Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake | 2018 MLS Match Preview

ExLink - 10/21/18 - PORvRSL

Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 34

Providence Park — Portland
October 21 — 5 pm ET

Real Salt Lake close out the regular season with a pivotal showdown against the Portland Timbers Sunday at Providence Park in a match with major playoff implications for both Western Conference foes.

RSL are heading to Portland on a high note, blasting the New England Revolution, 4-1, Thursday night at Rio Tinto Stadium to create a four-point gap above the playoff line, while the fifth-place Timbers are looking to make it consecutive victories over Real Salt Lake.

Sebastian Blanco struck for a brace and Jeremy Ebobisse and Lucas Melano added a goal apiece for the Timbers in the 4-1 win on Oct. 6, while Jefferson Savarino scored the lone goal for RSL.

Portland Timbers

After handing RSL just their second home loss of the season, Portland (14-9-9) is seeking a season sweep and a spot in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup playoffs when the sides meet again at Providence Park.

“They have a good team, good players, they are a difficult team and they’re going to be tough to play against at home,” head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “Petke, I played with him, I know him well, he’s a good coach, he’s done well and he’s going to prepare for the match to try to bring the best that he can. It’s going to be a tough game. It’s going to be competitive.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Diego Chara, M - David Guzman
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Roy Miller (right thigh injury), GK - Jake Gleeson (bilateral tibial stress fracture); QUESTIONABLE: GK - Jeff Attinella (shoulder injury), D - Alvas Powell (head injury), GK - Kendall McIntosh (head injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Jeff Attinella — Zarek Valentin, Larrys Mabiala, Julio Cascante, Jorge Villafana — Diego Chara, David Guzman — Andy Polo, Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco — Jeremy Ebobisse

Real Salt Lake

Desperate for a win after four consecutive matches without one, Real Salt Lake (14-12-7) delivered in a big way on Thursday night, routing the Revs, 4-1, in their final regular season home game.

Nick Besler and Sebastian Saucedo scored 10 minutes apart to give RSL an early 2-0 lead, Corey Baird made it 3-0 before the half-hour mark and Damir Kreilach made it 4-0 just five minutes into the second half. The win was especially impressive given RSL were without midfielders Kyle Beckerman and Sunny (due to yellow card accumulation) and three other starters in Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata and Savarino (returning from international duty).

“I knew they were hungry; the pairing of Marcelo (Silva) and Nedum (Onuoha), we knew we were facing a team that was extremely athletic, extremely strong, extremely fast and aggressive and if you look at those two that’s a big part of their game,” head coach Mike Petke said. “Overall, these guys stepped up for us, and now it’s all about Sunday.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Marcelo Silva, D - Brooks Lennon
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Tony Beltran (right knee surgery), M - Jordan Allen (knee surgery), GK - Alex Horwath (Achilles surgery), D - David Horst (Achilles surgery)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Nick Rimando — Brooks Lennon, Nick Besler, Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera — Kyle Beckerman, Damir Kreilach — Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata — Corey Baird

All-Time Series


Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Chris Wattam
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic