ExLink - 08/29/18 - PORvTOR

Portland Timbers vs. Toronto FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Portland Timbers vs. Toronto FC
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 27

Providence Park — Portland
August 29 - 10:30 pm ET

WATCH: TSN 3/4, ESPN+

Two teams coming off vastly different Heineken Rivalry Week matches meet at Providence Park Wednesday night with the Portland Timbers and Toronto FC both needing wins to improve their playoff hopes.

The Timbers are coming off a devastating 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders Sunday night, their fourth consecutive defeat, while Toronto FC raced out to a three-goal lead en route to a 3-1 home win over the Montreal Impact Saturday night.

Portland are one point below the playoff line in the Western Conference, while Toronto are six points behind sixth-place Montreal.

Portland Timbers

Statistically speaking, Portland (10-7-7) were the better side Sunday night, with more possession and outshooting the Sounders, 22-6. But at the final whistle, it was the visitors celebrating a Cascadia Cup victory and the hosts looking for answers.

The Timbers paid for not being clinical in the attacking third when Julio Cascante redirected a Kim Kee-hee cross into his own net in the 76th minute. It was the lone goal of the game as Seattle won in the Rose City for the first time since Aug. 2014.

“We need to be better,” Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “Because we were better than Seattle today. And we gave the game away. They took advantage of one moment and they changed the game when it was in our hands.

“We were completely dominating the match. We cannot lose a game that we have in our hands like we did today. If we keep playing games this way, we are going to win more games than we will lose but we have to play the whole match.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Roy Miller (right thigh injury), GK - Jake Gleeson (bilateral tibial stress fracture surgery); QUESTIONABLE: D - Larrys Mabiala (thigh injury), D - Jorge Villafana (shoulder injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-2-1, right to left)
GK: Jeff Attinella — Alvas Powell, Julio Cascante, Liam Ridgewell, Zarek Valentin — Diego Chara, Lawrence Olum, Andy Polo — Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco — Samuel Armenteros

Toronto FC

In what was one of several "must-win" games down the stretch of the regular season, Toronto FC received a vintage performance from Sebastian Giovinco in a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Impact at BMO Field Saturday night.

The Atomic Ant opened the scoring in the 7th minute, had his brace on 22 minutes and Jonathan Osorio added a third goal to give Toronto (7-12-6) a 3-0 lead in the 29th minute. Alejandro Silva pulled the Impact back a goal a minute later, but TFC were more compact defensively after halftime to secure a massive three points.

“For now all the home games are 'must-win' games,” TFC manager Greg Vanney said. “We need to win six more games now and my calculation is there are five home games and four road games. And so, our home wins are vital.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Auro (hamstring injury), D - Chris Mavinga (hamstring injury); QUESTIONABLE: F - Sebastian Giovinco (groin injury), M - Jonathan Osorio (hip injury), M - Victor Vazquez (knee injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-1-2-1-2, right to left)
GK: Clint Irwin — Justin Morrow, Eriq Zavaleta, Drew Moor, Ashtone Morgan — Michael Bradley — Jay Chapman, Marky Delgado — Jonathan Osorio — Jozy Altidore, Lucas Janson

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Portland Timbers 2 wins, 13 goals … Toronto FC 4 wins, 15 goals … 2 draws
  • At Portland: Timbers 2 wins, 8 goals … Toronto FC 0 wins, 3 goals … 1 draw
  • Last meeting at Portland: Portland Timbers 2, Toronto FC 1 (May 1, 2016)

Officials

Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: Mike Rottersman, Jeremy Hanson
4th Official: Armando Villarreal
VAR: Allen Chapman