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Game Preview: Portland Timbers vs Colorado Rapids

Two weeks after a horrendous loss to RSL, the Rapids are looking to get back on track.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids are in Portland tonight to take on the Timbers in a place that has never been an easy one for the Rapids to bag three points. The Rapids are 1-7-0 in Portland and that one win happened in Portland’s inaugural year in MLS.

Colorado has had two weeks off from MLS action, though Tim Howard and a couple other potential starters did play in a friendly against Tucson FC in Memphis last week (Howard only played the first half). With eight games left on the schedule and a 0% chance of making the playoffs, now would be a good time to see the guys who we have invested in long-term get more playing time.

As for PTFC, they sit uncomfortably on the playoff line having drawn against New England last week. The Timbers (Rose City FC to the locals) are 8-2-3 at home this year winning home games on average 2-1. The Timbers will have to go without Jeff Attinella who picked up a hamstring injury last week. International duty also has both teams missing key players: Alvas Powell and David Guzman for Portland and Kellyn Acosta and Sam Vines (U-20s) for the ‘Pids.

The Rapids will also be without Niki Jackson and Nana Boateng for their red cards against RSL. In response, forward Caleb Calvert was recalled from Charlotte, so Rapids fans should expect him in the first team 18. It’s unlikely that it will happen, but the Rapids could have up to four homegrown players on the pitch at the same time—maybe even setting a new record—with Dillion Serna, Kortne Ford, Cole Bassett, and Caleb Calvert (still on a homegrown contract, though not through the CO system). Ricardo Perez is also a homegrown player but is out on loan and Jack McBean could also have a homegrown tag too (because of his original homegrown contract with LA). It’s a conversation for another day, but if the team is looking to identify their identity, developing homegrown talent is an important piece of the puzzle.

As for tonight, Portland knows the cliché of looking at this as an easy game, but a visit to their website and a lengthy read on what to know against their opponent will leave you wondering if they might give the Rapids a much-needed opportunity to grab three points.

Predicted starting XI: Tim Howard, Kortne Ford, Danny Wilson, Tommy Smith, Edgar Castillo, Jack Price, Johan Blomberg, Shkelzen Gashi, Dillon Serna, Giles Barnes, Jack McBean

Colorado

OUT: D - Axel Sjoberg (knee injury)

QUESTIONABLE: M - Sam Nicholson (back injury)

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: M - Kellyn Acosta, D - Sam Vines

Suspended: F - Niki Jackson, M - Bismark Boateng

Suspended after next caution: D - Kortne Ford, F - Jack McBean, D - Danny Wilson

Portland

OUT: D - Roy Miller (right thigh injury), GK - Jake Gleeson

QUESTIONABLE: GK - Jeff Attinella

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: M - Andres Flores, M - David Guzman, D - Alvas Powell

Suspended: none

Suspended after next caution: M - Sebastian Blanco

How to Watch

Match Date/Time: Saturday, September 8 at 8:30 pm MST

Venue: Providence Park—Portland, OR

TV Information: AltitudeTV

Radio: Altitude950

Live Stream: ESPN+ (subscription required)

C38 Watch party: Odell Brewing Co in RiNo