FS1 + FOX Deportes: Diego Valeri - Portland Timbers - celebrates a goal
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Portland Timbers vs. Orlando City SC | 2017 MLS Match Preview

Portland Timbers vs. Orlando City SC
2017 MLS Regular Season
Providence Park – Portland, Ore.
Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017 – 8 pm ET
WATCH: FS1, FOX Deportes (USA) | MLS LIVE (CAN)

The Portland Timbers will be looking to get their playoff push back on track on Sunday evening, when they welcome an Orlando City SC side that has shown some signs of life in recent weeks.

After winning just once since May 31, Orlando topped D.C. United on the road on Sept. 9 before holding their own last weekend in a 3-3 draw at an Atlanta United side that has rolled over every other team it’s faced in September. While the Lions have still only collected three wins since their 6-1-0 start to the season, the strike partnership of Dom Dwyer and Cyle Larin finally seems to be clicking, meaning Orlando can be bona fide spoilers even as their postseason hopes fade away.

The Timbers, though comfortably above the playoff line on points at the moment, have played more games than all but one team in the Western Conference (Real Salt Lake) and will be hoping to maintain their five-point lead on the chasing pack (starting with San Jose in fifth place), lest they face a dogfight in the final weeks of the season.

However, they’ve been hit by injuries to key players lately, with imposing forward Fanendo Adi missing his sixth straight game last weekend. Head coach Caleb Porter said Wednesday that his 10-goal striker would return to training on Friday and could be available for minutes off the bench on Sunday. The other injury concern for Portland is midfielder David Guzman, who has not trained yet this week after leaving the RSL game early with a tight quad.

On the positive side for Portland, Diego Valeri set an MLS record in the Timbers' 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake last weekend by scoring in his eighth consecutive game, and will be looking to celebrate and extend that record in front of his hometown fans.

Portland Timbers

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M Sebastian Blanco
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT – D Gbenga Arokoyo (Achilles tear, out for season), D Chance Myers (hamstring injury), D Marco Farfan (ankle injury); QUESTIONABLE: F Fanendo Adi (hamstring injury), M David Guzman (quad)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Jeff Attinella – Zarek Valentin, Larrys Mabiala, Liam Ridgewell, Vytas – Darlington Nagbe, Diego Chara – Dairon Asprilla, Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco – Darren Mattocks

Notes: Portland has won three straight games at home, their longest streak of 2017. Portland’s two home losses are tied for the sixth fewest in the league. … Liam Ridgewell made his first appearance since Aug. 6 vs. Real Salt Lake, a span of five matches out of the lineup, coming into the backline and playing 76 minutes. Ridgewell has made two appearances since June 10.

Orlando City SC

  • Suspended: M Will Johnson (READ)
  • Suspended after next caution: M Will Johnson
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK Josh Saunders (neck injury, out for season), M Cristian Higuita (calf injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-1-2, right to left)
GK: Joe Bendik – Scott Sutter, Tommy Redding, Leo Pereira, Donny Toia – Antonio Nocerino, Dillon Powers, Yoshimar Yotun – Giles Barnes – Dom Dwyer, Cyle Larin

Notes: In addition to his two goals vs. Atlanta, Dom Dwyer also added an assist, the first time in his MLS career he’s been involved in three goals in a game. Dwyer has two goals and two assists in the last two games. … Orlando have only won once in their last six MLS road matches, (3L-2D), and have conceded an average of 2.3 goals per game in those matches. 

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Portland 0 wins (1 goal) … Orlando 2 wins (6 goals) … Ties 0
  • At POR: Portland 0 wins (0 goals) … Orlando 1 win (2 goals) … Ties 0

Referees

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson (near side), Eduardo Mariscal (far side)
4th Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Drew Fischer

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