MLS is Back Tournament - Jul 18 - PORvsHOU

Preview: Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo | MLS is Back Tournament, Group F

2020 MLS is Back Tournament – Group F, Matchday 11
Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Sat., July 18 – 8:00 PM ET

TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes; TSN4, TVA Sports in Canada

STREAMING: ESPN App in USA; TSN App in Canada

Former MetroStars teammates Giovanni Savarese and Tab Ramos will match wits as coaching foes Saturday night when the Portland Timbers meet the Houston Dynamo in Group F.

The Timbers (3 pts) can clinch a berth to the Knockout Round with a win, while the Dynamo will look to follow up their strong performance against tournament favorites LAFC with a win of their own which would put them in a strong position heading into the final group stage match.

Portland Timbers

Despite finishing with 10 men, the Timbers picked up a 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy in their MLS is Back Tournament opener. Sebastian Blanco was Portland’s catalyst, setting up Jeremy Ebobisse’s opener in the 59th minute and then doubled the Timbers' lead in the 66th minute.

Things got dicey late, though, as Dario Zuparic was sent off for his second bookable offense in the 75th minute and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, who early in the game was denied by goalkeeper Steve Clark from the penalty spot, pulled the Galaxy to within a goal with his first MLS goal two minutes from full time.

The Timbers come into the matchup with a relatively good bill of health overall, but will be without Dairon Asprilla (knee), with forward Felipe Mora (thigh) also listed as questionable.

Project Starting XI

Updated team roster

  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Dairon Asprilla (M) - left knee injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Felipe Mora (F) - right thigh strain
    • UNAVAILABLE: Andrés Flores (M)
  • Suspended: Dario Zuparic (D)
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Houston Dynamo

The Dynamo came out flying against LAFC, but conceded twice after halftime to settle for a 3-3 draw against LAFC in their opener. Memo Rodriguez led the way with a brace inside the opening half hour and teammate Alberth Elis added a goal in first-half stoppage time to give the Dynamo a 3-1 lead at the break. But LAFC scored six minutes apart in the second half to level the game as Tab Ramos continues to search for his first win as MLS coach.

The Dynamo also come into this matchup close to full strength health-wise, with the exception of backup forward Michael Salazar (knee).

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Michael Salazar (F) - right knee injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Marcelo Palomino (M) - thigh injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Series Matchup

  • Timbers: 5 wins, 25 goals
  • Dynamo: 6 wins, 27 goals
  • 5 draws


  • Referee: Ismail Elfath
  • Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Cory Richardson
  • 4th Official: Victor Rivas
  • VAR: Joseph Dickerson



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