Jonathan Lewis, RJ Allen - New York City FC - celebrating, prone
Brad Penner/USA Today Sports

New York City FC vs. Portland Timbers | 2017 MLS Match Preview

 New York City FC vs. Portland Timbers
2017 MLS Match Preview
Yankee Stadium – Bronx, N.Y.
Saturday, September 9 – 5:30 p.m. ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE

A pair of contenders attempting to separate themselves from their respective conference packs meet Saturday in the Bronx, where New York City FC host the Portland Timbers. Each team enters carrying an undefeated streak, with Portland's three-game run (2-0-1) up against NYCFC's lengthier five-game spread (4-0-1), though each squad's run of good form dates further -- NYC have yet to drop consecutive results this year, and Portland haven't done so since June.

New York City already took out one Western Conference contender this week, knocking off Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, on Jack Harrison's 84th-minute strike. The goal marked Harrison's first since June 29, and if the young attacker begins to heat up, it could mean a shakeup in a Supporters' Shield race even Patrick Vieira conceded to Toronto FC. Don't buy it? They do in the NYCFC locker room ... even without David Villa and Yangel Herrera.

As for Portland, their 1-1 draw against rival Seattle left them atop the Cascadia Cup standings and was the latest example of the Timbers being able to "hit their stride" -- at least, so says head coach Caleb Porter. Captain and playmaker Diego Valeri earned a Disciplinary Committee fine, but avoided suspension, which leaves him in full creative control for Saturday's match.

New York City FC

  • Suspended: NONE
  • Int’l Duty: NONE
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Ronald Matarrita (foot surgery), M - Miguel Camargo (non-displaced hip fracture), D - Maxime Chanot (hernia surgery), D - Ethan White (gastrocnemius strain), M - Mikey Lopez (midfoot sprain); F - David Villa (adductor irritation), M - Yangel Herrera (sports hernia); QUESTIONABLE: M - Alex Ring (toe injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3; left-to-right)
GK: Sean Johnson – Ben Sweat, Alexander Callens, Frederic Brillant, RJ Allen – Rodney Wallace, Tommy McNamara, Alex Ring - Maxi Moralez, Sean Okoli, Jack Harrison

Notes: NYCFC are now unbeaten in 10 consecutive home league games (8W-2D). They are approaching the franchise regular season best mark of 11 games (9W-2D), set between June 18, 2016, and April 1, 2017...NYCFC lead MLS with 62 yellow cards this year.

Portland Timbers

  • Suspended: NONE
  • Int’l Duty: NONE
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Gbenga Arokoyo (Achilles tear), D - Chance Myers (hamstring injury), D - Marco Farfan (ankle injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Liam Ridgewell (quad injury), F - Fanendo Adi (hamstring injury), GK - Jake Gleeson (hamstring injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1; left-to-right)
GK: Jeff Attinella – Vytas, Roy Miller, Larrys Mabiala, Zarek Valentin – Diego Chara, David Guzman – Darlington Nagbe, Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco – Darren Mattocks

Notes: The Timbers have only won once in their last 11 MLS road games (6L-4D), dating back to April 29th. The Timbers have conceded in all 13 of these games, letting in 24 total goals...Sebastian Blanco is second in MLS with 51 fouls conceded this season.

All-Time Series

  • The teams have split a pair of matchups since NYC joined MLS in 2015; each team has scored twice.

Referees

Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: CJ Morgante, Jeff Muschik
Fourth Official: Ted Unkel
Video Assistant Referee: Geoff Gamble