorado’s Michael Harrington (foot) is unavailable, while there are also doubts over the fitness of Drew Moor (foot), Dillon Serna (hamstring) and Jared Watts (toe). Sam Cronin is suspended after being sent off against SKC.

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Key Points

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

Colorado Rapids’ last five: L/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: Portland Timbers have recorded just one victory in their last six home games.

Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The big Nigerian forward is on fire. He’s bagged five goals in his last four games, including a brace at LA Galaxy last weekend. He’s a real handful and the Rapids will struggle to stop him.

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Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 3-1 Colorado Rapids – The Timbers should comfortably seal their playoff spot and if results go their way, they may even pinch an automatic semi-final place.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs New York Red Bulls

Competitions: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. New York Red Bulls 

Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, September 20 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 13/10 – Draw 5/2 – New York Red Bulls 19/10

Match Preview

Portland Timbers entertain New York Red Bulls on Sunday with both side in playoffs places in their respective conferences.

The Timbers are sitting 6th in the Western Conference on 41 points. They come into the game off the back of a 0-0 draw at home against Sporting Kansas City. They now haven’t won in their last three.

Caleb Porter will have his players aware that they cannot afford to drop points at this late stage of the regular season, with no side in the Western Conference mathematically unable to make the playoffs. Just seven points separate Portland from bottom side Colorado Rapids.

Portland won 2-1 in the last meeting between the sides back in 2014. The last two ties between these two at Providence Park have ended 3-3.

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New York Red Bulls missed an opportunity to open up a three point lead at the top of the Eastern Conference in midweek as they lost 2-1 to New England Revolution.

They are still in a strong position to top the Eastern Conference as they have two games in-hand, but cannot afford anymore slip-ups.

NYRB haven’t won an away game in their last three attempts and will be aware that this will be no easy task.

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Team News

Portland have just the one injury concern coming into this one with Ben Zemanski out. Alvas Powell is one booking away from suspension.

New York Red Bulls will be without Chris Duvall and Roy Miller, both ruled out through injury. Connor Lade and Dax McCarty are both suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Felipe Martins and Matt Miazga are one booking away from suspension.

Key Points

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

New York Red Bulls’ last five in MLS: W/L/W/W/L

Key Stat: Portland are unbeaten in their last then home games.

Key Player: Lloyd Sam – The Red Bulls winger has netted seven times this season, created 32 chances for teammates and has registered four assists. He can be a real handful for opposition defenders to deal with with his pace and direct approach.

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Score Prediction

Portland Timbers New 2-2 York Red Bulls – Another stalemate between these sides at Providence Park in a game with plenty of action.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs Houston Dynamo

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

Venue: Providence Park – Friday, August 21 – 23:00 ET (Saturday, August 22 – 04:30 BST)

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – Houston Dynamo 4/1

Match Preview

Portland Timbers take on Western Conference opponents Houston Dynamo on Friday night as they look to continue to keep pace in the top four.

Caleb Porter‘s side come into this one off the back of two consecutive wins, their last, a 1-0 away victory over Real Salt Lake.

The Timbers are sitting fourth in the Western Conference, four points behind leaders LA Galaxy, but Porter’s side have a game in hand and know they cannot afford to drop unnecessary points.

Timbers look to be back on track with their last two wins coming off the back of a four game winless run.

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Houston Dynamo have been in inconsistent form and as a result sit outside the playoff places in eighth.

Owen Coyle‘s side come into the game after last weekends 2-0 defeat away at New England Revolution.

They sit four points outside the playoff places, so have more than a reasonable chance of pushing themselves up the table, but they need to find a run of form.

Dynamo have four wins in their last ten Regular Season games including that impressive 3-0 victory over LA Galaxy, if they can perform like they did in that one, they have a great chance here.

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Team News

Portland have just the one injury concern coming into this one with Ben Zemanski still out. Both Liam Ridgewell and Alvas Powell are one caution away from suspension, so will need to be cautious not to pick up any silly bookings.

Houston Dynamo could be without three players. Jermaine Taylor looks set to miss out while there are doubts about Ricardo Clark and Rob Lovejoy. Kofi Sarkodie, Raul Rodriguez and Sheanon Williams are all one booking away from suspension.

Key Points

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

Houston Dynamo’s last five in MLS: L/W/D/W/L

Key Stat: Fortress – Portland Timbers have won six of their last seven home matches in MLS and kept six clean sheets in their last eight regular season ties at Providence Park.

Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The Timbers top scorer has netted ten times this season, with two in his last three games and will be looking to cause problems for Dynamo.

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Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 2-1 Houston Dynamo – Portland to continue their home form in a cagey affair.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs Houston Dynamo

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

Venue: Providence Park – Saturday, June 21 – 22:30 ET (Sunday, June 22 – 02:30 BST)

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – Houston Dynamo 4/1

Match Preview

Portland Timbers host Houston Dynamo on Saturday, who visit Oregon for the second meeting between the two sides this season.

The Timbers won their third game on the bounce in their last regular season game, beating New England Revolution 2-0. This is the first time Timbers have achieved the feat in their history.

These victories have seen the Timbers rise up the table and into fourth place in the Western Conference and a win could see them into third if results go their way.

Fanendo Adi got both the goals over New England taking his tally to six for the season. In Adi they have a striker full of confidence who seems to be a constant threat. He has netted four more than their second highest scorer Nat Borchers.

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Portland have been solid at home this season, winning three, drawing three and having lost just once at Providence Park.

Houston Dynamo are looking to get successive wins after their 4-2 demolition of New York Red Bulls last time out.

Will Bruin is in good form after a slow start and he has now netted seven goals this season, including two goals against Portland Timbers in the reverse fixture.

Owen Coyle’s men have struggled away from home, winning just one at Toronto, and their poor away form could decide whether the Dynamo can reach the playoff positions or miss out come the end of the campaign.

The reverse fixture saw Houston Dynamo win 3-1 over Portland Timbers back in May, the goals came from Will Bruin, who bagged a brace, and one from Giles Barnes. Portland’s goal came from Fanendo Adi.

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Team News

Portland Timbers have doubts over Diego Valeri (ankle), while Ben Zemanski is still sidelined (knee).

Houston Dynamo will be without Brad Davies and Bonieck Garcia as Owen Coyle mentioned in a press conference earlier this week.

Key Points

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

Houston Dynamo last five in MLS: W/W/L/D/W

Key Stat: Portland Timbers have only beaten Houston Dynamo once in six attempts.

Key Player: Will Bruin – The Houston Dynamo forward will look to get his fifth goal in three games if he can hit the back of the net this weekend. Bruin will be trusted with unlocking the opposition defence, which he has done twice already this season.

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Score Prediction 

Portland Timbers 2-1 Houston Dynamo – Portland Timbers will just edge it with the single goal being the difference. Both teams have excellent strikers who know how to score but you can’t bet against Portland’s three game unbeaten run.

Preview: Portland expected to move into playoff place with win against San Jose tonight

The Portland Timbers face up against the San Jose Earthquakes for the second time in five days tonight, with the Timbers just one point behind Vancouver in the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

San Jose’s hopes of somehow getting into the playoffs were officially ended by the Timbers in Portland’s 2-1 comeback win at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday night, but they will hope to spoil the party in Portland by winning their first game at Providence Park tonight.

However, San Jose has not won in eleven games, and Portland are expected to win the third and final meeting between the two this season, following a 3-3 draw in Portland back in July, before Saturday’s win in San Jose.

The Timbers will welcome back Diego Valeri after he was suspended for Saturday’s game, and the Argentine playmaker is crucial for Portland as he has eight goals and ten assists this season.

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Goals are expected in this one, as Portland has seen at least three goals in their past seven matches, while both side’s have scored in five of the last six meetings between the pair.

A Portland win will put them two points ahead of Vancouver, and they will occupy the final playoff spot with two games to go, though Vancouver will have a game in hand after tonight as the race for fifth place looks set to go down to the wire.

The Timbers will face Western Conference rivals Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas in their final two games, with both sides currently ahead of Portland.

San Jose could field a youth-filled side in Portland tonight, and the fact that they have nothing to lose in this one means it could be quite a goal-fest.

Key stat: San Jose have failed to win in their last eleven MLS matches

Key player: Diego Valeri – The Argentine’s return from suspension should lift Portland and he could be in for another big night as the Timbers look to move into a playoff position.

Prediction: Portland 3-1 San Jose